I Can See It On Your Face

How Levels of Psychopathy, Anxiety, and Emotional Intelligence Predict Detection of Negative Emotions

  • Karolina Wieczorek MacEwan University

Abstract

Past research has revealed a complex interplay between psychopathic traits, levels of anxiety, and emotional intelligence (EI). In particular, scholars argue that psychopaths vary in their levels of trait anxiety, suggesting that some may be able to “feel” or experience emotion to some degree. Conversely, psychopathy also has been negatively related to the ability to perceive and recognize emotion (a form of EI) in others, especially for those low in trait anxiety. That said, other studies have found that psychopaths may have an enhanced ability to detect negative emotions, particularly fear. Few studies have examined these variables in relation to the detection of real or feigned emotion, and none in relation to negative emotions. The present research was designed to evaluate the influence of psychopathic traits, levels of anxiety, and emotional intelligence in relation to an emotion veracity task focused on negative emotions. Participants will complete self-report assessments of our personality variables, followed by exposure to facial emotion sets that vary according to veracity (genuine/feigned) and emotion type (fear/sadness/anger/disgust). Accuracy scores and signal detection rates will be analyzed to determine what combination of psychopathic traits, anxiety, and emotional intelligence are linked to fine-tuned emotion detection.


Discipline: Psychology Honours


Faculty Mentor: Dr. Kristine Peace

Published
2017-05-15