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Adaptive Psychopathy: The Quarantine Vector and Psychopathy Induction | OMICS International
ISSN: 2475-319X
Journal of Forensic Psychology

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Adaptive Psychopathy: The Quarantine Vector and Psychopathy Induction

Mihailides S*, Galligan R and Bates G

Department of Psychological Sciences, Swinburne University, Australia

*Corresponding Author:
Mihailides S
Department of Psychological Sciences
Swinburne University, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9214 8000
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 15, 2017; Accepted date: August 22, 2017; Published date: August 29, 2017

Citation: Mihailides S, Galligan R, Bates G (2017) Adaptive Psychopathy: The Quarantine Vector and Psychopathy Induction. J Foren Psy 2:128. doi: 10.4172/2475-319X.1000128.

Copyright: © 2017 Mihailides S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Defined within evolutionary psychology, the tenets of the State Psychopathy and Directional Vector hypotheses of psychopathy theory (Bates et al.), were tested in an experimental induction designed to rouse survival threat. Territorial incursion, eliciting survival threat, within the Directional Vector hypothesis posits that psychopathic affect is roused, directionally, bounded by a quarantined zone. Theory also posits that processing of normal-range affect, occurring outside the quarantined zone, is relatively unaffected by psychopathic cognition. Hypotheses that i) increases in Symbolic Division would heighten splits on socio-cultural, sexual, affective, and spiritual dimensions between members of one’s own community and invading others, that ii) Objectification would occur so that invading others would be imbued with affect from the psychopathic range; and iii) that Mutual Exclusivity would prevail so that co-existence would seem impossible but instead invading others would be deposed, dominated and destroyed, were all strongly supported. Consistent with predictions of the State-Psychopathy Hypothesis, experimental induction resulted in elevations in state psychopathy levels as measured by Triarchic Psychopathy total scores. The subscales of disinhibition and Meanness but not the Boldness evidenced significant rises in levels post induction. The implication of results is that empathy and psychopathy are not mutually exclusive. Developmental and treatment perspectives are discussed in light of findings, summarized as twin ignition and quell signature genocide autopoietics.


Directional vector; Adaptive psychopathy; Quarantine zone; Inversion method; Autopoietic; State trait psychopathy


Bates et al. [1] re-engineered theory about psychopathy by dismantling the assumption of deficit and pathology of prior theory. In new modeling, psychopathy is redefined within the tenets of the Adaptive Psychopathy Hypothesis and as a state-trait construct. This work tests the assumptions of this theory using experimental methodology.

Within their theoretical review, Bates et al. draw on concepts from evolutionary psychology [2-8] to argue that the activities of the psychopathic modular mind are an evolutionary adaptation that is part of human psychological nature. Psychopathic cognition is premised to occur in a quarantined zone of the mind, with psychopathic processes acting directionally. Circumscribed processing within this quarantined zone is summarized in new modeling about mechanism, and termed the Directional Vector Hypothesis.

Introductory theory develops three new process constructs termed Objectification, Symbolic Division and Mutual Exclusivity. They are process constructs about mental mechanism that assist in understanding the Directional Vector Hypothesis. The central argument is that perceived territorial incursion will arouse survival threat that will cause state elevations in psychopathy levels with resultant activation of the psychopathic modular mind which acts according to the Directional Vector Hypothesis.

Meta-ethics and the state psychopathy hypothesis

Bates et al. [1] reviewed the psychopathy literature and critically analyzed the assumption of deficit and pathology attributed to modeling of ideas about clinical levels of high-end psychopathy. Limitations of prior theory were apparent in its lack of explanatory power to account for affect, behavior and thinking about people with subclinical levels of psychopathy. Prior theory [9-25] also failed to extend ideas about amorality, immorality or deficient morality for subclinical collective psychopathy. Prior theory noted deficient, disordered morality, amorality, or moral incapacitation, for clinical high-end psychopathy, without tracing where or how to arrive at a point of joining with ideas about the same moral processes in populations holding normal-range psychopathy.

The Directional-Vector hypothesis and the State-Psychopathy hypothesis [1] are the new terms that repaired a disjoint in the literature about psychopathy. The emphasis in repair imported ideas about moral incapacitation of high-end clinical psychopathy [13- 15,26] into the normal population. The constructs of moral absolutism, moral relativism and moral universalism were adapted from Leach and Harbin [27] which assisted to clarify that moral relativism, in particular, is implicit in cross cultural conflicts [28,29] where high levels of collective psychopathy emerge [1]. Conflicts could be sociosexual, socio-spiritual, socio-emotional or in more literal conflicts such as over lands, territory, resources and sovereign governance. It was the behavior, thinking and affect associated with such conflicts that exposed moral relativism in collective thinking, where affect from the psychopathic spectrum was present in mass conflicts.

