Award Date

August 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Committee Member

Stephen Benning

Second Committee Member

Samantha Godbey

Third Committee Member

Kimberly Barchard

Fourth Committee Member

Daniel Wright

Number of Pages



Fearless Dominance (FD) and Impulsive Antisociality (IA) are two personality traits often used in the study of psychopathic personality. FD is characterized by a lack of empathy, resilience to stress, and social potency, while IA is marked by impulsivity, selfishness, and manipulativeness. The current trio of studies sought to expand the use of FD and IA to assess psychopathology more generally. Study 1 consisted of a meta-analysis of all the relationships between FD/IA and various forms of psychopathology. Results affirmed that FD and IA each correlate with a variety of different psychological disorders, each to varying degrees of magnitude, but a review of the quality of evidence noted several weaknesses prevalent in the current literature, such as unjustified sample sizes and a lack of properly representative sampling methods. Study 2 involved the construction and piloting of a new self-report measure based on a circumplex+ model of psychopathology, the Psychopathology Circumplex+ Scales (PCS). The PCS assesses psychopathology utilizing three dimensions: FD, IA, and the general factor of psychopathology (p). The results of Study 1 provided the foundation for the item content of the PCS. We used a novel item selection method involving the ranking of inter-item correlations for each pair of proposed octant subscales to improve the circumplex structure of the FD and IA PCS dimensions. Confidence intervals generated from bootstrap simulations indicated that the final set of PCS items adequately passed tests of circumplex structure. Additionally, ipsatization of PCS scores adequately controlled for p, allowing the type and severity of psychopathology assessed by the PCS to be scored separately. With the circumplex structure of the PCS confirmed, Study 3 examined the convergent and divergent validity of the PCS using the structural summary method (SSM) to generate circumplex profiles for a variety of psychopathology measures. Results indicated that many of these measures had strong loadings on the general factor, suggesting the PCS items adequately assess general psychological distress/dysfunction, perhaps to the detriment of their unique, non-p content. Additionally, while some disorders exhibited unique profiles within the PCS circumplex space, most disorders tended to cluster in the octants defined by high IA and low or strongly negative FD. Results from all three studies are discussed in the context of the need for comprehensive assessments of psychological disorders for use in both clinical and research settings, the role and meaning of the general factor of psychopathology, and the need to expand assessments of psychopathology to include multicultural conceptualizations of mental illness.


Circumplex; Meta-Analysis; Personality; Psychometrics; Psychopathology; Psychopathy


Clinical Psychology

File Format


File Size

3860 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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