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Taxometric analysis of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy scale.

by Glenn D Walters, Chad A Brinkley, Philip R Magaletta, Pamela M Diamond
Journal of personality assessment ()


Levenson's Self-Report Psychopathy scale (Levenson, Kiehl, & Fitzpatrick, 1995) was administered to 1,972 male and female federal prison inmates, the results of which were subjected to taxometric analysis. We employed 4 taxometric procedures in this study: mean above minus below a cut (Meehl & Yonce, 1994), maximum slope (Grove & Meehl, 1993), maximum eigenvalue (Waller & Meehl, 1998), and latent-mode factor analysis (Waller & Meehl, 1998). The results showed consistent support for a dimensional interpretation of the latent structure of psychopathy, corroborating previous research conducted on the Psychopathy Checklist (e.g., Psychopathy Checklist-Revised; Hare, 2003) and Psychopathic Personality Inventory (Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996) and denoting that psychopathy is a dimensional construct (degree of psychopathic characteristics) rather than a qualitatively distinct category of behavior (psychopath).

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