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PSYC 3020 (97)
Dan Yarmey (94)
Chapter 11

Chapter 11.pdf

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PSYC 3020
Dan Yarmey

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Psychology of Law – Chapter 11 Psychopathy Psychopathy: a personality disorder defined by a collection of interpersonal, affective, and behavioural characteristics, including manipulation, lack of remorse or empathy, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviours - They have been called intraspecies predators - They seek vulnerable victims to use for their own benefit - Some charm their victims where as others use violence and intimidation to achieve their goals - They are dominant, selfish, manipulative individuals who engage in impulsive and antisocial acts - Feel no remorse or shame for the behaviour that has a negative impact on others - Psychopathy can be found in most cultures  Inuit people in Alaska use the term kulangeta to describe an individual who “repeatedly lies and cheats and steals things and does not go hunting and , when the other men are out of the village, takes sexual advantage of many women – someone who does not pay attention to reprimands and who is always being brought to the elders for punishment” Assessment of Psychopathy - Hervey Checkley provided a comprehensive clinical description: described 16 features ranging from positive (intelligence, social charm), emotional-interpersonal (lack of remorse), and behavioural problems (unreliable, antisocial) - Robert Hare developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) which is the most popular method of assessing psychopathy  20 item rating scale that uses a semi-structured interview and a review of file information  Each item scored on 3-point scale (2 – definitely applies, 1 – applies to some extent, 0 – definitely does not apply)  Summed to obtain score from 0-40 - Psychopathic traits can also be measured on self-report questionnaires  Advantages: o Can measure attitudes and emotions that are difficult to be observed by others o Easy to administer, quick to score and inexpensive o No worry of inter-rater reliability o Some include measures of response styles that can detect faking-good or faking- bad  Disadvantages: o Psychopaths often lie (master manipulators) – say whatever is in best interest o They may not have sufficient insight to accurately assess their on traits (may not consider themselves arrogant or dominant) o Difficult to report specific emotions if they haven’t experienced them - The two most widely used self-report scales are:  Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R) o 154 item inventory designed to measure psychopathic traits o 8 content scales, 2 validity scales and measures 2 factors  Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (SRP) o 64 item measure designed to assess psychopathic traits in community samples o 4 factors: erratic lifestyle, callous affect, interpersonal manipulation, and criminal tendencies Dr. Robert Hare - Professor emeritus at University of BC - Has B.A, M.A, and Ph. D - Career studying psychopathy began once encountered a manipulative inmate while working as a prison psychologist - Developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) - Currently involved in many research projects on assessment and treatment issues, risk for recidivism and violence, and functional neuroimaging - Studied psychopaths in prison and now in the corporate world Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder - Antisocial personality disorder (APD): a personality disorder characterized by a history of behaviour in which the rights of others are violated - Evidence for conduct disorder before age 15 - After 15 they need to display 3 or more of the following:  Repeatedly engaging in criminal acts  Deceitfulness  Impulsivity  Irritability  Reckless behaviours  Irresponsibility  Lack of remorse - There is confusion surrounding APD and its relationship to psychopathy and sociopathy - Sociopathy: a label used to describe a person whose psychotic traits are assumed to be due to environmental factors  Coined in 1930 by Partridge to describe those who had problems with or refused to adapt to society  Develop traits as a result of poor parenting and other environamental factors Forensic Use of Psychopathy - Studies surveyed the use of expert testimony regarding the assessment of psychopathy, sociopathy and APD in criminal court - Psychopathy found to play a role in a range of criminal cases associated with an increased severity of disposition - Psychopathy used in making sentencing decisions: support a case’s transfer from youth to adult court, contribute to dangerous offender hearings, help determine parole eligibility, and assess mental state at the time of offence hearing Psychopathy and Violence - Psychopathy is compatible with the criminal lifestyle and lack of concern for societal norms - Psychopaths make up a small proportion of the population, but their involvement with repetitive crime and violence is abnormal - They are high-density, versatile offenders - They start a criminal career at a younger age and persist longer, engage in more violence, commit a greater variety of offences and are likely to beviolent after release - The nature of violence differs from others:  More likely to be predatory  Motivated by identifiable goals  Carries out in a callous and calculated manner without emotion - More likely to commit premeditated violence - Most likely to target strangers and motivated by revenge or material gain (instrumental) Clifford Olson: Predatory Psychopath - Olson is serving a life sentence for the murders of 11 children in 1980-81 - He is notorious for being one of Canada’s most prolific serial killers and the deal he made with police (“cash for corpses”) - Negotiated a payment of $10,000 to his wife for each body he uncovered for the RCMP - Section 745 of the Criminal Code states that first and second degree murders can apply for early parole after serving 15 years (faint hope clause) - Dr. Stanley Semrau, a forensic psychiatrist, was hired by the Crown to evaluate Olson for his judicial review hearing  Assessed him on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised and gave him a score of 38 out of 40  Stated that Olson was completely untreatable and is more dangerous now because he sees himself as the ultimate serial killer - In 1997, the faint hope clause was changed to prevent those with multiple murders to be eligible for a 745 review - Olson remains incarcerated in a maximum-security prison in Quebec Psychopaths in Animals - Researchers believe some breeds of dogs are more psychopathic than others - An experiment was done with 6 month old puppies using temptation  Two bowls set out (one with dog food, one with horsemeat)  Dogs swatted when they approached the horsemeat  Most learned to avoid and eat the dog food, whereas some were fearless and immune to punishment Ps
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