Background: Nowadays, the assessment of psychopathy relies on semistructured interviews plus file reviews. In order to improve the predictive validity of psychopathy at the individual level, tools that are not based on the rating of signs and symptoms are in great need. Sampling and Methods: The present study was conducted in a representative sample of 204 Spanish sentenced inmates. These inmates have served at least 6 months of their sentence at the Pereiro de Aguiar (Ourense, Spain) penitentiary. Psychopathy signs and symptoms were scored through interview and file review. The Implicit Association Test (IAT) and heart rate variability (HRV) experiments were also conducted. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) was performed as a control measure. Results: Spectral HRV indices were able to detect psychopathic inmates at a significant level, while IAT experiments and the IGT could not discriminate them. HRV indices showed a more significant difference when assessing the affective-interpersonal dimensions of psychopathy. Conclusions: An HRV experiment is better than IAT in order to detect psychopathy in a representative sample of Spanish inmates.

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