Reduced Sensitivity to Affiliation and Psychopathic Traits


A recent study led by PISC Senior Scholar Rebecca Waller, PhD, examines the relationship between reduced sensitivity to affiliation and psychopathic traits. Waller et al. assessed 407 adults measuring for psychopathic traits, callous unemotional traits, pleasure in affective touch, affective and somatic positive empathy, sensitivity to physical affiliation, as well as preference for emotional and physical affiliation.

Results indicated low sensitivity to affiliation to be associated with high total psychopathy scores. Specifically, low sensitivity to affiliation was associated with high Interpersonal-Affective and Callous-Unemotional facet scores. This study suggests that through examining the indirectly proportional relationship between sensitivity to affiliation and psychopathic traits, there is the potential to reduce psychopathic traits through interventions and treatments created to respond to deficits in sensitivity to affiliation among individuals.

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