Thus, in the most serious expressions of collective psychopathy, the instinct to slay emerges with cold-heartedness, baseness, ghoulish humor and pleasure at suffering. Affect in this psychopathic-range is seen in association with murderous spiritual apostasy laws, murderous laws such as the death penalty, honour killings, those murderous social norms’ targeting rape victims (blaming them for the crime) and in the religiously sanctioned killing of same-sex attracted people. Psychopathic-range affect especially emerges during times of genocide.

In general, elevations in collective psychopathy involve socio-cultural, socio-sexual, socio-affective and socio-spiritual conflicts and disputes. Utilitarian meta-ethics and moral relativism were implicit wherever psychopathic-range affect emerges.

The Bates et al. [1] review noted the regularity of genocides, observing that hundreds of millions of deaths occurred in genocides in the 20th century alone. Two genocide ignition signatures were noted with variation in the severity of these genocides evident if they had one versus two ignition signatures. Single ignition signature genocides are affective-greed signature genocides, defined by high-end elevations in collective psychopathic spectrum affect, such as occurred in the Nazi genocide and during the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829). In single ignition signature genocides, commodity greed of the resources of the subjugated group becomes implicated with survival threat, as socio-affective conflicts escalate.

By contrast, dual-ignition signature genocides are more serious. They involve the affective, greed signature as well as a sexuo-affective ignition signature. In twin-ignition signature genocides, greed and sexual hatred augments psychopathic-range affect, with sexual sadism emergent in mass proportions. Dual ignition signature genocides result in mass, devolved chaos, social disintegration, in spreading social contagion when the limiting strictures of socialization are overwhelmed. Bates et al. [1] noted that during the Rwanda genocide, the behavior of mass numbers of the general population, from diverse roles including the clergy, behaved not unlike the sexually sadistic psychopath. For that genocide the ‘weapon of mass destruction’ was a machete with mass raping occurring as societal structures broke down.

Psychopathy, in this analysis, emerges in cross-cultural moral relativism with societies varying in both the degree and kind of responses to social transgression, especially in socio-sexual and sociospiritual conflicts. However, collective psychopathy was found in all societies. Three tenets summarized the meta-ethical analysis in that a) the capacity for thinking and behaviors with signature psychopathic features appears in normal human populations, given the b) presence of normal-level psychopathy in all societies. However, elevations in collective psychopathy do not affect population global capacity for the expression of empathic-range affect. Rather, it appears as a c) targeting within the mind, of a sector, or of a segment of human thinking. That is, a vector of directionality to target others in relatively quarantined processing zones occurs which is associated with activities of a targeting scanner. Within affected zones of processing, the affective spectrum of psychopathy appears as cold heartedness, baseness, instincts to slay, cruelty, pleasure at suffering, and ghoulish humor.

Evolutionary theory and the state psychopathy hypothesis

Bates et al. [1] traced the presence of collective psychopathy to any conflict where a territorial incursion roused survival threat for a human territorial organism. New theory emphasized a directionality of processing for relatively quarantined zones of cognition. Psychopathic process was likened to a targeting scanner that sweeps socio-cultural territories scanning for threat. The pervasive nature of normal psychopathy meant that evolutionary psychology could account for its presence in the species. Vocabulary derived from evolutionary psychology positioned psychopathy as a sexually selected adaptation of human psychological nature. A modularity of mind framework was adopted which placed psychopathy as a distinct unit within evolutionary psychology’s modeling of computational theory of mind. Psychopathy was described as a facultative adaptation, which is one that varies in its expression, contingent upon environmental influences. Facultative applies to psychopathy because for example, the composition of social environments varies over time, where collective psychopathy levels shift as trends do in societal timelines.

The quarantining facility of processing was formulated as a human birthright, for annexing alien, threatening socio-sexual, sociospiritual and socio-cultural features that conflict with a person’s own. Territoriality of the psychopathic modular mind was a core feature defined for the quarantining mechanism. The content of a directional vector—that is, elements of threatening alien materials—triggering psychopathic cognition, were formulated as occurring within the quarantined zone with directional vectors. This feature is viewed as domain-specific adaptation, within evolutionary theory, occurring as part of a computational, modular theory of mind. Critically the directionality of psychopathic cognition allows for dual processing of both empathic cognitive events as well as psychopathic cognitive events. Empathic processing annexes targets outside the territory of the quarantine zone, while psychopathic processing occurs within the quarantined zone.

For the quarantined, directional vector of processing, evolutionary psychology’s pre-existing vocabulary included language for temporal processing of data by the psychopathic modular mind. This was summarized as data input processed by proximate mechanism of the psychopathic modular mind. Data input is any internal mental representation or schema acted upon, and stripped of warm affect and stripped of empathy. Such stripped contents are imbued (data output) with the cognitive footprint of affect from the psychopathic spectrum inherent in collective psychopathy. A directionality of processing results in quarantined output.

Psychopathic cognition emerges wherever there is a collision of self-interest in counter-opposed human endeavors. It occurs where there is a competition for primacy or expansion, or where noncoexistence occurs in cultures’ spiritual, commodity, resource and sexual vectors of governance. Such vectors of directional conflict attract cold-heartedness, through to the instinct to slay from the psychopathic affective constellation. The Directional Vector Hypothesis is the term defined to summarize mechanism and is part of the State-Psychopathy Hypothesis.

Whilst the Directional Vector Hypothesis was likened to a targeting scanner of an innate human capacity, what the targeting scanner collates, identifies and gathers as input for psychopathic modular mind varies by relative weight. So, relative weights of threatening input amassed by the operations of a targeting scanner, forms the basis of mental mechanism for the State Psychopathy Hypothesis. That is, a greater burden, or weight of amassed input in the quarantined zone implies greater levels of state psychopathy. Levels of psychopathy will vary as a function of the degree of conflict and competition over ordinance and governance of socio- cultural, socio- sexual, and socio- spiritual territories, with conflicts being over actual or symbolic resources or territories. The modeling also implicates human territoriality and survival instincts and predicts that manipulation of survival threat should impact upon psychopathy levels for normal populations.

In the theoretical formulation, the affective spectrum evoked during psychopathic processing (initiated by territorial survival threat), was the instinct to slay, cold-heartedness, baseness, ghoulish humor and pleasure at suffering. As such, objectification of affected targets is expected by theory. Objectification is applied to mean that targets are stripped of warm, empathic affect. Because the mental ‘area’ and ‘range’ of targets quarantined during cognitive process are limited and isolated, the theory implies that the mind retains capacity for empathic functioning in relation to non-affected targets.

The theory also implies that there is a Symbolic Division between the psychopathic and empathic modular minds. This is not a literal separation, or boundary line that should be likened to 3D space, but rather a capacity of cognition to partition, or divide how mental energies flow or imbue mental contents differently in different ‘areas’ of the mind. Symbolic Divisions define the point within the mind of the appraiser where specific socio-cultural, socio-sexual and sociospiritual divergences define a state of split mind. Stated in crude terms, the appraiser splits the internal world into peoples of «lands» who are, and who are not a territorial threat. Because survival threat governs the activation of affect from the psychopathic spectrum across a Symbolic Division, therefore, at its extreme, the instinct to slay dominates motivation and guides threat removal. At extremes, this also means that affected targets are those whose place, rights and freedoms are mutually exclusive to one’s own. When operating at critical extremes, the psychopathic mind identifies affected targets as a serious, literal survival threat so that coexistence with them is not seen as possible. Mutual Exclusivity, which is the implication of Objectification and of Symbolic Division, are three new Directional Process Vectors, predicted to be central to the new theory proposed. The three process concepts are defined as functioning for the quarantined areas of cognition managed by a targeting scanner which together form the apparatus making up of the psychopathic modular mind.


This study aims to experimentally manipulate territorial incursion— rousing survival threat, in order to test the Directional-Vector and the State-Psychopathy hypotheses. The three process constructs, namely Objectification, Symbolic Division, and Mutual Exclusivity are expected to vary systematically with survival threat and territorial incursion.


It follows that people engaged in an internal territorial struggle, will to varying degrees, engage in a state of thinking termed divided mind. During such states, Mutual Exclusivity is expected to emerge, in association with the internal symbolic struggle. Whilst processing information in a state of divided mind the person is expected to split cultural, religious or social values, and to impute moral deviation (i.e., believe that the interloper is unacceptable, wrong, improper, dangerous) to members of opposing, factional groups. As the sense of territorialism and threat develops, deeply ingrained predatory, survival instincts are engaged and Mutual Exclusivity arises. This refers to the state of polarized mind where the person sees that the only way forward is to depose, dominate, destroy or subsume the opposing cultures or groups. Therefore, it is hypothesized that the dynamic activation of psychopathic cognition via induction of survival threat by perceived territorial incursion will result in the appearance of features of Mutual Exclusivity in that psychopathic cognition (H1).

In the hypothesized proximate mechanism, as developed in the theories paper [1], for the various survival-driven territorial struggles that humans participate in, one set of the internal symbolic representations should be defended. The opposing set of symbolic representations are expected to be sacrificed, objectified, and subjected to various degrees of psychopathic thinking, affect and behavior in the external reality. A spectrum is expected in degree of Objectification of the opposing symbolic representations. As such, it is hypothesized that the dynamic activation of psychopathic cognition via induction of survival threat by perceived territorial incursion will result in the appearance of Objectification of affected features bounded by the quarantine zone (H2).

