Searching for the pan-cultural core of psychopathic personality disorder

David J. Cooke, Christine Michie, Stephen D. Hart, Danny Clark

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

91 Citations (Scopus)


Previous research has reported that psychopathy ratings of offenders in Canada and the United States made using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised were metrically equivalent with each other, but not with ratings of Scottish offenders or with ratings of offenders from the rest of the UK. In this study, we further evaluated the cross-cultural validity of psychopathic personality disorder by comparing ratings from a number of different continental European countries to those from North America. Overall, the findings indicated the presence of a significant culture bias in PCL-R ratings. Cross-cultural stability was highest for symptoms related to deficient affective experience, suggesting that they may be the pan-cultural core of the disorder. The findings are consistent with cultural facilitation models of psychopathology. They have important implications for cross-national comparisons of research based on the PCL-R and implications for the clinical and forensic application of the PCL-R in Europe.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2005


  • PCL-R
  • factor structure
  • psychopathy


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