November 7, 2012
Week 9, Wednesday
exam: any readings from week 5- up until the end of last class- november 3 ?rd
Low fear hyptothesis of psychopathy
Psychopathy is rooted in a lack of fear or anxiety as a result of abnormally low autonomic nervous
Fearlessness results in an inability to respond to and learn from the consequences of punishment.
Anxiety/discomfort deterrent to anti-social impulses
Psychopaths have learning deficits in avoidance learning.
Why are psychopaths seen as untreatable?
Impact on therapeutic alliance
Interpersonal features- obstacles to key treatment approaches
E.g insincere, grandiose, manipulative traits impacts treatment using self exploration, cognitive
Learning deficits- Low anxiety
Anon conventional approach to group therapy
Ademocratic style of staff-patient interaction
Intensive (approx 80 hours a week)
active participation of patients in own treatment
Increased responsibility in day to day running of hospital community.
improves psychological functioning
Living and lerning environment will encourage more open expression of feeling
Learn to better interact with people socially, understand appropriate interpersonal interaction
Psychopaths learned to become better manipulators by understanding how others think feel and
The penetanguishene study:
treatment makes psychopaths worse
improve less during treatment
English prison service study
Offenders with factor 1 traits get worse when you give them treatment Kingston study:
some psychopaths behave deceptively well in treatment.
Skeem, Monahan, and Mulvey (2002)
disciniplary problems, less motivation.
Less program contact
Hypothesis of Study
More intensive treatment may be required to produce meaningful changes.
Psychopathic patients who received MORE treatment were 3 X LESS LIKELY to be violent when
released from prison.
Thus, psychopaths may be treatable.
Mental Illness and Criminal Justice in Canada
1 in 5 canadians have a lifetime risk
anxiety disorder 12%
mood disorders 8%
Eating disorders 3%
Personality disorders 7%
Internal dysfunction causing a serious disturbance in thoughts, feelings, perceptions.
Causing distress, discomfort.
Sever enough to