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Journal Article


Book AS, Methot-Jones T, Blais J, Hosker-Field A, Volk A, Visser BA, Gauthier N, Holden RR, D'Agata MT. J. Interpers. Violence 2019; 34(15): 3229-3251.


Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.


(Copyright © 2019, SAGE Publishing)






The present study was a direct test of the cheater-hawk hypothesis which argues that psychopathy is related to two potentially adaptive interpersonal strategies: cheating and aggression. As expected, the measures of cheater and hawk behaviors comprised a single factor, according to a maximum-likelihood factor analysis. As hypothesized, psychopathic traits exhibited large positive correlations with measures of both cheater (entitlement, exploitiveness, and short-term mating orientation) and hawk (vengeance and aggression) behaviors. Furthermore, psychopathic traits were associated with the tendency of using individualistic and competitive tactics in an altruism game and being less likely to act in a prosocial manner. Finally, scores on the combined-cheater hawk variable were significantly correlated with psychopathic traits. As hypothesized, individuals scoring high on Factor 1 of psychopathy were more likely to utilize behaviors and strategies associated with the cheater-hawk designation, whether or not they scored high on Factor 2 of psychopathy. In general, the findings support the conceptualization that psychopathy represents a fast life-history strategy characterized by seeking personal gain over others, including exploitiveness (cheater), aggression (hawk), and risk taking.

RESULTS also indicate that cheater and hawk behaviors are part of a single strategy more often employed by those higher on psychopathic traits. Implications for treatment success are discussed.

© The Author(s) 2016.

Language: en


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