Exaggerated intergroup bias in economical decision making games: differential effects of primary and secondary psychopathic traits

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Psychopathic personality traits are linked with selfish and non-cooperative responses during economical decision making games. However, the possibility that these responses may vary when responding to members of the in-group and the out-group has not yet been explored. We aimed to examine the effects of primary (selfish, uncaring) and secondary (impulsive, irresponsible) psychopathic personality traits on the responses of non-offending participants to the in-group and the out-group (defined in terms of affiliation to a UK University) across a series of economical decision making games. We asked a total of 60 participants to act as the proposer in both the dictator game and the ultimatum game. We found that across both tasks, those who scored highly for secondary psychopathic traits showed an elevated intergroup bias, making more generous offers toward members of the in-group relative to the out-group. An exaggerated intergroup bias may therefore represent a motivational factor for the antisocial behavior of those with elevated secondary psychopathic traits.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e69565
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume8
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • Adolescent, Adult, Antisocial Personality Disorder, Decision Making, Female, Games, Experimental, Humans, Male, Motivation, Young Adult