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PSYC*3020 Unit 2.doc

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University of Guelph
PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 Unit 2: Theories of Criminal Behaviour: Psychopaths and Young Offenders Introduction Crime - a kind of human behaviour that is deviant by certain established standards of authority in society - in the late 19th century, “slum poverty” was the generally accepted explanation for the cause of crime and the development of delinquency - in the early part of the 20th century, experts spoke about the “absence of love” in child- hood - lay persons 6 primary explanations for criminal because are defective education, men- tal instability, temptation, excitement, alienation, and lack of proper parental guidance Biological Theories of Criminal Behaviour - center on the physiological, constitutional or genetic determinants of the behaviour - first formal theory of criminal behaviour was the biological explanation proposed by Cesare Lombroso - people are born criminals because they are throwbacks, a separate species displaying sadistic and impulsive tendencies, were above pain and without shame Somatotypes - William Sheldon associated physical characteristics with personality types - mesomorphs were more likely to be criminals because of their aggressiveness and lack of inhibitions - criticized because findings have not been replicated Central Nervous System - CNS produces behaviour by creating muscular, skeletal, and glandular reactions - when neurons are damaged, or drugged, the chemical process is upset and this may result in memory loss, poor judgment, learning failures and under-or-over0reactions to stress - researchers have found abnormal physiological functioning of the CNS in a significant number of criminals (50%) compared to 10% of the general population - may be attributed to heredity, brain injury, drugs or antisocial behaviour itself - criminals show slower EEG wave activity than would be expected on the basis of their chronological age - criminals may be maturationally slow cerebral development Autonomic Nervous System Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - one function is to mediate the physiological processes associated with emotion - prisoners with ASPD exhibit significantly less ANS responsiveness (heart rate, BP) and less emotional apprehension in anticipation of noxious stimuli Read 2.1 in Course Reader 2.1 Psychopathy: A Clinical Construct Whose Time Has Come - Hare - only recently scientifically sound psychometric procedures have become available for assessing psychopath - the construct of psychopathy is particularly useful in the criminal justice system - psychopathy is a socially devastating disorder defined by a constellation of affective, interpersonal and behavioural characteristics, including egocentricity, impulsively, irre- sponsibility, shallow emotions, lack of empathy, guilty or remorse, pathological lying, manipulativeness and the persistent violation of social norms and expectations - this article is a personal, selective view of some major changes and trends in the em- pirical research on psychopathy from 1974 to 1994 - The focus is on the assessment and diagnosis of psychopathy and its implications for the mental health and criminal justice systems - in spite of their small numbers-perhaps 1% of the general population-they make up from 15% to 25% of our prison population and are responsible for a markedly dispropor- tionate amount of the serious crime, violence, and social distress in every society - They are well represented in the business and corporate world, particularly during chaotic restructuring, where the rules and their enforcement are lax and accountability is difficult to determine The Construct of Psychopathy - references to individuals we now readily recognize as having been psychopathic can be found in biblical, classical, medieval, and other historical sources The Assessment of Psychopathy DSM-II Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - described psycho- paths (referred to as people exhibiting an antisocial personality) as unsocialized, impulsive, guiltless, selfish, and callous individuals who rationalize their behavior and fail to learn from experience - did not provide explicit diagnostic criteria for the disorder - although self-report and other personality tests play an important role in clinical as- sessment, their use as reliable indicants of psychopathy for clinical or research purpos- es cannot be recommended. DSM-III - the diagnostic situation improved in one respect but worsened in another. The im- provement was the introduction of a list of explicit criteria for psychopathy, now referred to as antisocial personality disorder (APD) - Unfortunately, these criteria consisted almost entirely of persistent violations of social norms, including lying, stealing, truancy, inconsistent work behavior, and traffic arrests. - Among the main reasons given for this dramatic shift away from the use of clinical in- ferences were that personality traits are difficult to measure reliably and that it is easier to agree on the behaviors that typify a disorder than on the reasons why they occur. - The result was a diagnostic category with good reliability