Formerly Luna Muñoz, Luna Centifanti is an American ex-pat living in Europe since 2005 and was Senior Lecturer at Durham University. In 2016, she joined the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool as a Senior Lecturer. Luna holds a BSc from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and then received her MSc from Pennsylvania State University. She went down to the University of New Orleans to work with Professor Paul Frick and received her PhD in . After a two-year post-doc in Sweden (at the Centre for Developmental Research – Örebro University), she worked as a Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire.
Her main field of research is the development of aggression and violence. In adults, we know that the best predictor of violence is psychopathic traits, which include a callous and remorseless use of others, and a manipulative and narcissistic interpersonal style. A callous-unemotional style has been found to be highly related to violence and aggression in both boys and girls. However, as a developmental psychopathologist, she believes that callous-unemotional traits can serve to identify youths at-risk for violence and problem behaviour. For example, she is interested in the emotional and social life of those children with callous-unemotional traits. Luna takes a view of normal development: how do callous-unemotional traits develop? Also, how are these traits related to developmental tasks, such as learning to identify faces as showing fear, which may be important for prosocial behaviour?
To this end, she has examined callous-unemotional traits and their relation to subtypes of aggression, emotional and physiological unresponsiveness, problematic peer relationships and how parents respond to children with these traits over time (the latter earned her a prize!). Recently, Luna has also been investigating risk-taking.
Her other line of research looks at personality traits and particularly relationships in women that may be related to illegal behaviour, getting people to have sex with them or getting their dating partner to stay with them.
Published: 12 November 2014
Last updated: 28 January 2017
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