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'Is psychopathy a valid construct?'

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lydia gyi

on 25 January 2013

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Transcript of 'Is psychopathy a valid construct?'

the word The word "psychopathy" is a joining of the Greek words
psyche (mind, mental) and pathos
(suffering, feeling).
a pioneer in this research was Hervey.M.Cleckley
he was the first to study on the behaviorism of psychopaths - the mask of sanity
in more recent concepts of psychopathy (Hare, 1993) suggested that the syndrome is neither restricted to incarcerated populations nor to those who engage in criminal acts.
Instead the syndrome maybe found among community groups, even high achievers, such as businessmen, politicians, doctors, lawyers, and university students who, because of core features such as good social skills, high intelligence, and high socioeconomic status, may have escaped law enforcement agencies or have taken advantage of others without formally committing illegal acts
Psychopathy - it is a personality disorder that has been variously described in 16 different characteristics. Is psychopathy a valid construct? Cleckley introduced 16 behavioral characteristics of a psychopath:

Superficial charm and good intelligence
Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
Absence of nervousness or psychoneurotic manifestations
Unreliability
Untruthfulness and insincerity
Lack of remorse and shame
Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love
General poverty in major affective reactions
Specific loss of insight Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations
Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink and sometimes without
Suicide threats rarely carried out
Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated
Failure to follow any life plan. Instruments used to assess psychopathy
Psychopathy checklist revised (PCL-R)
Advantages:


validity/consistency
Wiggins (1995) summarized his numerous findings with respect to BC octant, indicates that such individuals are prone to anger and irritation and are willing to exploit others.
Foa & foa (1974), the attribute love and status to themselves and seeing others as unworthy adn insignificant.
these characterization is clearly consistent with the essence of psychopathy as commonly described. Instruments used to assess psychopath:

Psychopathy checklist, revised (PCL-R)
ADV:
1, it is legal and clinically used in diagnosing a psychopath
2,PCL-R is now used in the courtroom.
DISADV
1,causes a 'labeling effect' - over simplistic.
Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI)
ADV
1, can be used in a non-clinical setting
EVALUATION:
presenting a paradox in that Cleckley's "keen clinical observations" are not integrated into a meaningful psychological model.
Cleckley was blinded by cultural myths about male aggression and female innocence
gender, race, age
Any questions? :)
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