Gender-based personality traits in physically aggressive and non-aggressive antisocial behaviours
More details
Hide details
Lahore College for Women University, Lahore, Pakistan
Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom
University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India
Submission date: 2021-08-03
Final revision date: 2021-09-04
Acceptance date: 2021-09-19
Online publication date: 2022-03-06
Publication date: 2022-09-30
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2022;10(3):205–215
The current study aimed to understand the role of callousness, affective dissonance, and two subtypes of sensation seeking personality traits – 1) disinhibition and 2) thrill and adventure seeking – in physically aggressive and non-aggressive antisocial behaviours (ASB) among educated youth and to explore the gender differences in them.

Participants and procedure:
An online survey was sent to a large sample of students at a UK university. Initially, a sample of N = 539 participants was collected but after screening out the data, N = 429 participants were included for analyses based on the sam-pling criteria.

Callousness, disinhibition, and affective dissonance significantly predicted both antisocial behaviour subtypes. We found multidimensional nature of callousness in predicting antisocial behaviours, and an intriguing relationship be-tween thrill and adventure seeking and affective dissonance. Interesting gender differences emerged.

This study has implications for the understanding of the competitive roles of gender-based psychopathological per-sonality traits in terms of callousness and affective dissonance and sensation seeking tendencies in physically ag-gressive and non-aggressive antisocial behaviours.

