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Chapter 5,7,8,9,10,12,16

PSYC39H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 5,7,8,9,10,12,16: Psychopathy Checklist, The Psychopath, Psychopathy


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYC39H3
Professor
David Nussbaum
Chapter
5,7,8,9,10,12,16

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Psychopathology 10/2/2016 7:02:00 AM
WHAT IS A PSYCHOPATH?
“completely lacking in conscience and empathy, they selfishly take
what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and
expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret”
Hare: 3 types
o primary psychopath: “true” psychopath the individual
who demonstrates those physiological and behavioral feature
that represent psychopathy
o secondary psychopath: commit antisocial acts because of
severe emotional problems or inner conflicts … more
aggressive/impulsive than primary
o dyssocial psychopath: antisocial because of social learning
Antisocial Personality Disorder
distinct from primary psychopathy
must be at least 18 years old, and there must be evidence that
behavioral patterns corresponding to conduct disorder (CD)
occurred prior to age 15
APD is narrower than the definition of psychopathy
do not mirror the same underlying psychopathology
o cognitive impairment more pronounced in psychopaths
APD by definition always involves criminal behavior … not all
psychopaths are criminal, and not all criminals are psychopaths
psychopathy is not a category but exists on a continuum
criminal psychopath will be used to identify those primary
psychopaths who do engage in criminal behavior
BEHAVIORAL DESCRIPTIONS
Behavioral Characteristics
superficial charm and average to above-average intelligence = 2
main features
usually impress others as friendly, outgoing, likable, and alert
often appear well educated and knowledgeable, and they display
many interests
verbally skillful and can talk themselves out of trouble
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o makes language shortcomings not readily apparent
do not usually lead to success in life
Psychological Testing Differences
usually score higher on intelligence tests than the general
population
many are bright but some not
“successful” psychopaths versus “unsuccessful” psychopaths
Psychopaths & Mental Disorders
most do not exhibit severe or disabling mental disorders
even under high pressure conditions, they remain cool and calm
but individuals diagnosed with schizophrenia and who
demonstrated many of the features of psychopathy had more
severe histories of offending and violence than those persons
diagnosed with schizophrenia alone
Psychopaths & Suicide
among male inmates, psychopaths who were especially aggressive
and impulsive did show some indicators of suicidality
some psychopaths who find themselves in desperate situations do
commit suicide, especially if they are highly impulsive and violent
Other Trait Principles
selfishness and an inability to love or give affection to others
egocentricity is always present and is essentially unmodifiable
may be likable, but they are seldom able to keep close friends, and
they have great difficulty understanding love in others
flat emotional reaction and affect
little contact with their families
may do small favors and appear considerate
no internalized moral or ethical sense and cannot understand the
purpose of being honest
unreliable, irresponsible, and unpredictable, regardless of the
importance of the occasion or the consequences
small amounts of alcohol prompt most to become vulgar/loud
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self-destructive
lack genuine humor/ability to laugh at self
professional criminal has purpose and a plan of action psychopath
is impulsive and lacks long-range goals
semantic aphasia: words without meaning
excessive use of instrumental aggression: goal-directed aggression
used to achieve a specific goal
excessive neuropsychological need for thrills and excitement
THE CRIMINAL PSYCHOPATH
reserved for those psychopaths who demonstrate a wide range of
persistent and serious antisocial behavior
tend to be “dominant, manipulative individuals characterized by an
impulsive, risk-taking and antisocial lifestyle, who obtain their
greatest thrill from diverse sexual gratification and target diverse
victims over time
cutoff point … but best to look as a continuum
Prevalence of Criminal Psychopathy
in general population, about 1%
in the adult prison population estimates range from 15 to 25%
o inflated range? … must look at type of facility, as well as the
cultural, ethnic, gender and age mix of target population
Offending Patterns of Criminal Psychopaths
believed to be responsible for a disproportionate amount of crime in
society & considered to be most violent and persistent offenders
appear to be significantly more sadistic
may be more likely than other offenders to derive pleasure from
both the nonsexual and sexual suffering of others
frequently engage in violence as a form of revenge or retribution, or
during a bout of drinking
many of the attacks of criminal psychopaths are directed at men
who are strangers
rapists who have psychopathic characteristics are more likely to
have “nonsexual” motivations for their crimes
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