Psychopathy and Pride: Implications for Antisocial and Proocial Behavior Open Access

Unterberger, Ansley Alma (2016)

Permanent URL:


Although many individuals with pronounced psychopathic attributes commit antisocial and criminal acts, others may channel their traits into largely positive avenues, such as leadership and positive risk-taking. Like all those marked by psychopathic traits, the latter individuals sometimes termed "successful psychopaths," possess deficiencies in guilt. Unlike unsuccessful psychopaths, however, they typically learn to inhibit deviant and violent impulses. Because they are lacking in guilt, I propose an alternative emotion, namely pride, may help explain the behavioral differences between successful and criminal psychopaths. Recently, studies suggest that pride encompasses two facets: authentic and hubristic. The former relates to genuine, earned self-worth, the latter to unwarranted narcissism. I hypothesized that among psychopathic individuals with high fearless dominance levels (a) authentic pride would serve as a protective factor by tamping down risk for antisocial and criminal behavioral and by boosting prosocial behaviors such as leadership and heroism, (b) hubristic pride would augment risk for antisocial and criminal behavior and diminish the likelihood of adaptive behavior, and (c) positive parenting, involving the elimination of corporal punishment, consistent positive reinforcement, and parental involvement, would promote prosocial tendencies by protecting against antisocial behaviors. I tested my hypotheses by administering an online questionnaire composed of numerous personality measures. Bivariate correlation analysis revealed significant differential links between psychopathy components, the two core pride facets, and positive parenting. Despite scattered significant moderation findings, the results were mixed and inconsistent in their direction. The inconsistencies in the moderation analyses raise the possibility that some or even all of the positive findings reflected Type 1 errors. However, many of the interaction terms accounted for 1% or more additional variance, which should be considered theoretically important. Although too small to inform policy, these results may point to important theoretical implications and warrant further exploration.

Table of Contents


1.1 What is Psychopathy?. 1

1.2 Quantifying Psychopathy. 3

1.3 Psychopathy Structure. 4

1.4 Psychopathy Interpretations. 6

1.5 Unsuccessful Psychopathy. 7

1.6 Successful Psychopathy. 8

1.7 Pride. 10

1.8 Positive Parenting. 12

1.9 Hypotheses. 14

2. METHOD. 14

2.1 Participants. 15

2.2 Questionnaires. 15

2.2.1 The Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). 15

2.2.2 Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ). 16

2.2.3 7- Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales. 17

2.2.4 Dispositional Positive Emotions Scale (DPES). 17

2.2.5 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). 17

2.2.6 Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI). 17

2.2.7 Guilt and Shame Proneness Scale (GASP). 18

2.2.8 Psychopathic Personality Inventory Revised (PPI-R). 18

2.2.9 Levenson's Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP). 19

2.2.10 Hexaco Personality Inventory (HEXACO). 19

2.2.11 Criminal and Analogous Behavior Scale (CAB). 19

2.2.12 Activity Frequency Inventory (AFI). 20

3. RESULTS. 20

3.1 Descriptive Analysis. 20

3.2 Correlation Analysis. 21

3.2.1 Psychopathy and Leadership. 21

3.2.2 Psychopathy, Pride, Positive Parenting, Self Esteem, and Narcissism. 23

3.2.3 Psychopathy, Guilt and Shame, and Leadership. 24

3.2.4 Psychopathy, Leadership, Criminal Behaviors, and Heroism. 26

3.2.5 Psychopathy, Pride, Positive Parenting, Self-Esteem, Narcissism, and Guilt and Shame. 27

3.2.6 Psychopathy and Guilt and Shame. 28

3.2.7 Psychopathy, Guilt and Shame, Criminal Behaviors, and Heroism. 29

3.3 Moderation Analysis. 31

3.3.1 Findings. 31 Moderation Analysis for Fearless Dominance. 32 Moderation Analysis for Fearlessness. 40


4.1 Correlation and Moderation Analyses. 51

4.2 Implications. 52

4.3 Limitations and Future Directions. 53

4.3.1 Analysis. 53

4.3.2 Distribution. 53

4.3.3 Measures. 54

4.3.4 Participants. 55

4.3.5 Conclusion. 56



6.1 Consent Form. 65

6.2 Consent Form Quiz. 66

6.3 Measures. 67

6.3.1 Demographics. 67

6.3.2 Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ). 68

6.3.3 Alabama Parenting Questionnaire (APQ). 70

6.3.4 7-Item Authentic and Hubristic Pride Scales. 73

6.3.5 Dispositional Positive Emotions Scale (DPES). 74

6.3.6 Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES). 74

6.3.7 Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI). 75

6.3.8 Guilt and Shame Proneness Scale (GASP). 77

6.3.9 Levenson's Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP). 80

6.3.10 Psychopathic Personality Inventory Revised (PPI-R). 81

6.3.11 Criminal and Analogous Behavior Scale (CAB). 89

6.3.12 HEXACO Personality Inventory (HEXACO). 94

6.3.13 Activity Frequency Inventory (AFI). 99

About this Honors Thesis

Rights statement
  • Permission granted by the author to include this thesis or dissertation in this repository. All rights reserved by the author. Please contact the author for information regarding the reproduction and use of this thesis or dissertation.
  • English
Research field
Committee Chair / Thesis Advisor
Committee Members
Last modified

Primary PDF

Supplemental Files