but dubious validity, a catego- ry that lacked congruence with traditional conceptions of psychopathy. - This "construct drift" was not intentional but rather the unforeseen result of reliance on a fixed set of behavioral indicators that simply did not provide adequate coverage of the construct they were designed to measures They Psychopathy Checklist and Its Revision - In 1980, I first described a research tool for operationalizing the construct of psychopa- thy (Hare, 1980). Later referred to as the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL), it was revised in 1985 and formally published several years later - the PCL-R is a 20-item clinical rating scale completed on the basis of a semistructured interview and detailed collateral or file information. - reveal a stable two-factor structure - Factor 1 consists of items having to do with the affective/interpersonal features of psy- chopathy, such as egocentricity, manipulativeness, callousness, and lack of remorse, characteristics that many clinicians consider central to psychopathy. - Factor 2 reflects those features of psychopathy associated with an impulsive, antiso- cial, and unstable lifestyle, or social deviance. - Most of the psychopaths also meet the criteria for APD, but most of those with APD are not psychopaths. That is because APD is defined largely by antisocial behaviors and Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 consequently taps the social deviance components of psychopathy (Factor 2) much bet- ter than it does the affective/interpersonal components of the disorder (Factor 1) The Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version - The PCL-R takes several hours to complete, too long for the average clinician working in acute psychiatric and mental health facilities. - we began development of the 12-item Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version Psychopathy in Children - Most clinicians and researchers are reluctant to speak of psycho- pathic children, yet it is likely that the personality traits and behaviors that define adult psychopathy begin to manifest themselves in child- hood - The problem, however, is complicated by general failure to differentiate the budding psychopath from other children who exhibit serious emotional and behavioral problems, particularly those children diagnosed with conduct disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivi- ty disorder, or oppositional defiant disorder. - modified the PCL-R items so that they were suitable for children and could be rated by parents and teachers - An important implication of their findings is that children with conduct disorder consti- tute a small subset with, and a larger subset without, psychopathic features. DSM-IV - In preparation for DSM-IV (American Psychiatric Association, 1994), the American Psychiatric Association carried out a multisite APD Field Trial - Stated goals of the Field Trial were to shorten the criteria set and to improve coverage of the traditional symptoms of psychopathy. These symptoms were represented by a 10- item psychopathic personality disorder (PPD) criteria set derived from the PCL:SV and by the ICD-10 criteria for dyssocial personality disorder - The PPD items were as follows: lacks remorse, lacks empathy, deceitful and manipula- tive, glib and superficial, inflated and arrogant self-appraisal, early behavior problems, adult antisocial problems, poor behavioral controls, impulsive, and irresponsible. - The DSM-IV criteria for APD remain problematical - Most of the personality traits that reflect the traditional symptoms of psychopathy- the PPD and the ICD-10 items-were at least as reliable as the more behaviorally specific DSM-Ill-R items, thus invalidating the original premise for excluding personality from the diagnosis of APD/ psychopathy. - DSM-N presents clinicians working in the criminal justice system with an additional problem. The term psychopathy was absent in DSM-Ill-R. Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - The DSM-IV text (American Psychiatric Association, now says that antisocial personal- ity disorder "has also been referred to as psychopathy, sociopathy, or dyssocial person- ality disorder" (p. 645), thereby making it easier for forensic clinicians to use the con- struct of psychopathy in their reports or court testimony. - statement implies is that offenders or forensic patients who meet the formal criteria for APD may not really be APD unless they also exhibit some ofthe personality traits asso- ciated with psychopathy - It seems that DSM-IV-perhaps inadvertently-has established two different sets of diag- nostic criteria for APD, one for the general public and one for forensic settings - Individuals diagnosed as APD outside of forensic settings might not be so diagnosed once they find themselves in prisons or forensic hospitals, unless they also exhibit per- sonality traits indicative of psychopathy. - In my view, DSM-IV not only failed in its stated intention to bring the diagnosis of APD back into line with clinical tradition and ICD-10, it also exacerbated the very problems that it ostensibly set out to rectify. - an unfortunate consequence of the approach adopted in DSM-IV is that, now more than ever, researchers and clinicians will be confused about the