Self- and informant perceptions of psychopathic traits in relation to the triarchic model. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The validity of self-report psychopathy measures may be undermined by characteristics thought to be defining features of the construct, including poor self-awareness, pathological lying, and impression management. The current study examined agreement between self- and informant perceptions of psychopathic traits captured by the triarchic model (Patrick, Fowler, & Krueger, 2009) and the extent to which psychopathic traits are associated with socially desirable responding. METHOD: Participants were undergraduate roommate dyads (N=174; Mage =18.9 years; 64.4% female; 59.8% Caucasian) who completed self- and informant reports of boldness, meanness, and disinhibition. RESULTS: Self-reports of psychopathic traits reasonably aligned with the perceptions of informants (rs=.36-.60), and both predicted various types of antisocial behaviors, although some associations were only significant for monomethod correlations. Participants viewed by informants as more globally psychopathic did not engage in greater positive impression management. However, this response style significantly correlated with self- and informant-reported boldness, suppressing associations with antisocial behavior. CONCLUSIONS: These findings suggest that participants are willing and able to disclose psychopathic personality traits in research settings under conditions of confidentiality. Nonetheless, accounting for response style is potentially useful when using self-report measures to examine the nature and correlates of psychopathic traits.

published proceedings

  • J Pers

altmetric score

  • 44

author list (cited authors)

  • Kelley, S. E., Edens, J. F., Donnellan, M. B., Mowle, E. N., & Srman, K.

citation count

  • 21

publication date

  • January 2018