The third prediction recognizes that territorial incursion occurs about a perceived struggle for literal or symbolic territory, or for wealth or some other symbolic or literal commodity. Theory predicts that there will be a critical point of symbolic difference appearing between appraiser and appraised, that defines symbolic distinctions in the psychopathically maligned other. This is termed a Symbolic Division. As a Symbolic Division deepens, the appraiser is expected to focus upon how the appraised is less like the appraiser on critical features. In keeping with ideas about dimensionality, it is hypothesized that the dynamic activation of psychopathic cognition via induction of survival threat by perceived territorial incursion will result in the appearance of a Symbolic Division in participants’ appraisals of affected others, by comparison to themselves (H3).

The last hypothesis focuses upon the impacts of territorial incursions rousing survival threats upon psychopathy levels, but as measured by an existent, standard measure of psychopathy, the Triarchic Psychopathy measure (TriP). It is hypothesized that the same experimental conditions that produced measurable differences on Mutual Exclusivity, Symbolic Divisions and Objectification (see arguments for H1, H2 and H3), will elevate scores on the Triarchic Psychopathy measure, from baseline pre–induction to post-induction levels (H4).


Study 1


Participant inclusion criteria were adults with normal levels of psychopathy. Participants were 68 people, 34 of whom were students from the Department of Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University (38% were male, M=22.08 years, SD=2.53 years and 62% were female, M=25.33 years, SD=8.33 years) Thirty four of the 68 participants were adults from a local community radio station (35% were male, M=29.33 years, SD=8.27 years, and 65% were female, M=29.18 years, SD=6.10 years). One case was suspended from the test group due to experimental analyses for incomplete data.


The idiographic component of research: Generating participants’ moral choice attributes

During Session 1, participants were asked to classify their most morally unacceptable terms from seven pull-down menus. The pulldown menus contained forced-choice items and participants were required to select the item that represented the most immoral term for each pull-down menu. The categories for the pull-down menus were as follows:

1.<Immoral political ideology>: e.g. fascist

2.<Immoral sexual/romantic practice>: e.g. bisexual marriage

3.<Immoral sexual recreation>: e.g. group sex

4.<Immoral Method of Handling>: e.g. abduction

5.<Immoral Punishment>: e.g. enslaving

6.<Immoral Rewards> : e.g. money

7.<Profession most immoral when misused>: e.g. police

Participants’ responses were their Moral Choice Attributes from Session 1, which were reserved for utilization in the psychopathy induction during Session 2.

Baseline measures

During Session 1, Participants were given the Triarchic Personality Measure (TriP). The Triarchic Personality Measure is a 59 item measure comprising three subscales termed Boldness (TriP_Bold, e.g. I am wellequipped to deal with stress), Meanness (TriP_Mean e.g. How other people feel is important to me R) and Disinhibition (TriP_Dis, e.g. I often act on immediate needs). Items are measured on a 5-point Likert- Type scale where 1=not at all like me and 5=very much like me. (Note: Items were modified to be in the present tense so changes could be assessed from pre to post manipulation of territorial survival threat).

Baseline levels of new process measures of psychopathy: Objectification, symbolic division and mutual exclusivity

Three new process measures of normal psychopathy were given to participants. These measures tap the three core constructs hypothesized to underpin psychopathic cognition. Mutual Exclusivity (for H1), is the degree to which a person’s views of others, quarantined by directional targeting scanner of the psychopathic modular mind, strips targets of empathic affect and imbues those instead with affect from the psychopathic spectrum. Participants were asked:

In thinking about you and your close people that is, those you call my people, compared to general members of the community please answer the following questions when thinking about your people in your community context, where 1=(Not my view) and 5=(Very much my view).

Items were responded to on a 5-point, Likert-Type scale where ‘1’ indicated low levels and ‘5’ high levels of the construct. An example item of Mutual Exclusivity was Community members must be made extinct before they make my people extinct. The Mutual Exclusivity (Mut) coefficient is the sum of responses.

Objectification (for H2) is the second parameter, which defines the degree to which contents of quarantined psychopathic modular mind have been sacrificed and stripped of empathic affect and imbued with affect from the psychopathic spectrum. Objectification (Obj) was measured on a 5-point Likert-Type scale where ‘1’ represents low levels of the construct and ‘5’ high levels. An example item is its best not to care for community members.

The third, a Symbolic Division (for H3, Div), is a function of the key symbolic differences in self and other created by directional psychopathic cognition. Across the quarantined boundary between self, created by directional processing, is an expected relative weight of symbolic information viewed as alien, distinct and as morally deviant to the self. The method of measuring Div was through a visual scale, where two circles were set half a page apart to symbolize ‘5’=Very Dissimilar. The two circles were placed almost fully overlapping for the other pole of the Likert-Type scale for ‘1’=Almost Identical.