relationship between APD and psychopathy, sometimes using them interchangeably and other times treating them as separate clinical constructs - Perhaps most serious will be situations in which a clinician diagnoses an offender or forensic patient as APD according to the formal DSM-IV criteria, and then uses the re- search literature on psychopathy to make statements about treatability, like- lihood of re- offending, and risk for violence. Psychopathy: Continuum or Discrete Category - Many researchers prefer dimensional conceptualizations of personal- ity disorders, whereas formal diagnostic systems, such as DSM-IV, make it difficult to adopt anything other than a categorical view - Using four different taxonometric methods, they obtained results consistent with the hypothesis that psychopathy is a discrete category, or taxon. - Cooke's analyses differed from those of Harris et al. (1994) in two important ways: His PCL-R scores were based on both semistructured interviews and file information, and his taxonometric procedures allowed for the emergence of more than two classes of of- fenders Psychopathy and the Criminal Justice System Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - Over the past two decades, one of the more dramatic changes in our view of psy- chopathy has been in its significance to the criminal justice system, particularly with re- spect to the assessment of risk for recidivism and violence. - there is now an extensive literature indicating that current assessments of psychopa- thy, either by themselves or as part of risk equations, are highly predictive of treatability, recidivism, and violence - This literature is based almost entirely on research involving the use of the PCL-R Psychopathy and Crime - it is primarily the violence of psychopaths that captures the headlines, particularly when it ends in an apparently senseless death. - The ease with which psychopaths engage in instrumental and dispassionate violence has very real significance for society in general and for law enforcement personnel in particular. - Although the typical criminal career is relatively short, there are individuals who devote most of their adolescent and adult life to delinquent and criminal enterprises - Many of these career criminals become less grossly antisocial in middle age - age-related reductions in overt criminality do not necessarily mean that the individual has become a warm, loving, and moral citizen. - Are age.,.related reductions in the criminality of psychopaths paralleled by changes in core personality traits, or have these individuals simply learned new ways of staying out of prison? - Scores on Factor 2 (socially deviant features) decreased sharply with age, whereas scores on Factor 1 (affective/interpersonal features) remained stable with age - These results are consistent with the view that age-related changes in the psy- chopath's antisocial behavior are not necessarily paralleled by changes in the egocen- tric, manipulative, and callous traits fundamental to psychopathy. Recidivism and Risk for Violence - Perhaps the most dramatic change over the past 20 years in the perceived-and actual- importance of psychopathy to the criminal justice system has been in its predictive valid- ity. - Psychopathy was more predictive of outcome than was (a) a combination of criminal history variables and demographic variables and(b) several standard actuarial risk in- struments, including the Base Expectancy Scale - Within 3 years, about 65% of the psychopaths and 25% of the nonpsychopaths were convicted of a new crime. The difference was even greater for convictions for violent crimes: about 40% for psychopaths and less than 10% for nonpsychopaths. Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - In a recent study, Harris, Rice, and Quinsey (1993) found that 31% · of 618 offenders released from a maximum security unit and a pretrial assessment center violently recidi- vated. - Although the prevalence of psychopathy is lower in forensic psy- chiatric populations than in offender populations, the presence of psychopathic attributes in forensic patients is a risk factor for recidivism and violence. Recidivism Following Treatment - it is not uncommon for a trial judge to accept expert testimony that a defendant con- victed of a serious crime is a psychopath and then to se~tence him to a prison where "he can receive treatment." - he uninformed views of the judge and the protestations and anecdotes of those who run prison programs notwithstanding, there is no known treatment for psychopathy. - there are no methodologically sound treatments or "resocialization" programs that have been shown to work with psychopaths. - Unfortunately, both the criminal justice system and the public routinely are fooled into believing otherwise. - A s a result, many psychopaths take part in all sorts o f prison treatment programs, put on a good show, make "remarkable progress," convince the therapists and parole board of their reformed character, are released, and pick up where they left off when they en- tered prison. - Some of the most popular prison treatment and resocialization programs may actually make psychopaths worse than they were before. - the violent recidivism rate for treated psychopaths was higher (77%) than was that