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Journal Article

Citation

Ribeiro da Silva D, Rijo D, Salekin RT. Aggress. Violent Behav. 2015; 21: 85-96.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2015, Elsevier Publishing)

DOI

10.1016/j.avb.2015.01.006

PMID

unavailable

Abstract

There is a growing interest in the study of psychopathic traits from an evolutionary framework; however, there is a lack of comprehensive reviews regarding this issue. To address this gap in the literature, the current paper examines the evolutionary roots of psychopathy by reviewing previous research on this topic. Specifically, the potentially adaptive role of psychopathic traits during human evolution through the lifespan is highlighted. Key areas covered include the evolution of the brain ("old brain, new brain" and the emotion-logic lag), emotion regulation, aggression and its potential adaptive function, and emotions specific to psychopathy including anger and shame/dishonor. This paper (mainly in the light of the Adaptive Calibration Model) discusses how psychopathic features can be seen as a useful heritage, especially for people who have grown in harsh psychosocial backgrounds. The implications of an evolutionary approach for the comprehension and treatment of children, youth, and adults with psychopathic traits are suggested, along with directions for future research.

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