A twin study of self-reported psychopathic personality traits

Daniel M. Blonigen, Scott R. Carlson, Robert F. Krueger, Christopher J. Patrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Previous twin studies attempting to assess the origins of psychopathic personality traits have mainly focused on an overt behavioral conceptualization of the syndrome as defined by a history of chronic antisocial behaviors. This investigation instead focused on a personality-based approach which emphasizes maladaptive personality traits as central to the syndrome. Psychopathic traits were indexed by the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI), a self-report measure designed to assess the personality domain of the disorder. Biometric parameters obtained from the responses of 353 male twins from the Minnesota Twin Registry revealed significant genetic influences, largely non-additive in nature. Although preliminary due to the modest sample size, the findings encourage a larger scale investigation with greater statistical power to evaluate competing models of genetic influence.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-197
Number of pages19
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2003

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This project was supported by the University of Minnesota's Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and a University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts Senior Honors Thesis Grant awarded to Daniel M. Blonigen, and by Grants MH52384 and MH65137 from the National Institute of Mental Health.


  • Emergenesis
  • PPI
  • Personality traits
  • Psychopathy
  • Self-report
  • Twin study


Dive into the research topics of 'A twin study of self-reported psychopathic personality traits'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this