for untreated psycho- paths (55%). - The answer may be that group therapy and insight-oriented programs help psycho- paths to develop better ways of manipulating, deceiving, and using people but do little to help them understand themselves. - the Canadian government asked me to design a program that would have a reason- able chance of modifying the attitudes and behaviors of offenders at high risk for vio- lence, including psychopaths. - The program would be less concerned with developing empathy and conscience or effecting changes in personality than with convincing participants that they alone are re- Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 sponsible for their behavior and that they can learn more prosocial ways of using their strengths and abilities to satisfy their needs and wants. Sex Offenders - The past few years have seen a sharp increase in public and professional attention paid to sex offenders, particularly those who commit a new offense following release from a treatment program or prison. - The prevalence of psychopathy-defined by a PCL-R score of at least 30-appears to be relatively high among convicted rapists. - Sex offenders generally are resistant to treatment, but it is the psychopaths among them who are most likely to recidivate early and often. - psychopathy functions as a general predictor of sexual and violent recidivism. - Most dangerous of all were psychopaths sexually "turned on" by violence - The implications of psychopathy are just as serious among adolescent sex offenders as among their adult counterparts. - The results were most striking within the first 12 months of release~ the reconviction rate for nonsexual crimes was about 55% for psychopaths, but only about 15% for all other offenders. - One conclusion is that, following release, many of our adolescent sex offenders, and most of the psychopathic ones, were more likely to be convicted of a nonsexual than a sexual offense. Cognitive Neuroscience and the Criminal Justice System - Clinicians have long maintained that the cognitions, language, and life experiences of psychopaths lack depth and affect. - Perhaps the most interesting findings are that psychopaths seem unable or unwilling to process or use the deep semantic meanings of language; their linguistic processes ap- pear to be relatively superficial, and the subtle, more abstract meanings and nuances of language escape them - behavioral, electrocortical, and brain imaging research adds weight to the clinical belief that psychopaths fail to appreciate the emotional significance of an event or experience - psychopaths appear to be semantically and affectively shallow individuals. - the deep semantic and affective networks that tie cognitions together are not well de- veloped in these individuals - narratives of the psychopaths contained more than a normal amount of logical incon- sistencies, contradictions, and neologisms and showed a tendency to derail or "go off track." Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - it is as if psychopaths lack a central organizer to plan and keep track of what they think and say - psychopaths use their own attributes to put on a good show. Intense eye contact, dis- tracting body language, charm, and a knowledge of the listener's vulnerabilies are all part of the psychopath's armamentarium for dominating, controlling, and manipulating others. - We pay less attention to what they say than to how they say it-style over substance. - The cognitive, linguistic, and behavioral attributes of psychopaths may be related to cerebral dysfunction, particularly in the orbito/ventromedial frontal cortex - could reflect structural or functional anomalies in the brain mechanisms and circuitry- including the orbito/ventromedial frontal cortex, medial temporal cortex, and amygdala- responsible for the coordination of cognitive and affective processes - their conscience is only half formed, consisting merely of an intellectual awareness of the rules of the game - As one psychiatrist put it, perhaps psychopathy will become "the kiss of life rather than the kiss of death" in first-degree murder cases - If psychopathy is used as a defense for a criminal act, the flip side of the coin is that the disorder currently is untreatable, and any civil commitment likely would be perma- nent. Bad, Mad, or Both? - Psychopaths typically are judged legally and psychiatrically sane. - Many clinicians and investigators believe that psychopathy is incom- patible with psy- choticism, and there is some evidence to support their position - Some argue that psychopathy and schizophrenia are part of a common spectrum of disorders - they occasionally see a mentally disordered offender who is both a psychopath and a schizophrenic - Criminal psychopaths are more likely to be bad than mad. The Future - resources have been targeted primarily at programs and·projects that eschew the polit- ically incorrect idea that individual differences in personality are as important as deter- minants of crime as are social forces. - Even those opposed to the very idea of psychopathy cannot ignore its potent explana- tory and predictive power, if not as a formal construct then as a static risk factor Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - indices of psychopathy almost certainly will become a routine part of the assessment batteries used to ·make decisions about competency, sentencing, diversion, placement, suitability for treatment, and risk for recidivism and violence. - Because psychopaths with a history of violence are a poor risk for early release, more and more will be kept in prison for their full sentence, whereas many other offenders will be released early with little risk to society. - unless we are content simply to ware- house high-risk offenders, we must develop in- novative programs aimed at making their attitudes and behaviors less self-serving and more acceptable to the society in which most eventually must function - we must find ways of studying psychopaths in the community if we are ever to provide some relief for their victims, which is to say, all of us. Return to Course Manual - Hare emphasizes that asocial or antisocial behaviour of criminal antisocial personali- ties is evident in adolescence and continues throughout much of the lifespan - although socioeconomic and family dynamics contribute to psychopathology, it is al- most certain that constitutional and genetic factors are the primary contributors Read Textbook Chapter 11 Chapter 11: Psychopaths Psychopathy - a personality disorder defined by a collection of interpersonal, affective, and behavioural characteristics, including manipulation, lack of remorse or empathy, im- pulsivity and antisocial behaviours - descriptions of psychopathy exist in most cultures Assessment of Psychopathy - Hervey Clerkly provided one of the most comprehensive clinical descriptions of the psychopath in his book “The Mask of Sanity” - he described 16 features ranging from positive (good intelligence), emotional-interper- sonal features (lack of remorse) and behavioural problems (unreliability) Hare Psychology Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) - the most popular method of assessing psychopathy in adults Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - it is a 20-item rating scale that uses semi-structured interview and a review of file infor- mation to assess interpersonal, affective and behavioural features - each item is scored on a 3-point scale, the items are summed to obtain a total score ranging from 0 to 40 - researchers often subdivide those administered into 3 groups: a high-PCL-R groups (psychopaths) with a score of 30 or greater, a middle-scoring group (mixed group_ with scores between 20-3- and a low-scoring group (nonpsychopaths) with scores of below 20 - initial factor analysis indicated 2 correlated factors: Factor 1 = interpersonal and affec- tive traits, Factor 2 = combination of unstable and socially deviant traits - factor 1 is more strongly related to predatory violence, emotional-processing deficits, and poor treatment response - factor 2 is strongly related to reoffending, substance abuse, lack of education and poor family background - some have argued for a 3 factor model: (1) arrogant and deceitful interpersonal style, (2) deficient affective experience, and (3) impulsive and irresponsible behavioural style - the most recent factor analysis includes these 3 factors and a fourth called antisocial - another way of assessing psychopathic traits is through self-report questionnaires - advantages of this are the ability to measures attitudes and emotions, easy to adminis- ter, inexpensive and you don’t have to worry about inter-rater reliability - challenges with this are that psychopaths often lie, they may not have sufficient insight to accurately assess their traits Psychopathic Personality Inventory Revised (PPI-R) - a self-report measure of psy- chopathic traits - a 154-item inventory designed to measure psychopathic traits in offender and commu- nity samples Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (SRP) - a self-report measure of psychopathic traits - 64-item self-report measure designed to assess psychopathic traits in community sam- ples, consists of 4 factors: erratic lifestyle, callous affect, interpersonal manipulation and criminal tendencies Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD) - a personality disorder characterized by a his- tory of behaviour in which the rights of others are violated - there is evidence for conduct disorder before age 15 and chronic pattern of disregard- ing the rights of others since age 15 Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - after age 15, the person would need to display 3 or more of: repeatedly engaging in criminal acts, deceitfulness, impulsivity, irritability, reckless behaviours, irresponsibility, and lack of remorse Sociopathy - a label used to describe a person whose psychopathic traits are assumed to be due to environmental factors - have problems with or refused to adapt to society - APD places more emphasis on antisocial behaviours than psychopathy - APD prevalence is very high in prison (80%) - 10-25% can be classified as psychopaths - nearly all psychopaths meet the diagnostic criteria for APD but most offenders with APD are not psychopaths - APD symptoms are most strongly related to the behavioural features of psychopathy and not the interpersonal or affective features Forensic Use of Psychopathy - psychopathy has played a role in a diverse range of criminal cases, with the majority being associated with an increased severity of disposition - in Canada, psychopathy and associated constructs were used in making sentencing decisions: to support a case’s transfer from youth to adult court, to contribute to danger offender hearings, to help to determine parole eligibility, and to assess mental state at time of offence hearings - a diagnosis of psychopathy, sociopathy and APD is associated with a higher risk of vio- lent recidivism and lack of treatment responsively in dangerous offender hearings - with respect to the insanity defence, a diagnosis of psychopathy does full the disease of the mind requirement, but it has never fulfilled the second requirement of not appreci- ating the nature or quality of the act or knowing that it is wrong Psychopathy and Violence - empathy and internal inhibitions that ordinarily inhibit aggression and violence are lack- ing in psychopaths - psychopaths is associated with criminal behaviour but violence in particular - start their criminal career at a young engage and persist longer, engage in more violent offences, commit a greater variety of violent offences, engage in more violence within institutions and are more likely to be violent after release Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - psychopathic violence is more predatory in nature, motivated by readily identifiable goals, and carried out in a callous, calculated manner without the emotional context that usually characterizes the violence of other offenders - more likely to be instrumental that reactive - psychopaths engage in “cold-blooded” homicides much more often - higher PCL-R scores were found for cases with multiple offenders, stranger victims, male fictions, offenders who left the scene of the murder and offenders who denied re- sponsibility for murder - psychopathic offenders were given early release from prison more often in a study Clifford Olson: A Predatory Psychopath - murdered 11 children - one of Canada’s prolific serial killers - negotiated a payment of $10 000 for each body he uncovered for the RCMP for his wife - his bid for early parole was rejected in 15 minutes - after 15 years, offenders guilty of first and second degree murder can apply for earlier parole, called the faint hope clause - the motivation for this was to provide murderers with an incentive to behave in prisons, making prisons safer for correctional officers and to motivated murderers to participate in rehabilitation - a forensic psychiatrist evaluated Olsen with the PC-R and he got a score of 38/40, the highest score he’d ever given anyone - after this, multiple murderers were now ineligible for the faint hope clause Psychopathy in Animals? - some breeds of dogs are more psychopathic than others - bull terriers show similar features of human psychopaths, such as being fearless and immune to punishment - The Chimpanzee Psychopathy Measure (CPM) measures psychopathy in chimps Psychopaths in the Community - most uses the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Versions (PCL-SV), a 12-item version that places less emphasis on criminal behaviour - psychopathy is rare in the general population (0.6% had a score greater than 13) - not all psychopaths are violent or end up in prison - employees with many psychopathic feasters are more skilled at getting information on other employees, spreading unwarranted vicious rumours and causing dissension Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013 - they are particularly good at manipulating the key players in the organization and blam- ing others for their failures - in a study of 203 corporate professionals, 4.9% scored above 30 - one area of research that Hz been neglected is with victims of psychopaths - in a study of nonincarcerated psychopathic males who may/may not have abused their partners, 7 characteristics were extracted: (1) talking victim into victimization, (2) lying, (3) economic abuse, (4) emotional abuse/psychological torture, (5) multiple infidelities, (6) isolation and coercion, (7) assault and (8) mistreatment of children - although some psychopaths do experience trauma, many do not which means it is not a necessary precursor for psychopathy Psychopathy and Sexual Violence - psychopathy is only weakly associated with sexual offences - in a study of rapists, offenders who commit Sexual Homicides (homicides that have a sexual component) are the most psychopathic, followed by mixed sexual offenders, fol- lowed by rapists and the lowest psychopathy scored found among child molesters - 81% of psychopathic rapists were opportunistic or vindictive - psychopaths more likely to report positive emotions Sexual Sadism - people who are sexually aroused by fantasies, urges, or acts of inflict- ing pain, suffering or humiliation on another human - PCL-R total scores, affective deficits facet and antisocial facets were all related to sex- ual sadism Psychopathy and Treatment - psychopaths suffer little personal distress, see little wrong in their attitudes and behav- iour and seek treatment only when it is in their best interests to do so - violent recidivism rate was 39% for untreated nonpsychopaths, 22% for treated nonpsychopaths, 55% for untreated psychopaths and 77% for treated psychopaths - trea
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