Ph.D., Texas A&M University (1996)

Area: Clinical


  • Forensic Psychology
  • Personality Assessment
  • Psychopathy and Antisocial Conduct
  • Risk Assessment

My research interests broadly span the interaction between psychology and the legal system (which is sometimes referred to as forensic psychology). Mostly this research addresses the utility of psychological data (e.g., tests, evaluation procedures) to answer or inform important mental health and legal questions within the criminal justice system (e.g., violence risk assessment, adjudicative competence, personality assessment within correctional settings), although I am also interested in various civil law issues such as child custody and adoption. My research also focuses on the development and improvement of psychological assessment techniques and instruments, particularly those focusing on personality measurement in forensic and correctional settings. More specifically in relation to personality variables, of particular interest to me is the construct of psychopathy (also termed psychopathic personality disorder) and its growing impact in forensic and correctional decision-making around the world. My research along these lines has focused on more basic issues related to the assessment and measurement of psychopathic traits, as well as more applied issues such as its appropriate role in evaluating various populations within forensic and correctional settings (e.g., children, minorities) and the potentially stigmatizing effects of the label psychopath. I also conduct research on human aggression, particularly related to the assessment and management of violence risk. This research interest cuts across several areas noted above (e.g., forensic assessment, psychopathy, legal decision-making) and has focused primarily on the clinical utility of various violence risk factors in identifying those most (or least) at risk for engaging in aggressive behavior.


  • 2013-2015: Augmenting the Research Capacity of the Clinical Psychology Training Program, CO-PI, TAMU
  • 2008-2012: Contextual Influences in Prisoner Research (R01 MH081069), PI, NIMH
  • 2002-2006: Personality Features in Social Deviancy (R01 MH63783), CO-I, NIMH


Google scholar page

DeMatteo, D., Edens, J. F., *Galloway, M., *Smith, S. T., *Cox, J., & *Koller, J. P. (in press). The role and reliability of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised in U.S. sexually violent predator evaluations: A case law survey. Law and Human Behavior.

Edens, J. F., *Davis, K. M., *Smith, K., & *Guy, L. S. (2013). No sympathy for the devil: Attributing psychopathic traits to capital murderers also predicts support for executing them. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 4, 175-181.

*Magyar, M. S., Edens, J. F., Lilienfeld, S. O., Douglas, K., Poythress, N. G., & Skeem, J. (2012). Using the Personality Assessment Inventory to predict male offenders‟ conduct during and progression through substance abuse treatment. Psychological Assessment, 24, 216-225.

Marcus, D. K., *Fulton, J. J., & Edens, J. F. (2013). The two-factor model of psychopathic personality: Evidence from the Psychopathic Personality Inventory. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 4, 67-76.

Ruiz, M. A., Douglas, K. S., Edens, J. F., *Nikolova, N., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2012). Co-occurring mental health and substance problems in offenders: Implications for risk assessment. Psychological Assessment, 24, 77-87.

*Sörman, K., Edens, J. F., *Smith, S. T., Svensson, O., Howner, K., Kristiansson, M., & Fischer, H. (in press). Forensic mental health professionals’ perceptions of psychopathy: A prototypicality analysis of the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality in Sweden. Law and Human Behavior.

*Current or former graduate student co-authors

Department of Psychology, Texas A&M University, 4235 TAMU, College Station, TX 77843-4235 • tel: (979) 845-2581
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