Latent Structure of Psychopathy: A Taxometric Investigation

Jean-Pierre Guay, Brandeis University
Raymond A. Knight, Brandeis University

ABSTRACT
Questions about the structure of criminological constructs have led researchers to develop specific methods to examine theoretical latent structures. In this short presentation, a general introduction to Meehl's taxometrics is presented, and MAMBAC, MAXCOV-Hitmax, MAXEIG-Hitmax, and L-Mode analyses are presented. The author examined the latent structure of psychopathy in a large sample of violent non-sex offenders and serious sex offenders. In this case, confidence in the inference to taxonic or dimensional structures was provided by multiple consistency tests as well as by iterative simulation techniques. Implications for future research on the uses of taxometrics are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006