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PSYC 3310 Lecture Notes - Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder, Egosyntonic And Egodystonic

Course Code
PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

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Aileen Wuornos & Karla Homolka
A Psychobiographical Account of Two Female Serial Killers
"...systematic use of psychological (esp. personality) theory to transform a life into a coherent and
illuminating story" (McAdams, 1988)
1. Physiological (e.g., influence of biochemicals on development)-- rarely available
2. Psychological (e.g., perceptions of reality)
3. Sociological (e.g., childhood development, zeitgeist)
Good Psychobiography includes:
Paucity of information-- e.g., Homolka
Poor information-- e.g., National Enquirer
E.g., Freud's psychobiography of da Vinci based on incorrect interpretations of "kite"-- Freud
based work on bird rather than toy
Failure to validate sources
Making exemplars 'fit' objectives-- subjective bias [this is exactly what she wants us to do]
Problems with Psychobiography
A personality disorder "defined by a collection of interpersonal, affective, and behavioral
What is Psychopathy?
Factor 1: Interpersonal/affective
Factor 2: Behavioral
Facet 1: Interpersonal traits
Facet 3: Lifestyle
Facet 2: Affective traits
Facet 4: Antisocial behaviors
Definitions & criteria depend on classification system
What Drives Serial Killing: Psychopathy?
Glib/superficial charm
Pathological lying
Facet 1: Interpersonal traits:
Lack of remorse/guilt
Shallow affect [little range of emotions
Callousness/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Facet 2: Affective traits:
Factor 1
Factor 2
1. Hare's Psychopathology Checklist (PCL-R):
Ch. 4: Criminal Profiling Pt. 2
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
1:00 PM
Class Notes - Midterm Page 1

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Need for stimulation
Parasitic lifestyle [someone who lives off other people, no job]
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Facet 3: Lifestyle:
Juvenile delinquency
Revocation of conditional release
Poor behavioral controls
Early behavioral problems (ODD, CD)
Facet 4: Antisocial behavior:
Factor 2
PCL-R also includes sexual promiscuity, criminal versatility, many short-term/marital relationships
[Don't need all to be diagnosed, but must score above certain number]
~1980: DSM-III, DSM-IV, etc., -Psychopathy replaced with Antisocial Personality Disorder
Failure to conform to social norms (i.e., criminal acts)
Deceitfulness (e.g., lying, use of aliases, conning others for financial gain)
Irritability and aggressive behavior
Reckless disregard for safety of self or others
Consistent irresponsibility
Lack of remorse (indifference or rationalization of harm)
Pervasive pattern of disregard for/violation of rights of others since age 15, as indicated by at
least 3 of…
At least 18 years of age
CD prior to age 15 years
Criteria shifted emphasis from core traits to antisocial behaviors [From F1 to F2]:
2. DSM Criteria
Characterized by disregard for social obligations, callous unconcern for feelings of others
Gross disparity between behavior and social norms
Behavior not readily modifiable by adverse experience, including punishment
Low tolerance to frustration & low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence
Tendency to blame others/rationalize behavior
Includes amoral, antisocial, asocial, psychopathic, & sociopathic personality disorders
3. ICD-10: Dissocial Personality Disorder
Current definitions do not explain antisocial acts
Most offenders with APD are NOT psychopaths
Prison populations [60-80% have APD, only 10-25% are psychopaths]
Problem with focus on antisocial behaviors
Few incarcerated offenders are psychopaths
Few psychopaths have F2 (antisocial) behaviors
What else could explain serial killing?
Class Notes - Midterm Page 2
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