Psychopathy induction: The ‘moral inversion’ induction

A vignette was pre-recorded and administered in a voice-over, by headset, while the participant viewed still photographic imagery presented by computer in a slide show of the Holocaust, of Abu Ghraib, the Cambodian genocide and the Brixton Riots. The slide show had subtitles such as «Emergency Broadcast» and «State of Emergency» interspersed between imagery. The participant’s name was incorporated at the beginning of the voice-over in order to personalize a message to them. The vignette was as follows:

Jenny, your society has a new social mandate that embraces a new social order. They have adopted a <Immoral Political> ideology. They and their millions of supporters have subverted power, taken control of the country’s financial machinery, secured military assets and they have a tight hold of control over the country. Society’s new laws esteem <Immoral Romantic Practice> in a new mode of relationships. They value <Immoral Recreational Activity> as a social recreation. International commentators have named members of this new society moral deviants. They also have new laws making it a criminal offence to live by society’s old laws. As such, what moral deviants term a ‘social dissident’ is anyone of the old world order. People of the old order are considered Enemies of the State. <Immoral Method of Handling> may be freely used by a moral deviant against anyone who is an Enemy of the State in order apprehend them. A moral deviant who hands over an Enemy of the State to authorities is guaranteed an <Immoral Reward>. Once detected, Enemies of the State are forcibly subjected to a reality TV conversion process. If they do not convert and openly become a moral deviant, they are punished under new moral deviant laws and are <Immoral Punishment>. Once converted, a new social deviant must prove their fidelity to the State and its new laws, by six months service as a volunteer to the <Immorally used Vocation>. You are caught in this new social revolution, surrounded by it, and are trying to decide what your choices are, and if you should escape to another country.

A vignette is prepared for each participant, with each moral choice attribute derived from Session 1. The term moral deviant is referenced, repeatedly during the vignette induction to emphasize culpability of the ‘alien other’ in terms of their ‘moral incapacitation’. After vignette induction, participants were presented with the following instructions:

These are questions concerning your thoughts and feelings about yourself in relation to moral deviants. In particular, please think about forming an escape plan to escape from your community and flee to safety. Please read each statement carefully and whilst imagining acting on your escape plan, and decide how much the statement is generally true of you on a 1 (Not True) to 6 (Very True of Me) scale. Be sure to answer every item and try to be as honest and accurate as possible in your responses.

The Tri_P measure was subsequently readministered. After induction the three process measures Div, Mut and Obj were readministered with their questionnaire wording retained, excepting that the term ‘community member’ was substituted with ‘moral deviant’.


Overview of analyses

A control group, not exposed to vignette induction, was used to test the temporal consistency of psychopathy scores. Thirty-four participants’ psychopathy scores were measured on two occasions, with no less than 24 hours between the two test trials. Table 1 presents means and standard deviations for the control group.

Group Psychopathy Score (Time 1) Psychopathy Score (Time 2)
Control 139.88 22.48 140.21 23.00
Test 141.76 22.28 N/A

Table 1:Control group psychopathy scores.

Hypotheses 1 – 4 were tested within a 2 (Psychopathy Condition: Pre/Post Induction) multivariate repeated measures analysis of variance experimental model, where the dependent variables were the new psychopathy Directional Process Vectors, namely, Mutual

Exclusivity (Mut), Objectification (Obj), and Symbolic Division (Div). For hypothesis 4, the dependent variable was Triarchic Psychopathy (TriP_Tot) total scores, as well as Triarchic Psychopathy subscale scores of Boldness (TriP_Bold), Meanness (TriP_Mean), and Disinhibition (TriP_Disin). The within-subjects independent variable was Psychopathy Condition. Tables 2 – 3 summarizes means and standard deviations for the within subjects factors.

Pre Post
Measure M SD M SD
Mutual Exclusivity* 7.2 3.1 18.1 7
Objectification* 17.2 6.4 38.7 12.7
Symbolic Division* 1.7 1.1 2.7 0.9
N=33; *p<0.001

Table 2: Symbolic division, objectification & mutual exclusivity, pre and post psychopathy induction.

  Psychopathy Score
Pre Post
Measure M SD M SD
Tri_P_Total 141.9 22.6 183.1 34.3
Tri_P_Boldness 63.4 7.9 59.9 10.3
Tri_P_Meanness* 31.5 11.4 51.8 16.8
Tri_P_Disinhibition* 43.1 7.9 71.6 18.7
N=33; *p<0.001

Table 3: Psychopathy levels (TriP_Total, TriP_Bold, TriP_Mean, TriP_Disin), pre and post psychopathy induction.

