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Interpersonal Distance Regulation and Approach-Avoidance Reactions Are Altered in Psychopathy

Interpersonal Distance Regulation and Approach-Avoidance Reactions Are Altered in Psychopathy In this study, we examined the impact of psychopathy on approach-avoidance reactions and interpersonal distance (IPD) in response to social cues. We selected a student sample and measured psychopathy via self-report. Participants were immersed in a virtual environment in which a virtual person displayed either angry or happy facial expressions. In the first experiment, participants had to walk toward the virtual person until a comfortable IPD had been reached. In the second experiment, participants had to push or pull a joystick in response to the facial expression of the virtual person. Our results suggest that psychopathy does not change average IPD but does impair its regulation. That is, the facial expression of the avatar no longer modulated IPD in participants with psychopathic traits to the extent that it did in participants with fewer psychopathic traits. The speed of the approach and avoidance reactions is altered in psychopathy when confronted with social cues. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical Psychological Science SAGE

Interpersonal Distance Regulation and Approach-Avoidance Reactions Are Altered in Psychopathy

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References (83)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© The Author(s) 2019
ISSN
2167-7026
eISSN
2167-7034
DOI
10.1177/2167702619869336
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In this study, we examined the impact of psychopathy on approach-avoidance reactions and interpersonal distance (IPD) in response to social cues. We selected a student sample and measured psychopathy via self-report. Participants were immersed in a virtual environment in which a virtual person displayed either angry or happy facial expressions. In the first experiment, participants had to walk toward the virtual person until a comfortable IPD had been reached. In the second experiment, participants had to push or pull a joystick in response to the facial expression of the virtual person. Our results suggest that psychopathy does not change average IPD but does impair its regulation. That is, the facial expression of the avatar no longer modulated IPD in participants with psychopathic traits to the extent that it did in participants with fewer psychopathic traits. The speed of the approach and avoidance reactions is altered in psychopathy when confronted with social cues.

Journal

Clinical Psychological ScienceSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2020

Keywords: approach-avoidance,interpersonal distance,virtual reality,psychopathy,emotion

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