Differential Associations between Psychopathy Factors and Shooter Bias in the Police Officer's Dilemma
Description: The current study assessed abnormal attention in 71 undergraduate men, approximately half of which displayed elevated psychopathic traits, as they attended to cues on the Police Officer's Dilemma. In the computerized task, participants are instructed to shoot men holding guns and not shoot men holding neutral objects. However, research has shown that irrelevant racial cues in the task can influence participants to shoot unarmed Black men more frequently than unarmed White men; a phenomenon termed shooter bias. Contrary to expectations, individuals with elevated psychopathic traits tended to erroneously shoot unarmed Black men more frequently compared to those with low psychopathy scores. Additional analyses indicated that the interpersonal and lifestyle facets were associated with more interference in determining unarmed Black men as not threatening relative to unarmed White men and the affective domain was associated with faster responses to shooting armed Black men relative to armed White men. Additionally, prejudicial attitudes (i.e., social dominance orientation) moderated the relationship between the affective psychopathic traits and shooting armed Black men by increasing the number of armed Black men identified as threatening relative to armed White targets. These findings are discussed in the context of the relationship between psychopathic traits and prejudicial attitudes and recent refinements to etiological theories of psychopathy.
Date: August 2018
Creator: Roy, Sandeep