Experimental analyses

Table 1 summarizes age and psychopathy levels for the control group.

Psychopathy levels in the control group did not vary significantly across the two times scores were measured (F(1,33)=0.01, p=0.99). Psychopathy levels also did not vary significantly between the control group and the experimental group, pre induction (F(1,66)=0.30, p=0.59).

Experimental hypotheses were tested in a repeated measures multivariate statistical model, with the three Directional Process Vectors as the dependent variables (Directional Process Vector: Mut, Obj, Sym). Psychopathy Induction was the independent variable. The multivariate effect of interest was significant (Wilks=0.26, F (2,31) =91.88, p<0.001) indicating an impact of psychopathy induction upon levels of the Directional Process Vectors. There was also a significant multivariate interaction effect (Wilks=0.27, F(2,31)=42.98, p<0.001).

Hypotheses 1, 2, 3: The directional process vector: Mutual exclusivity, objectification and symbolic division

Table 2. Presents means and standard deviations for Mutual Exclusivity (Mut), Objectification (Obj) and Symbolic Division (Sym) pre- and post-psychopathy Induction.

To interpret the multivariate effect, three 1-way repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted, one each for Mutual Exclusivity, Objectification and Symbolic Division for the independent measure of interest. A 1-way repeated measures ANOVA was conducted on the participants’ Mutual Exclusivity scores, pre-and post-induction in order to test hypothesis that psychopathic cognition is associated with elevations in Mutual Exclusivity. Consistent with expectation, participants Mutual Exclusivity scores were significantly greater after psychopathy induction (F(1,32)=60.68, p<0.001 2 =0.66). Findings are presented in Figure 1.


Figure 1: Effects of psychopathy induction upon participant mutual exclusivity scores.

A 1-way repeated measures ANOVA for Objectification scores, was conducted upon pre-and post-induction scores in order to test the hypothesis that psychopathic cognition is associated with elevations in Objectification. Participants’ Objectifications scores were significantly greater after psychopathy induction (F(1,32)=89.77, p<0.001 η2 =0.74). Findings are presented in Figure 2.


Figure 2: Effects of psychopathy induction upon participant objectification scores.

Likewise, the 1-way repeated measures ANOVA upon pre- and post- induction that tested the hypothesis that psychopathic cognition resulted in a Symbolic Division was significant (F(1,32)=17.03, p<0.001 η2 =0.34). Findings are presented in Figure 3.


Figure 3: Effects of psychopathy induction upon participant symbolic division scores.

Hypotheses 4: Psychopathy induction

Psychopathy total scores (TriP_Tot) were comprised of subscale totals for Meanness (TriP_Mean), Boldness (TriP_Bold) and Disinhibition (TriP_Disin). Hypothesis 4 tested the impacts of induction upon the Trip_Tot and also upon subscales scores. A repeated measures MANOVA was fitted to TriP_Tot, TriP_Mean, TriP_Bold and Trip_Disin scores. Table 3 presents means and standard deviations for Triarchic Psychopathy (TriP_Tot) total scores, as well as Triarchic Psychopathy subscale scores as Boldness (TriP_Bold), Meanness (TriP_ Mean), pre- and post-psychopathy induction.

A significant multivariate main effect for psychopathy induction was found (Wilks=0.40, F(1,31)=47.39, p<0.001). However, the multivariate main effect was qualified by a significant univariate interaction for the psychopathy subscales (F(1,31)=37.35, p<0.001). The interaction is plotted in Figure 4.


Figure 4: Psychopathy scores by subscale: boldness meanness and disinhibition.

Interpreting the interaction, it was the univariate effect for Boldness that was not significant (F(1,32)=3.06, ns). However, Meanness scores (F(1,32)=34.45, p<0.001 2 =0.52) and Disinhibition scores (F(1,32)=81.44, p<0.001 η2 =0.72) were significantly greater after psychopathy induction.


The research undertaken supports the tenets of the Directional Vector and State-Psychopathy hypotheses of new theory [1]. Specifically, the hypotheses that activation of psychopathic cognition will result in the appearance of features of Mutual Exclusivity, Objectification and Symbolic Division in that psychopathic cognition were supported. Consistent with expectation, the experimental conditions also produced significant measurable rises in levels of psychopathy on the Triarchic Personality Measure. The elevations were traced to the Meanness and Disinhibition subscales, but not to the Boldness subscale of the Triarchic Personality Measure.

