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A “criminal personality?”. Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) from DSM-IV 1. Disregard for the rights of others. At least three of the following: behaves in a way that is grounds for arrest, deceitful and manipulative, impulsive, aggressive, irresponsible, lack of remorse

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A criminal personality
A “criminal personality?”

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) from DSM-IV

    1. Disregard for the rights of others. At least three of the following:

    behaves in a way that is grounds for arrest, deceitful and manipulative, impulsive, aggressive, irresponsible, lack of remorse

    2. Age 18 or older

    3. A history of child conduct disorder

    4. Antisocial behavior not a product of schizophrenic episode


The psychopath
The “psychopath”

  • Hervey Cleckley’s (1982) The Mask of Sanity

  • Key features: Manipulative, Superficial charm, Above-average intelligence, Absence of psychotic symptoms, Absence of anxiety, Lack of remorse, Failure to learn from experience, Egocentric, Lack of emotional depth

  • Other Characteristics: Trivial Sex life, Unreliable, Failure to follow a life plan, Untruthful, Suicide attempts rarely genuine, Impulsive, Antisocial behavior


The lingo
The Lingo

  • Psychopath (suggest biology/personality)

  • Sociopath (environment)

  • Most people now use psychopath, regardless of causes.

  • Serial Killers? Some are psychopaths

    • BUT: Some are not, and the vast majority of psychopaths are not serial killers


How do i know a psychopath when i see one
How do I know a psychopath when I see one?

  • OLD: Clinical Diagnosis, NOW…

  • Robert Hare (Canadian Psychologist)

    • Hare PCL (now PCL-R)

    • Score characteristics (from Cleckley) on 0-2 scale based on a structured INTERVIEW

      • Ask some “canned” questions, but looking at how they answer more than what they answer

    • Draw “cut-off” for psycho status (28-32)


Interesting stuff from the pcl
Interesting stuff from the PCL

  • 10 to 25% of inmates are psychopaths

    • But, what percent of any cohort?

  • Rehabilitation Outcomes

  • Differences in Learning

  • Individual Differences?

    • Speech differences

    • Neurological

    • Affect/Emotional


Psychopaths do not benefit from treatment
Psychopaths do not Benefit From Treatment

  • Rice, Harris, and Cormier (1992)

    • Assessed the effectiveness of a therapeutic community program for psychopaths and non

    • “Violent recidivism rate”

    • NON-Psychopaths

      • Treatment = 22%; No treatment = 39%

    • Psychopaths

      • Treatment = 77%; No treatment = 55%


Learning experiments
Learning Experiments

  • Psychopaths do not learn as quickly

    • Played longer in computer card game with declining chances of success


Individual differences i speech
Individual Differences I: Speech

  • Language / Speech

    • Logical inconsistencies

    • Language is superficial; can’t grasp abstract/deep Speech Differences

  • Williamson (1991): scored audiotaped interviews with offenders for cohesion/coherence

    • Psychopaths less coherent; get “off track”


Individual differences ii emotion
Individual Differences II: Emotion

  • Affection / Emotional

    • Know “rules of game” but can’t appreciate the emotional significance of situations

  • Interview with graphic detail

    • Read others reactions to tap into emotions


Individual differences iii biology
Individual Differences III: Biology

  • Many of the “correlates” discussed in Rowe:

    • Low cortical arousal

    • Low nesting heart rate, Skin conductance


Issues in psychopathy
Issues in Psychopathy

  • Difference in “kind” or “quantity?”

    • Does everyone have a little psychopathy?

  • Psychopaths that escape detection?

    • Study in prison (high base rate, access to records)

  • Primary vs. Secondary?

    • Can some psychopaths turn emotion on and off?


Policy implications
Policy Implications

  • Responsivity Issue

    • Keep out of Rx, especially group therapy

    • Treatment specifically for psychopaths?

  • Issues of Responsibility

    • Quacks testifying on behalf of the state


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