Characterizing psychopathy using DSM-5 personality traits

Assessment. 2013 Jun;20(3):327-38. doi: 10.1177/1073191113486691. Epub 2013 Apr 24.


Despite its importance historically and contemporarily, psychopathy is not recognized in the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revised (DSM-IV-TR). Its closest counterpart, antisocial personality disorder, includes strong representation of behavioral deviance symptoms but weak representation of affective-interpersonal features considered central to psychopathy. The current study evaluated the extent to which psychopathy and its distinctive facets, indexed by the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure, can be assessed effectively using traits from the dimensional model of personality pathology developed for DSM-5, operationalized by the Personality Inventory for DSM-5 (PID-5). Results indicate that (a) facets of psychopathy entailing impulsive externalization and callous aggression are well-represented by traits from the PID-5 considered relevant to antisocial personality disorder, and (b) the boldness facet of psychopathy can be effectively captured using additional PID-5 traits. These findings provide evidence that the dimensional model of personality pathology embodied in the PID-5 provides effective trait-based coverage of psychopathy and its facets.

Keywords: DSM-5; PID-5; antisocial personality disorder; personality disorders; psychopathy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis*
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality Inventory*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Psychometrics
  • Regression Analysis
  • United States
  • Young Adult