The Directional Vector Hypothesis is the theoretical tool used to explain findings [1]. It subsumes implications for mechanism in its explanation accounting for changes in psychopathy levels predicted by the State Psychopathy Hypothesis. Resting on these assumptions, manipulation of socio-sexual and socio-cultural vectors—that is, running socio-sexual and socio-cultural norms opposed to those of the participant through the moral inversion method—created the internal conflicts that elevated psychopathic cognition. By ‘vectors’, what is meant is any socio-sexual, socio-cultural, socio-affective, or sociospiritual terms that run counter-opposed, in direction, to those held by the appraiser. Theory posits that the counter-opposition is sensed, instinctually, as territorial transgression, which rouses survival threat. Territorial transgression, however, only rouses survival threat when there is competition and conflict over ordinance, governance, or access to socio-sexual, socio-cultural, socio-affective and socio-spiritual resources.

Accordingly, drawing upon the vocabulary and modeling of evolutionary psychology, humans have a psychopathic modular mind. A directional vector of processing by the psychopathic mind points to a quarantined area where such processing occurs. The psychopathic modular mind, by analogy, is a targeting scanner, inbuilt into human psychological nature that sweeps environments scanning for threat.

Results clearly show that when the territorial survival threat was aroused it triggered affect and cognitions from the psychopathic spectrum as indicated by the substantial increases of participants’ scores on the Triarchic Personality Scale. However, the nomotheticideographic method used to induce survival threat did not produce increases across all dimensions of psychopathic affect and cognition, and failed to produce increases in Boldness.

The Boldness construct, which is the analogue of the Lilienfeld et al. [19] Fearless Dominance, is the most controversial of the three factors of the PPI-R [30]. In our recent review, the debate about earlier controversial findings [20,21] was cited, with focus upon Boldness deferred for future work. There are hypothesized conditions predicted to elicit elevations of Boldness, with effects subsumed under an interaction term. We suspect that Boldness is closely implicated with psychopathic cognition, but that it can be emergent or suppressed, both degree, but more so as situation-critical survival threats confront the person. In this context, overall average Boldness scores need not shift, although increasing range around the mean could, as we observed in the current study. For example, depending on circumstances and resources to hand, it may sometimes pay to be bold for some individuals but for others it may not pay to be bold. During the data collection phase, it was observed that some respondents grew hyper-aroused releasing social inhibitions as they verbalized strongly about their survival plan. Several made open comments that were heedless to social norms that protect life as they described vivid means to attack moral deviants. Other participants grew more careful to apply stealth and to heed secrecy and caution instead. Thus, how to elicit this augmenting divergence around the mean with an experimental method requires considered thought. Considerable thought must also be given to the question of the assumption of linearity in future statistical analysis. A curvilinear relationship may apply, or alternatively, the ‘Yerkes-Dodson’ inverted U’ [31] might apply, with an optimal range effect for peaking of Fearless Dominance. It is also possible that a biphasic term applies, where ‘doses’ of social conflict or territorial incursion trigger two distinct degrees of Fearless Dominance, with sudden transitioning from one to the other.

However, for Meanness and Disinhibition, new theory provides mechanism to explain their relationship to human survival. Subsumed by the Directional Vector hypothesis, the Meanness of psychopathy is affect from the psychopathic spectrum elicited by territorial incursion, and as part of the output of the psychopathic modular mind. Meanness is the consequence of survival-based territorial struggling, where internal schemas or introjects of alien others, are stripped of affect from the empathic spectrum. Stripped back attributions of others to status of an object, the meaner judger can then act upon targets with brutal, baser, instincts, and cold and deadly logic. Disinhibition by contrast reflects the now-available behavioral choices when decision making draws upon the psychopathic modular mind—and thus, occurs for quarantined, objectified targets. In this context ‘impulse-control failure’, which is language of prior psychopathy theory [21], is not appropriate language. Instead, it seems that restraints upon psychopathic impulses are released in order to execute survival-based decision making.

Within new theory, Meanness and Disinhibition are implicated in the expression of adaptive psychopathy. They are important for facing survival challenges. In normal populations, psychopathy’s Meanness and Disinhibition may also have a place in challenging hegemonic, rigid social norms [1]. When a child-rearing socialization grows rigidly resistant to change and its norms monolithic, effecting change can occur by baser means. Militancy in forcing social change occurs in all cultures during periods in history. Examples are the early feminist rallies, or in the violent homosexual rallies where confrontations in Sydney of 1978, with police occurred as an objection to suppression. In this context, the expressed aspects of collective psychopathy can be life-affirming resources, that tackle, coldly, logically, even brutally, the deadlocks held by dominant groups over oppressed sectors.