Abbott, T. (2006). A conservative case for multiculturalism. Quadrant, 50, 40–43.
Blackburn, R. (2007). Personality disorder and antisocial deviance: Comments on the debate on the struc-ture of the psychopathy checklist – revised. Journal of Personality Disorders, 21, 142–159.
Borum, R. (2014). Psychological vulnerabilities and propensities for involvement in violent extremism. Be-havioural Sciences & The Law, 32, 286–305.
Buckels, E. E. (2012). The pleasures of hurting others: Behavioural evidence for everyday sadism (Doctoral dissertation). University of British Columbia.
Burt, S. A. (2012). How do we optimally conceptualize the heterogeneity within antisocial behavior? An ar-gument for aggressive versus non-aggressive behavioral dimensions. Clinical Psychology Review, 32, 263–279.
Burt, S. A., Klump, K. L., Kashy, D. A., Gorman-Smith, D., & Neiderhiser, J. M. (2015). Neighborhood as a predictor of non-aggressive, but not aggressive, antisocial behaviors in adulthood. Psychological Medi-cine, 45, 2897–2907.
Burton, D. L. (1999). An examination of social cognitive theory with differences among sexually aggressive, physical-ly aggressive and nonaggressive children in state care. Violence and Victims, 14, 161–178.
Chabrol, H., Van Leeuwen, N., Rodgers, R., & Séjourné, N. (2009). Contributions of psychopathic, narcissistic, Machiavellian, and sadistic personality traits to juvenile delinquency. Personality and Individual Differ-ences, 47, 734–739.
Charles, N. E., Acheson, A., Mathias, C. W., Michael, F., R., & Dougherty, D. M. (2012). Psychopathic traits and their association with adjustment problems in girls. Behavioral Sciences & The Law, 30, 631–642.
Cikara, M. (2015). Intergroup schadenfreude: Motivating participation in collective violence. Current Opin-ion in Behavioral Sciences, 3, 12-17.
Conejero, S., Etxebarria, I., & Montero, I. (2014). Gender differences in emotions, forgiveness and tolerance in relation to political violence. Spanish Journal of Psychology, 17, E9.
Crapanzano, A. M., Frick, P. J., & Terranova, A. M. (2010). Patterns of physical and relational aggression in a school-based sample of boys and girls. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 38, 433–445.
Davies, J., & O’Meara, A. (2007). ‘I consider myself sadistic’: a qualitative analysis of sadistic endorsement in a group of Irish undergraduates. The British Journal of Forensic Practice, 9, 24–30.
Diehm, R., & Armatas, C. (2004). Surfing: an avenue for socially acceptable risk-taking, satisfying needs for sensation seeking and experience seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 36, 663–677.
Egan, V., Charlesworth, P., Richardson, C., Blair, M., & McMurran, M. (2001). Sensational interests and sensa-tion seeking in mentally disordered offenders. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 995–1007.
Essau, C. A., Sasagawa, S., & Frick, P. J. (2006). Callous-unemotional traits in a community sample of adoles-cents. Assessment, 13, 454–469.
Fagan, S. E., Zhang, W., & Gao, Y. (2017). Social adversity and antisocial behavior: Mediating effects of auto-nomic nervous system activity. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45, 1553–1564.
Fanti, K. A., Frick, P. J., & Georgiou, S. (2009). Linking callous-unemotional traits to instrumental and non-instrumental forms of aggression. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 31, 285–298.
Fragkaki, I., Cima, M., & Meesters, C. (2016). The association between callous-unemotional traits, externaliz-ing problems, and gender in predicting cognitive and affective morality judgments in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 45, 1917–1930.
Freckelton, I. (2013). Cruelty: Human evil and the human brain, by Kathleen Taylor. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law, 20, 942–944.
Frick, P. J. (2004). Developmental pathways to conduct disorder: Implications for serving youth who show severe aggressive and antisocial behavior. Psychology in the Schools, 41, 823–834.
Gatner, D. T., Douglas, K. S., & Hart, S. D. (2016). Examining the incremental and interactive effects of bold-ness with meanness and disinhibition within the triarchic model of psychopathy. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 7, 259–268.
Guelker, M. D., Barry, C. T., Barry, T. D., & Malkin, M. L. (2014). Perceived positive outcomes as a mediator between adolescent callous-unemotional traits and antisocial behavior. Personality and Individual Differ-ences, 69, 129–134.
Hoyle, R. H., Stephenson, M. T., Palmgreen, P., Lorch, E. P., & Donohew, R. L. (2002). Reliability and validity of a brief measure of sensation seeking. Personality and Individual Differences, 32, 401–414.
James, S., Kavanagh, P. S., Jonason, P. K., Chonody, J. M., & Scrutton, H. E. (2014). The dark triad, schaden-freude, and sensational interests: Dark personalities, dark emotions, and dark behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 68, 211–216.
Kehinde, A. (2010). Story-telling in the service of society: Exploring the utilitarian values of Nigerian folktales. Lumina, 21, 1–17.
Kiskeri, A., Ferrer, V., De Sousa-Duso, M., Facal, C., Torrent, N., Badia, G., & Batalla, I. (2015, June.
25-27). The triarchic psychopathic model in a sample of patients admitted to an adult psychiatric day hospi-tal in Spain. Poster presented at Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, 6th Biennial Meeting, Chicago.
Kokkinos, C. M., Antoniadou, N., & Markos, A. (2014). Cyber-bullying: an investigation of the psychological profile of university student participants. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 35, 204–214.
Kunimatsu, M., Marsee, M., Lau, K., & Fassnacht, G. (2012). Callous-unemotional traits and happy victimiza-tion: Relationships with delinquency in a sample of detained girls. International Journal of Forensic Men-tal Health, 11, 1–8.
Langman, P. (2015). School shooters: Understanding high school, college, and adult perpetrators. Rowman & Littlefield.
Lauriola, M., Panno, A., Levin, I. P., & Lejuez, C. W. (2014). Individual differences in risky decision making: a meta-analysis of sensation seeking and impulsivity with the balloon analogue risk task. Journal of Be-havioral Decision Making, 27, 20–36.
LeBlanc, T. T. (2014). Keeping it real: Unmasking evidence of delight in others’ misfortune. PsycCritiques, 59, 5,
Lethbridge, E. M., Richardson, P., Reidy, L., & Taroyan, N. A. (2017). Exploring the relationship between cal-lous-unemotional traits, empathy processing and affective valence in a general population. Europe’s Jour-nal of Psychology, 13, 162–172.
Maes, J. H. R., & Brazil, I. A. (2015, June 25-27). Psychopathy, perceived stress, and reactive aggression: an examination adopting the triarchic model of psychopathy in a student sample. Poster presented at Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, 6th Biennial Meeting, Chicago.
Mathieu, C., & Babiak, P. (2015, June 25-27). Corporate psychopathy and its relationship to workplace har-assment. Poster presented at Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy, 6th Biennial Meeting, Chica-go.
Maughan, B. (2005). Developmental trajectory modeling: a view from developmental psychopathology. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 602, 118–130.
Ojanen, T., & Kiefer, S. (2013). Instrumental and reactive functions and overt and relational forms of aggres-sion: Developmental trajectories and prospective associations during middle school. International Jour-nal of Behavioral Development, 37, 514–517.
Patrick, C. J. (2010). Operationalizing the triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy: Preliminary description of brief scales for assessment of boldness, meanness, and disinhibition (Unpublished test manual). Florida State University.
Paulhus, D. L. (2014). Toward a taxonomy of dark personalities. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 23, 421–426.
Peng, X., Li, Y., Wang, P., Mo, L., & Chen, Q. (2015). The ugly truth: Negative gossip about celebrities and pos-itive gossip about self entertain people in different ways. Social Neuroscience, 10, 320–336.
Piskorz, J., & Piskorz, Z. (2009). Situational determinants of envy and schadenfreude. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 40, 137–144.
Porter, S., Bhanwer, A., Woodworth, M., & Black, P. J. (2014). Soldiers of misfortune: an examination of the dark triad and the experience of schadenfreude. Personality and Individual Differences, 67, 64–68.
Salekin, R. T., Chen, D. R., Sellbom, M., Lester, W. S., & MacDougall, E. (2014). Examining the factor structure and convergent and discriminant validity of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale: Is the two-factor model the best fitting model? Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 5, 289–304.
Santamaría-García, H., Baez, S., Reyes, P., Santamaría-García, J. A., Santacruz-Escudero, J. M., Matallana, D., Arévalo, A., Sigman, M., García, A. M., & Ibáñez, A. (2017). A lesion model of envy and schadenfreude: Legal, deservingness and moral dimensions as revealed by neurodegeneration. Brain, 140, 3357–3377.
Smith, D. J., & McVie, S. (2003). Theory and method in the Edinburgh Study of Youth Transitions and Crime. British Journal of Criminology, 43, 169–195.
Smoker, M., & March, E. (2017). Predicting perpetration of intimate partner cyber-stalking: Gender and the dark tetrad. Computers in Human Behavior, 72, 390–396.
Tremblay, R. E. (2013). Development of antisocial behavior during childhood. In C. L. Gibson & M. D. Krohn (Eds.), Handbook of life-course criminology (pp. 3–19). Springer.
Uniacke, S. (2000). Why is revenge wrong? The Journal of Value Inquiry, 34, 61–69.
Vachon, D. D., & Lynam, D. R. (2015). Fixing the problem with empathy: Development and validation of the Affective and Cognitive Measure of Empathy. Assessment, 23, 135–149.
Vitaro, F., Brendgen, M., & Barker, E. D. (2006). Subtypes of aggressive behaviors: a developmental perspec-tive. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 30, 12–19.
Wallace, J. F., & Newman, J. P. (2004). A theory-based treatment model for psychopathy. Cognitive and Be-havioral Practice, 11, 178–189.
Copyright: © Institute of Psychology, University of Gdansk This is an Open Access journal, all articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) License (, allowing third parties to copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format and to remix, transform, and build upon the material, provided the original work is properly cited and states its license.