Abnormal selective attention in psychopathic female offenders.

Abstract

Research on psychopathy in women has generated equivocal laboratory findings. This study examined the performance of psychopathic women in 2 laboratory tasks designed to assess abnormal selective attention associated with response modulation deficits: a computerized picture-word (PW) task, and a picture-word Stroop (PW Stroop) task. Consistent with data from psychopathic men, women receiving high scores on the Psychopathy Checklist - Revised (Hare, 1991) displayed reduced Stroop interference on the PW and PW Stroop tasks. Results suggest that despite some differences in the expression of psychopathy across gender, psychopathic women are characterized by selective attention abnormalities predicted by the response modulation hypothesis and similar to those exhibited by psychopathic men.

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