Thus, not all socio-affective, socio-cultural, socio-emotional and socio-sexual conflicts are for nihilistic, genocidal, or of dividing cause. Collective psychopathy can also be pressure that evidences a widening of an inclusive territorial boundary. Thus, collective psychopathy can be implicated in expressing a range of plurality and diversity in how it fathoms a means for co-existence. In the context of plurality, survival means pressure to diversify outlook in non-allied cultures and by implication the species may at times have to battle, literally, with itself, before stable cultural plurality fosters a sense of unity not division. This might imply that evolutionary instincts record maturation of the species, over longitudinal timelines. For example, as was the case in the Greek War of Independence in 1821 – 1829 the battle cry of the Hellenic peoples was ελευθερία ή θάνατος (freedom or death) after four hundred years of Ottoman occupation. The ethnic cleansing of the residual Ottomans after 1829 was a genocide, however, there followed a quelling of hatreds and a subsequent appearance of cultural plurality.

This area of theory moves into the place of territoriality and survival instincts for defining trans-territorial joins, which are those that unify— by first breaking land-locked finite forms of division-ist territoriality. Widened ideas about territorial nets of hold can develop transcultural, trans-affective, trans-spiritual and trans (as in meta)-sexual territoriality. We term the overall dynamics of shifts in the ignitionreadiness for acting on collective psychopathy genocide autopoietics, with twin ignition signature autopoietics (e.g. Rwanda) and means to quell those the subject of future research. In light of prior comments about Fearless Dominance, it is reasonable to develop hypotheses about this facet of psychopathy with particular attention to an autopoietic impact for this dimension. Certainly, during the Rwandan genocide it is evident that a Fearless Dominance event swept the nation, during the social contagion phase of the twin-ignition genocide.

Variations in the type of moral inversion methodology invoked could be refined and extended by altering the idiographic part of the experiment. In the current research, socio-cultural and socio-sexual conflicts were embedded in the vignette, but without as-clearly-defined socio-spiritual and socio-emotional conflicts. However, sexuo-spiritual conflicts are predicted to have great potential to induce a sense of territorial incursion rousing survival threats for certain experimental conditions. That sexuo-spiritual conflict is easily operationalized in the moral inversion method. A future study that places the two spiritualties within the moral inversion method would predict activation of psychopathic cognition based on territorial directional vectors from such sexuo-spiritual conflicts. It is especially likely that inter-cultural conflicts about deity-prescribed sexual sanctions and prohibitions would rouse considerable psychopathy. Any spirituality implicated in territoriality over rules about sexual expression, good and God, will predict psychopathic cognition where sexual spiritual territory is violated. Therefore, sexual disinhibition and perversity will be terms associated with evil, demonic, or necromantic practice for violations of ‘God’s sexual laws’. The directional-vector conflicts to trigger psychopathic cognition are easily defined in vignettes that place participants in socio-sexual contexts that transgress religious territorial holds over spiritualized sexual practice.

A second important variation to methodology could include a prompt to participants that asks them exactly what their escape or survival plan might actually look like, particularly when escape means life whereas failure means death. Means to emphasize that failure means death and success life, can be aurally delivered, by emphasis during the audio-visual display. Recency of that priming would be best, therefore emphasized just before questionnaire delivery. Repetition of the life/death salience should be encoded and bold-faced in the written instructions of the questionnaire. Here participants could generate more detailed narrative accounts that might then verbalized and interrogated so as to reveal individuals’ capacity for normal range psychopathic affect and cognition in their quarantined zone. For a strong expected socio-emotional conflict, an additional variation to the invoked ideographic-nomothetic method might include some commentary about personally known people, former close comrades or neighbors, now converted, and now part of a brigade to round up social dissidents. To suggest that a former friend, now ‘traitor’, named the participant as a dissident, is expected to elicit very strong quarantined processing. Associating violent behaviors with the converted, and the proximity of threat to known others would be expected to facilitate strong rises in state psychopathy levels.


While this paper focused on how thinking changes within the quarantined zone and reports the conditions that result in elevations in psychopathy, subsequent papers focus upon how the quarantining capacity predicts the preservation of aspects of human functioning for co-occurrence of empathy for close loved ones. New theory predicts quarantining capacity for people with normal-range psychopathy, but it also predicts capacity for concurrence of empathic capacity. In this model of dual-processing of cognition, empathic and psychopathic cognition are not expected to be mutually exclusive. Therefore, experimental method can be adapted to test for dual-processing capacity. Theory also expects capacity for directionality in attachment and bonding processes. The Directional Vector hypothesis predicts socio-affective conflicts for attachment and bonding, especially where there is territoriality and survival threat implicated in conflict over resources or lands for child rearing. Pending the formulations of revisions to psychopathy modeling for the empathy and attachment studies, further work can adapt findings to revisionist psychopathy theory about genocide twin ignition and quell autopoietic cognition signatures. Such work should place particular emphasis on sexuospiritual and spirituo-affective vector definitions for conflicts and resolutions. We suspect that human psychopathic cognition has deeply ingrained aspects of vanity infestations about merit, role and culture embedded in the quarantine vector.


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