Carver and White's (1994) BIS scale and Lykken's (1995) primary psychopath: A reply to Newman and Malterer (2009) Academic Article uri icon


  • Newman and Malterer (2009) recently challenged the conclusions reached in our critique of the construct validity of Carver and White's (1994) Behavioral Inhibition System (BIS) scale for testing Lykken's (1995) "weak BIS" theory of primary psychopathy, and they argued instead that the problems may lie with Lykken's model itself. In this rejoinder we respond to specific issues raised by Newman and Malterer. Although we agree with Newman and Malterer that there may well be problems with Lykken's model, the additional data and rebuttal arguments presented by Newman and Malterer are insufficient to rehabilitate the BIS scale which, because it fails to assess sensitivity to conditioned fear stimuli, is not a valid measure for testing Lykken's low fear (or "weak BIS") hypothesis. 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Poythress, N. G., Skeem, J. L., Lilienfeld, S. O., Douglas, K. S., & Edens, J. F.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Poythress, Norman G||Skeem, Jennifer L||Lilienfeld, Scott O||Douglas, Kevin S||Edens, John F

publication date

  • January 2009