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Empathy and Morality$
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Heidi L. Maibom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199969470

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969470.001.0001

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Empathy and Moral Deficits in Psychopathy

Empathy and Moral Deficits in Psychopathy

Chapter:
(p.138) 7 Empathy and Moral Deficits in Psychopathy
Source:
Empathy and Morality
Author(s):

Abigail A. Marsh

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199969470.003.0007

Psychopathy is a disorder characterized by emotional deficits, like fearlessness and reduced empathy, and by the tendency to engage in a variety of moral transgressions including violence, deceit, and conning. Researchers have long sought to understand how the neurocognitive deficits associated with psychopathy predispose affected individuals toward immoral behaviors. This effort has been aided by recent gains in neuroimaging research, which has helped to identify brain regions where atypical functioning is linked to psychopathic traits. This chapter will highlight recent neurocognitive and neuroimaging research that links the fearlessness and reduced empathy typical of psychopathy with deficits in moral judgments. These findings may shed light on the role of empathy in moral judgments and behavior more broadly.

Keywords:   psychopathy, fearlessness, reduced empathy, moral judgment, moral behavior

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