Date of Award

Winter 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Tony R. Young


Within the recently published DSM-5, alternative diagnostic criteria for personality disorders have been offered (American Psychiatric Association [APA], 2013). These changes allow for a more dimensional diagnostic system than has been previously used while maintaining some aspects of a categorical system (Skodol et al., 2011). These changes also include a description of specific traits that characterize personality disorders and make it possible for measures of normal personality to have a more significant impact in their diagnosis. Relevant to the present study are the changes in the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder and psychopathy, considered by many to be an extreme variant of antisocial personality disorder (Cloninger, Svrakic, Bayon, & Przybeck, 1999; Lynam, 2002; Miller, Lynam, Widiger, & Leukefeld, 2001). While a volume of research has been conducted on the use of the Five-Factor Model in describing psychopathic characteristics (Costa & McCrae, 1990; Dyce & O'Connor, 1998; Lynam & Widiger, 2001), little research has been conducted that investigates the effectiveness of a six-factor personality model, such as the HEXACO, in defining psychopathy (Lee & Ashton, 2005).

The present study investigated the effectiveness of the HEXACO personality model in describing trait-level characteristics of psychopathy in a student sample and a prison sample. Twenty-two HEXACO facets were found to be significant predictors of psychopathy. The results from the student population were consistent with the hypothesized relationships; however, the results from the inmate population were contrary to the literature and the proposed hypotheses. Future study utilizing a larger sample is necessary in order to determine more definite relationships and viability of a measure of normal personality in the prediction of psychopathy.