Psychopathy and indirect aggression: The roles of cortisol, sex, and type of psychopathy Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Salivary cortisol was examined in relation to indirect aggression and primary psychopathy (i.e., cold affect and interpersonal manipulation) and secondary psychopathy (i.e., criminal tendencies and erratic lifestyle) in a sample of 154 undergraduate students. Results revealed that although psychopathy and indirect aggression were strongly correlated, when statistically controlling for each of type of psychopathy, only primary psychopathy was related to indirect aggression. In women but not in men, lower cortisol was associated with higher levels of primary psychopathy and higher cortisol was associated with higher levels of secondary psychopathy. Cortisol was not related to indirect aggression. Results are discussed from both an evolutionary and developmental perspective.

publication date

  • November 2011