Student applicants to clinical doctoral program:
One continuing focus of my research is on psychopathic personality (psychopathy). I formulated a conceptual-empirical model, the Triarchic model of psychopathy, which has generated widespread interest since it was introduced in 2009. A good deal of work on this model has used an assessment inventory I developed, the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM). A new edition of my Handbook of Psychopathy is scheduled for publication in Spring 2018. I am also working on a research project addressing the question: ‘How psychopathic are serial murderers?’
Another major focus of work by my lab is on developing procedures for assessing psychopathology-related traits that incorporate neurophysiological and task-behavioral measures as well as report-based measures. We refer to these procedures as ‘cross-domain’ or ‘neuroclinical’ assessment protocols. The most fully-developed of these is a neuroclinical assessment protocol for inhibitory control capacity (inhibition-disinhibition) that combines scale, brain-response, and cognitive-task measures. We are also working on neuroclinical assessments for threat sensitivity, reward sensitivity, and affiliative capacity (empathic concern vs. callousness). A major advantage of assessments of this kind is that they relate well to both clinical outcome variables (e.g., externalizing disorder symptoms in the case of neuroclinical inhibitory control, fear disorder symptoms in the case of neuroclinical threat sensitivity) and also to neural-systems variables (e.g., criterion measures of brain response). As such, they provide uniquely valuable targets for research directed at clarifying how neural systems/processes relate to clinical disorders.