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50 shades of risk? Psychopathic traits, gender, and risky behaviour

Faculty Advisor




risk, gender, psychopathic traits

Abstract (summary)

The purpose of this study was to determine what effect psychopathic traits and gender have upon risk-taking behaviours across multiple domains. Although psychopathy is associated with risk for violent/criminal behaviours, few studies have addressed psychopathic traits in relation to other types of risk, including whether different risk patterns are manifested across genders. Participants (N = 540) were assessed for psychopathic traits and then were asked to complete measures evaluating risk-related attitudes/behaviours (i.e., domain-specific, sexual behaviours, drug use). Results indicated that males generally reported higher levels of risk taking, although scored similarly to females on social risk and below females on sexual risk. Those high in psychopathic traits engaged in more risk across the board, which was primarily related to traits of fearlessness, rebellious nonconformity, and egocentricity. Risk consequence information impacted reported behaviours in the negative condition, possibly due to several reporting biases. Implications concerning methods of assessing risk and factors predictive of risk are discussed.

Publication Information



Presented on April 23, 2019 at Student Research Day held at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta.

Item Type

Student Presentation




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