A Quantitative Study Evaluating the Relationship between Psychopathic Traits and Cognitive Abilities in the Substance Abuse Population
Received Date: August 13, 2020; Published Date: September 23, 2020
Psychopath is a cluster of emotional deficits and antisocial behaviors, which continues to spark interest in the mental health community as well as the general public. Even though research over the past two decades has provided many clarifications regarding psychopath, many unknowns still linger. The purpose of the study was to examine the association between psychopathic tendencies and intelligence. In the study, psychopathic traits were evaluated using the Antisocial Scale (ANT) of the Personality Assessment Inventory (PAI) and intelligence was measured using the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (WAIS-IV). The sample was comprised of archival assessment data of clients from a community mental health clinic (N=30). Archival data consisted of subjects who endorsed difficulties with substance use and had elevated ANT scores. The results of the study found that subjects with higher education had lower antisocial scale scores. Additionally, individuals with higher antisocial scale scores had slower processing speed as indicated by the Processing Speed Index (PSI) subscale of the WAIS IV. This study suggests that individuals with psychopathic traits may have difficulty processing and encoding information quickly and accurately. Problems in processing speed may lead individuals to have emotional regulation issues and judgment impairments. The study highlights the importance of creating treatment protocols that address the cognitive processing issues of individual’s with anti-social or psychopathic tendencies. Moreover, the study results underscore the necessity of developing treatment regiments that can be easily followed and adhered to by this population.
Keywords: Psychopath; Psychopathic Traits; Substance Use; Cognitive Abilities; Intelligence