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Lecture 3

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PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

Lecture 3 – A Psycho-biographical Account of Two Female Serial Killers (May 15 )  Start off your paper with a definition of what your chosen psychopathology is! o DSM-IV-TR o ICD-10 o Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist Use one of these for best results o Malignant Narcissism What is a Psychobiography?  “...systematic use of psychological (especially personality) theory to transform a life into a coherent and illuminating story  Good Psychobiography includes: 1. Physiological (e.g. influence of biochemicals on development – rarely available) 2. Psychological (e.g. perceptions of reality) o Perceptions are very individual o It is a subjective experience o E.g.) person said they were horribly abused b/c his brother called him names  To some, this is not abuse, but for this person it was 3. Sociological (e.g. childhood development, zeitgeist) Problems with Psychobiography  Insufficient quantities of information e.g. Homolka  Poor information e.g.) National Enquirer  Failure to validate sources o E.g.) Freud’s psychobiography of da Vinci based on incorrect interpretations of “kite” – Freud based work on a bird rather than a toy  Making examples ‘fit’ objectives – subjective bias (this is what we want for our psychobiography) What drives serial killing: Psychopathy?  What is psychopathy? o A personality disorder “defined by a collection of interpersonal, affective and behavioural characteristics”  Definitions and criteria depend on classification system (KNOW FOR TEST) Factor 1: Factor 2: Interpersonal/affective Behavioural Facet 1: Interpersonal traits Facet 3: lifestyle Facet 2: affective traits Facet 4: Antisocial behaviours 1. Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist  Factor 1 o Facet 1: Interpersonal Traits  Glib/superficial charm  Grandiosity  Pathological lying  Lying just for the fun of it – no need for it  Manipulativeness o Facet 2: Affective Traits  Lack of remorse/guilt  Shallow affect  Very little shown in the way of emotions  Do not vary very much  Psychopaths are not capable of showing emotions – i.e. happiness, sadness  Callousness/lack of empathy  Failure to accept responsibility for own actions  Have to say sorry – but also mean it  Factor 2 o Facet 3: Lifestyle  Need for stimulation  Parasitic lifestyle  Taking no responsibility for anything  Live off others  Lack of realistic long-term goals  Impulsivity  Irresponsibility o Facet 4: Antisocial Behaviour  Juvenile delinquency  Revocation of conditional release  Poor behavioural controls  Part of impulsivity  Early behaviour problems (ODD, CD) 2. PCL-R: Antisocial Personality Disorder  PCL-R also includes sexual promiscuity, criminal versatility, many short-term/marital relationships  ~1980: DSM-III, DSM-IV, etc. – psychopathy replaced with Antisocial Personality Disorder DSM-III only cared about a person’s actions and not what they were experiencing on the inside  Criteria shifted emphasis from core traits to antisocial behaviours: o Pervasive pattern of disregard for/violation of rights of others since age 15, as indicated by at least 3 of... (Assumes ODDCDASD)  Failure to conform to social norms (i.e. criminal acts)  Deceitfulness (e.g. lying, use of aliases, conning others for financial gain)  Impulsivity  Irritability and aggressive behaviour  Reckless disregard for safety of self or others  Consistent irresponsibility  Lack of remorse (indifference or rationalization of harm) o At least 18 years of age o CD prior to age 15 years 3. ICD-10: Dissocial Personality Disorder  Characterized by disregard for social obligations, callous unconcern for feelings of others  Gross disparity between behaviour and social norms  Behaviour not readily modifiable by adverse experience, including punishment  Low tolerance to frustration and low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence  Tendency to blame others/rationalize behaviour  Includes amoral, antisocial, asocial, psychopathic, and sociopathic personality disorders Problems with Focus on Antisocial Behaviours  Current definitions do not explain antisocial acts  Most offenders with APD are NOT psychopaths  Prison populations o APD: 60-80% o Psychopathy: 10-25% What Else could explain serial killing?  Jakobwitz & Egan (2006)  Few incarcerated offenders are psychopaths  Few psychopaths have F2 (antisocial) behaviours  Narcissism related to F1, NOT F2 o Narcissism = strong predictor of aggressive responding, NOT antisocial behaviours (e.g. Columbine massacre)  Malignant narcissism proposed as basis for serial killing o Includes narcissistic personality disorder  Aggressive antisocial personalities are a lifelong thing o It is pervasive – in all areas of their life o From childhood to adulthood  Narcissism o It takes a very large/significant trigger to make someone explode Malignant Narcissism 1. Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) (arrogant on the outside, very fragile on the inside – don’t take insults well)  Grandiosity (bold indicates overlap with Hare’s checklist)  Preoccupation with power  Belief he/she is unique  Excessive need for admiration  Sense of entitlement  Interpersonally exploitive  Lack of empathy  Envy of others/belief that others are envious of self  Arrogance 2. Antisocial Behaviour (F2) 3. Ego-syntonic aggression  Aggression that is linked to changes in the ego  Aggressive responding you will see when someone feels that their ego has been attacked 4. Strong paranoid orientation  Believing people are out to get them  Difference with people that have malignant narcissism compared to psychopathy is that people with MN are able to experience loyalty and guilt Childhood/Physiological Factors  Raised by non-parents  Physical abuse (?) – longitudinal assessment of maltreated and non-maltreated children ages 6 to 9 o Maltreated children tend to be more antagonistic and disagreeable; less kind, helpful and cooperative; prone to negative affect, unstable in emotional controls, hypersensitivity and difficulty dealing with stress o Pattern of behaviour continues into adulthood o However not a reliable predictor of antisocial behaviour later on in life  But not all abused children are anti-social  Resilience Determinants
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