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Clinical, Faculty

Dr. Chris Patrick

University of British Columbia, 1987


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Dr. Patrick will be accepting a graduate student for Fall 2020 admission.

Research Interests

My interest is in understanding how mental disorders relate to neurobiological systems. Major questions include: 'What biological attributes confer risk for particular types of psychological problems?' and 'What can be done to prevent dispositional liabilities from developing into clinical disorders?" Disorders of interest include psychopathy, impulse control ("externalizing") disorders, and anxiety and mood ("internalizing") disorders. My lab group has worked to develop a Neuro-Behavioral Trait model for linking clinical problems to neural systems. Traits within this model include threat sensitivity, reward sensitivity, inhibitory control, and affiliative capacity. Methods used in my research include psychophysiology, neuroimaging, psychometrics, quantitative modeling, and behavioral genetics. I have served as President of both the Society for Psychophysiological Research (2011-12) and the Society for Scientific Study of Psychopathy (2007-09), and I was recipient of a Lifetime Scientific Career Contribution Award from the latter society in 2013.

Current Research

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.

Selected Publications

(*student first author)

*Brislin, S. J., Yancey, J. R., Perkins, E. R., Palumbo, I. M., Drislane, L. E., Salekin, R. T., Fanti, K. A., Kimonis, E. R., Frick, P. J., Blair, R. J., & Patrick, C. J. (in press). Callous-aggression and affective face processing in adults: Behavioral and brain-potential indicators. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment.

*Drislane, L. E., Jones, S., Brislin, S. J., & Patrick, C. J. (in press). Interfacing five-factor model and triarchic conceptualizations of psychopathy. Psychological Assessment.

*Drislane, L. E., & Patrick, C. J. (2017). Integrating alternative conceptions of psychopathic personality: A latent variable model of triarchic psychopathy constructs. Journal of Personality Disorders, 31, 110-132.

Foell, J., Brislin, S. J., Strickland, C. M., Seo, D., Sabatinelli, D., & Patrick, C. J. (2016). Externalizing proneness and brain response during pre-cuing and viewing of emotionally evocative pictures. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 11, 1102-1110.

Hickey, E., Walters, B. K., Drislane, L. E., Palumbo, I. M., & Patrick, C. J. (in press). Deviance at its darkest: Serial murder and psychopathy. In: C. J. Patrick (Ed.), Handbook of psychopathy, 2nd ed. New York: Guilford Press.

Kyranides, M. N., Fanti, K., Sikki, M., & Patrick, C. J. (2017). Triarchic dimensions of psychopathy in young adulthood: Associations with clinical and physiological measures after accounting for adolescent psychopathic traits. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 8, 140-149.

Latzman, R. D., Patrick, C. J., Freeman, H. J., Schapiro, S. J., & Hopkins, W. D. (2017). Etiology of triarchic psychopathy dimensions in chimpanzees (pan troglodytes). Clinical Psychological Science, 5, 341-354.

*Nelson, L. D., Strickland, C. M., Krueger, R. F., Arbisi, P. A., & Patrick, C. J. (2016). Neurobehavioral traits as transdiagnostic predictors of clinical problems. Assessment, 23, 75-85.

Patrick, C. J., & Hajcak, G. (2016). Reshaping clinical science: Introduction to the special issue on ‘Psychophysiology and the NIMH Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative. Psychophysiology, 53, 281-285.

*Strickland, C. M., Hopwood, C. J., Bornovalova, M. A., Rojas, E. C., Krueger, R. F., & Patrick, C. J. (in press). Categorical and dimensional conceptions of personality pathology in DSM-5: Toward a model-based synthesis. Journal of Personality Disorders.

*Venables, N. C., Yancey, J. R., Kramer, M. D., Hicks, B. M., Nelson, L. D., Strickland, C. M., Krueger, R. F., Iacono, W. G., & Patrick, C. J. (2016). Evidence of a prominent genetic basis for relations between psychoneurometric traits and common mental disorders. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 115, 4-12.

*Venables, N. C., Yancey, J. R., Kramer, M. D., Hicks, B. M., Krueger, R. F., Iacono, W. G., Joiner, T. J., & Patrick, C. J. (in press). Psychoneurometric assessment of dispositional liabilities for suicidal behavior: Phenotypic and etiological associations. Psychological Medicine.

*Yancey, J. R., Venables, N. C., & Patrick, C. J. (2016). Psychoneurometric operationalization of threat sensitivity: Relations with clinical symptom and physiological response criteria. Psychophysiology, 53, 393-405.


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