Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Counseling Psychology, Ph.D.

First Advisor

Carole Woolford-Hunt

Second Advisor

Elvin Gabriel

Third Advisor

Tevni Grajales

Abstract

Problem

Antisocial behaviors in the general population are not well understood and little studied, however, their acceptance is becoming more normalized and accepted by society. This present study intended to focus on the contributing factors of emotional intelligence and decision-making to the presence of antisocial behaviors, and how these contributions vary by gender.

Method

This study used the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire – Short Form, and the General Decision Making Style Inventory to explore the relationships between the three variables. A structural equation model was developed to examine the theoretical covariance matrix proposed in comparison to the empirical covariance matrix developed from collected data. Four hundred and thirteen adults in the United States general population were used for this study.

Results

The original structural equation model suggested a poor fit with the collected data. The revised model included additional paths based on theory found in the literature. The revised model showed an excellent fit with the data. A strong correlation between emotional intelligence and decision-making was indicated. Emotional intelligence had a high, significant impact on both Primary and Secondary Psychopathy (SEC). Decision-making had a low, but significant impact on SEC. The adjusted model accounted for 69% of the variance of Primary Psychopathy (PRI) and 68% of variance for SEC. The revised model was also assessed to examine differences between males and females. The revised model achieved an acceptable fit for males, and a superior fit for females, indicating no gender differences for the proposed model.

Conclusions

This hypothesized theoretical model was supported by the findings from this study. The contribution of emotional intelligence and decision-making to antisocial behaviors was validated through statistical significance. Findings indicated some minor variations according to gender. These findings have implications for the field of counseling psychology, as well as society’s understanding and acceptance of antisocial behaviors in the general population.

Subject Area

Emotional intelligence; Antisocial personality disorders; Decision making

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