Is the ability in humans to recognise and attend to infant features linked to personality, attitudes and social cognition?

Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation


Attentional dysfunction and social cognitive deficits may partially explain aggression and anti-social behaviour in people with high psychopathy due to reduced emotional empathy, with cognitive empathy intact. It is possible that such individuals may also vary in their ability to understand, and in turn, attend, to infantile features in animals. Infant features are physical traits that are characteristic of human infants and include facial features such as a large and low-lying eyes, and a small nose and mouth. Normally, animals possessing infant features elicit pro-social care-giving responses, inhibit aggression, and increase protective motor behaviours in humans, thus increasing the animal’s chances of survival. The aim of this research was to determine whether the ability to recognise and attend to infant features in animals and human infants is associated with self-reported outcomes from a psychopathic personality traits questionnaire, attitudes towards animals scale, a multi-dimensional empathy scale and objective measures of social cognition and theory of mind in human adults. To date, N=1000 participants have been screened, with the upper (n=250) and lower quartiles (n=250) currently undergoing detailed comparative analyses of outcomes.
Period19 Nov 202020 Nov 2020
Event title2020 PSI Annual Conference
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionNational