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  • 1.
    Pfeiffer, Erika
    Malmö University, Faculty of Health and Society (HS).
    CAN NON-VERBAL CUES ATTRACT VICTIMIZATION? A REVIEW OF PSYCHOPATHY AND VULNERBILITY CUES2023Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Current research links psychopathic traits in males to a heightened perception of physical vulnerability cues to victimization in other males of the same race. Consequently, there is a correlation between psychopathy and the ability to detect nonverbal vulnerability cues. This thesis aims to examine this correlation by synthesizing key themes from empirical studies that have explored how nonverbal cues exhibited by victims may be related to victimization by a perpetrator with psychopathy. Therefore, this thesis will address the following research questions: (1) How does vulnerable body language attract victimization? (2) How do psychopaths detect vulnerabilities? A thematic analysis approach was used, which resulted in the categorization of the data into two themes that correspond with the research questions. The first main finding suggested that body postures and nonverbal cues that are perceived as vulnerable, in theory, can make one more susceptible to victimization by a perpetrator high in psychopathy. The second main finding indicated that the lack of empathy in psychopaths, paired with the intent to cause harm and seek rewards that serve a utilitarian purpose, might comprise the underlying desire to detect an easy target to victimize. The findings from this thesis may inform the development of interventions to reduce the risk of victimization by individuals high in psychopathy and to improve the personal safety of victims. Additionally, the findings may provide a greater understanding of how psychopaths perceive nonverbal cues and use it to victimize others, pointing to areas of future empirical research. 

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