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Abstract

Little is known about potential participants' views about research, their willingness to participate in research, and the extent to which they might be susceptible to coercive attempts to compel their participation, particularly among populations at risk for exploitation (e.g., offenders). The extent to which individual differences variables, such as personality constructs (e.g., psychopathic traits), might affect participants' attitudes toward research is also essentially unknown. The present study sought to examine the psychopathy constructs of Fearless Dominance (FD) and Self-Centered Impulsivity (SCI) via the Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire-Brief Form (MPQ-BF) to assess the extent to which these traits predict attitudes towards research and susceptibility to coercion within a diverse criminal justice sample (N = 631). SCI was modestly associated with perceptions that illicit pressures regarding research participation were likely to occur, and participants high in these traits appeared somewhat vulnerable to succumbing to coercive influences. In contrast, FD failed to predict the likelihood that illicit pressures regarding research participation would occur as well as the potential that these pressures would have to impact participants' voluntariness and likelihood of participating. Implications for recruiting potential participants for research in correctional settings are discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.