Psychopathic features, paired-associate learning, and lexical decision-making in children
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 16:22 by Nicole Susann Cormier
This thesis explored potential links between psychopathic features and difficulties with abstract semantic processing in a clinical convenience sample of children aged 6 through 11. Correlational analyses investigated relationships between parent-reported Antisocial Process Screening Device (APSD) and Inventory of Callous-Unemotional (ICU) scores, and differences in children's concrete versus abstract performance on paired-associate (PA) and lexical decision (LD) tasks. The expected positive correlations with callous-unemotional traits were not found. However, parent-reported APSD impulsivity, APSD total, and ICU total scores were negatively correlated with differences in LD accuracy. The analyses failed to reveal anticipated differences between concrete and abstract task performance. While the null findings suggest numerous issues with the study protocol, several solutions are proposed, and the importance of measuring the sub-factors of psychopathy (impulsivity, narcissism, CU traits) in future investigations of child cognitive functioning was emphasized.