American University
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The perception of emotion and empathic ability: A neuropsychological approach to the study of violent and nonviolent offenders

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posted on 2023-09-06, 03:03 authored by Susan Lochhead Yardley

This investigation examined the relationship between the ability to identify and interpret emotional stimuli and the symptoms of violence and aggression. A group of violent and non-violent male offenders completed the Comprehensive Affect Battery (CAB), a compendium of tests designed to assess various aspects of emotion perception including: facial expression, body posture, auditory cues of emotion, and social-situational cues. Each subject also completed three measures designed to measure personality characteristics and empathic ability. Information regarding each subject's medical, psychological, and offense history was obtained in order to illuminate the potential impact of such factors on test performance. Subjects completed a neuropsychological screening as a general measure of cognitive-intellectual functioning. Results indicated that there were no significant differences between the violent and non-violent offenders in their ability to identify and interpret emotional cues. Furthermore, the groups did not differ on their capacity to empathize with the emotional experience of others. An explanation for these findings is provided and implications for future research are discussed.



American University




Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 59-03, Section: B, page: 1382.; Advisors: Bryan D. Fantie.; Ph.D. American University 1997.; English


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