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Lecture 3

PSYC 3310 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Convenience Store, Sodomy, Histrionic Personality Disorder

Course Code
PSYC 3310
Gwen Jenkins

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Lecture 3 A Psycho-biographical Account of Two Female Serial Killers (May 15th)
Start off your paper with a definition of what your chosen psychopathology is!
o ICD-10
o Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist
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
Definitions and criteria depend on classification system
Factor 1:
Factor 2:
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
Pathological lying
Lying just for the fun of it no need for it
o Facet 2: Affective Traits
Use one of these for best results

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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
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
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 ODDCDASD)
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 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
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