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Either their transgressions of social norms, while destructive and painful to those involved, do not rise to the level of criminal activity, or they are never apprehended by the police for the crimes they do commit.
Psychopaths do not have the fear response experienced by most of us to the potential negative consequences of criminal or risky behavior and are relatively insensitive to punishment. Using factor analysis, item response theory, and multidimensional scaling, we propose that the PCL-R and its derivatives are underpinned by at least four correlated factors: Interpersonal, Affective, Lifestyle, and Antisocial. Given that the modeling results to date indicate a moderate to strong covariation of four dimensions of psychopathy (Interpersonal, Affective, Behavioral, and Antisocial), it would be prudent to assume that the longitudinal relations among these dimensions are interactive and reciprocal, and that the "real" core of psychopathy has yet to be uncovered. We also argue that the idea of construct "drift" is irrelevant to current conceptualizations of psychopathy, which are better informed by the extensive empirical research on the integration of structural, genetic, developmental, personality, and neurobiological research findings than by rigid adherence to early clinical formulations.
They tend not to be deterred from their self-serving behaviors by criminal or social penalties. We argue that attempts to characterize antisocial behaviors as merely "downstream" manifestations of more central traits are inconsistent with the structural properties of the PCL-R and with evidence that the development of traits and actions are interactive and reciprocal. We offer some suggestions for future research on psychopathy.
— Therapy is not helpful or even counterproductive in psychopaths (increasing psychopathic behavior) versus the view that the effects of therapy can be positive, especially in youth.
Others have suggested results of therapy are essentially unknown based upon today's data.
To a psychopath, a punch in the face and a lie hidden behind a friendly smile are merely separate tools to be employed as dictated by circumstances.
The bottom line: psychopaths can be dangerous even as they outwardly present a pleasant and welcoming demeanor (Schouten and Silver, 2012, pp. Psychopathy Is Not Synonymous with Criminality: Of course, given their proclivity for ignoring social norms and laws, quite a few psychopaths find their way into the criminal justice system, some spending significant portions of their lives incarcerated. Many points of controversy are left unanswered and many key issues remain to be addressed. Because of its importance in basic and applied research, and in the mental health and criminal justice systems, the PCL-R has been subjected to intense scrutiny by researchers and clinicians. Some investigators assert that the PCL-R, ostensibly based on Cleckley's work, has "drifted" from the construct described in his Clinical Profile. — Types of psychopaths commonly identified: Psychopathy is a psychological condition in which the individual shows a profound lack of empathy for the feelings of others, a willingness to engage in immoral and antisocial behavior for short-term gains, and extreme egocentricity. In this article we discuss issues surrounding its structural properties and those of its derivatives. We evaluate this profile, note its basis in an unrepresentative sample of patients, and suggest that its literal and uncritical acceptance by the research community has become problematical. We now have an impressive body of replicable and meaningful empirical findings, due in large part to the widespread adoption of the PCL-R and its derivatives as a common working model of psychopathy. Hare's approach and tests have been particularly influential both in practical forensic settings and in academic research. In a separate analysis, the association between severity of moral violation ratings and brain activity across participants was compared in psychopaths versus nonpsychopaths. Since a successful cheating adaptation should require, above all else, concealment of the trait, recognition and diagnosis of these traits in humans will always be difficult and ambiguous at the level of language and interpersonal interaction. We examined the psychometric properties of the factor solutions and a variety of correlates of the two factors. Although a number of other tests of psychopathy have been developed and a number of authors have expressed reservations about Hare, Hare's approach has dominated. Results revealed a positive association between amygdala activity and severity ratings that was greater in nonpsychopaths than psychopaths, and a negative association between posterior temporal activity and severity ratings that was greater in psychopaths than nonpsychopaths. Although the PCL can be considered a homogeneous scale on statistical grounds, the factors have distinct patterns of intercorrelations with other variables. Instrumental aggression (sometimes called proactive or predatory aggression) is planned, controlled, and purposeful, and is used for a particular aim—for example, to get drugs or sex, or just to establish dominance. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions 17. The primary goal is not necessarily to injure others but simply to obtain the desired outcome. Cleckley's emphasis of the psychopath as a constellation of various personality traits was essentially overturned by the American psychiatric establishment in revisions to the DSM, culminating in 1980 in a behaviorally based description and the use of the term antisocial personality disorder. Males showed a stronger modulatory relationship between inferior parietal activity and moral ratings relative to females. Consistent with hypotheses, an analysis of brain activity during the evaluation of pictures depicting moral violations in psychopaths versus nonpsychopaths showed atypical activity in several regions involved in moral decision-making. doi:10.1016/0162-3095(87)90019-7 Sociopathy in males and hysteria (Briquet's syndrome) in females very closely fit predictions from a model of characteristics of cheaters or nonreciprocators in a complex social system. Two correlated factors have been identified in the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL), a valid and reliable instrument for the assessment of psychopathy in male prison populations. Robert Hare, through his writing and widely popular testing initiatives, returned to a personality/trait approach derived from Cleckley's original factors. The cambridge handbook of personality psychology (pp. These results are suggestive of gender differences in strategies utilized in moral appraisals. This included reduced moral/nonmoral picture distinctions in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and anterior temporal cortex in psychopaths relative to nonpsychopaths. Such a model is discussed and characteristics of sociopaths and hysterics are described. Factor 1 measures a selfish, remorseless, and exploitative use of others, and Factor 2 measures a chronically unstable and antisocial life-style. — Reliability versus validity: The criteria of APD is easy to measure, resulting in an over inclusive, highly reliable diagnosis but with questionable validity, especially when considering the personality features associated with psychopathy. ↩ Return to top — The addition of criminal criteria to Hare's tests has contributed to the view of psychopaths as a type of criminal versus the view that psychopathy is a type of abnormal personality. — Psychopathy is an abnormal categorical disorder versus the view that psychopathy is a dimensional extension of abnormal personality characteristics. The PCL-R assessment of psychopathy: Development, structural properties, and new directions.