Award Date

May 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

First Committee Member

Stephen D. Benning

Second Committee Member

Jason Holland

Third Committee Member

Rachael Robnett

Fourth Committee Member

Peter Gray

Number of Pages

75

Abstract

Psychopathy is a personality disorder with distinctive behavioral, emotional and interpersonal features. The dual process model of psychopathy conceptualizes the construct via two distinct factors: fearless dominance (FD) and impulsive antisociality (IA). While individuals higher in psychopathic traits are less likely to cooperate with others, research examining the impact of psychopathy on individuals’ social networks is lacking. In the current study, 377 first year undergraduate students completed the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire, the Ten Item Personality Inventory, and ratings regarding their social networks via Qualtrics. Students were asked to list up to ten friends and rate their relationship via a newly developed measure, which factor analyses revealed as having a one-factor solution capturing overall friendship quality. We found that FD was positively related to friendship quality, and the interaction of FD and IA (psychopathy) was negatively related with the proportion of contactability of friends. In addition, friends were recruited and provided friendship and adjective ratings regarding their relationship and view of the participant who referred them. In general, individuals higher in IA were rated more negatively (e.g., annoying, unfriendly). IA also moderated the relationships between FD and adjectival ratings such that those high in FD and IA were rated as more annoying, aggressive, and psychopathic as well as less friendly and enjoyable. Homophily analyses showed that only matching on the same major impacted friendship quality. Lastly, both agreeableness and neuroticism mediated the relationship between IA and friendship quality. This study provides novel information of how individuals view their own social networks and how this relates to psychopathy.

Keywords

Five Factor Model; Personality; Psychology; Psychopathy; Social Networks; Social Support

Disciplines

Clinical Psychology

Language

English


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