Blackburn, R., Logan, C., Donnelly, J. P., & Renwick, S. J. D. (2008). Identifying psychopathic subtypes: Combining an empirical personality classification of offenders with The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. (6), 604-622. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2008.22.6.604 Mentally disordered offenders who were psychopathic according to the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) were divided into primary psychopath, secondary psychopath, controlled, and inhibited groups on the basis of a validated empirical classification, using the Antisocial Personality Questionnaire (APQ). They were compared on the factors and facets of the PCL-R, criminal history, Axis I and Axis II psychopathology, experience of child abuse, personality, interpersonal style, and clinical ratings of risk and treatability, to determine the utility of the APQ classification in identifying subtypes of psychopath. Significant differences between APQ primary and secondary psychopaths on several measures support the identification of these groups with the primary and secondary psychopaths hypothesized by Karpman (1948) and others. However, further differences suggest that the controlled and inhibited groups represent additional variants of primary and secondary psychopath, respectively. The results provide further evidence for the heterogeneity of psychopaths, and suggest that the PCL-R encompasses several distinct subtypes of abnormal personality.
Blackburn, R. (2007a). Personality disorder and antisocial deviance: Comments on the debate on the structure of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. (2), 142-159. doi: 10.1521/pedi.2007.21.2.142 The recent debate on the structure of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R: Hare, 1991; 2003) has been presented primarily as a statistical issue, but underlying it are longstanding conceptual issues about the relationship of personality concepts to deviant behavior and of psychopathy to criminality and personality disorder. I discuss these issues in this paper. The antisocial items of the PCL-R seem to reflect a propensity to commit crimes that has long been of interest to criminology. This disposition overlaps with, but differs conceptually from personality dispositions, but these surface dispositions do not provide a causal account of criminality. I present data that indicate that the core personality characteristics of psychopathy are more closely related to narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders than to antisocial personality disorder. Overemphasis on involvement in crime has obscured the nature of psychopathy as a disorder of personality characterised by interpersonally harmful behavior that need not necessarily take criminal form.
Mitchell, D. G. V., Richell, R. A., Leonard, A., & Blair, R. J. R. (2006). Emotion at the expense of cognition: Psychopathic individuals outperform controls on an operant response task. (3), 559-566. doi: 10.1037/0021-843X.115.3.559 The impact of emotional stimuli on a simple motor response task in individuals with psychopathy and comparison individuals was investigated. Psychopathy was assessed using the Psychopathy Checklist Revised ( Hare, 1991). Participants were presented with the Emotional Interrupt Task, in which they responded with left and right button presses to shapes that were temporally bracketed by positive, negative, and neutral visual images taken from the International Affective Picture System. The comparison group showed increased response latencies if the shape was temporally bracketed by either a positive or negative emotional stimulus relative to a neutral stimulus. Individuals with psychopathy did not show this modulation of reaction time for either positive or negative emotional stimuli. Results are discussed with reference to current models regarding the modulation of attention by emotion and the emotional impairment seen in individuals with psychopathy.
Meloy, J. R. (2000). The nature and dynamics of sexual homicide: An integrative review. (1), 1-22. doi:10.1016/S1359-1789(99)00006-3 The author reviews the definitions, epidemiology, evolving research, offender, and offense characteristics of sexual homicide, a form of intentional killing that occurs in less than 1% of homicides in the United States. Although the extant research is limited by very few comparative studies, repetitive use of small, nonrandom samples, retrospective data, no prospective studies, and the absence of any predictive statistical analyses, the yield over the past 100 years is impressive. The author advances a clinical typology of sexual murderers. The first group of compulsive sexual murderers leaves behind organized crime scenes and are usually diagnosed with sexual sadism and antisocial/narcissistic personality disorders. They are chronically emotionally detached, often primary psychopaths, are autonomically hyporeactive, and the majority experience no early trauma. The second group of catathymic sexual murderers leave behind disorganized crime scenes and are usually diagnosed with a mood disorder and various personality disorders that may include schizoid and avoidant traits. They are hungry for attachment, only moderately psychopathic, are autonomically hyperreactive, and have a history of physical and/or sexual trauma. . . . This review has focused on the definitions, epidemiology, evolving research, and offender characteristics of sexual homicide, a rare but very disturbing form of intentional killing.
McHoskey, J. W., Worzel, W., & Szyarto, C. (1998). Machiavellianism and psychopathy. (1), 192-210. doi:10.1037/0022-35188.8.131.52 An integration of the Machiavellianism (MACH) and psychopathy constructs based on a dimensional view of personality and personality disorders and a recognition of B. Karpman's (1941, 1948) conceptual distinction between primary and secondary psychopathy is presented. Positive associations between MACH and both primary and secondary psychopathy were found. It is concluded that the Mach-IV is a global measure of psychopathy in noninstitutionalized populations (i.e., one that assesses but confounds both primary and secondary psychopathy) and that the primary differences between MACH and psychopathy are not traceable to substantive theoretical issues but to the different professional affiliations they are associated with: personality and social psychology and clinical psychology, respectively. . . . The results provide strong support for our hypothesis and indicate that MACH is associated with psychopathy in general and with both primary and secondary psychopathy specifically. Thus, the Mach-IV is a global measure of psychopathy that assesses but confounds both the unique and common sources of variance associated with primary and secondary psychopathy.
Several limitations of this study should be considered in the interpretation of its findings. First, age at onset and remission of dependence may have occurred many years prior to interview and might not be remembered accurately. Although errors in recalling these ages would not affect overall estimates of recovery, they could affect estimates within specific intervals since onset. Second, the classification of PPY dependence is dependent upon recall of whether multiple symptoms of dependence occurred at the same time. Errors in recall of co-occurrence that resulted in inaccurate estimates of PPY dependence (e.g., by including cases of borderline severity) might bias estimates of recovery. Finally, the rates of recovery presented in this study are higher than they would be had individuals with lifetime rather than PPY dependence been examined (the proportion still dependent in the past year would have been 30.5 percent rather than 25.0 percent [data not shown]). As discussed previously, this is because individuals with onset of dependence in the past year would by definition still be considered dependent in that period, thus lowering the proportions of individuals in the categories of remission and recovery.
At the same time, this study yielded some interesting additional findings, for example, the roles of lifetime tobacco and drug use in discriminating between types of recovery. Each of these defies obvious interpretation. Perhaps lifetime smokers, many of whom were former smokers by the time of interview, were more inclined toward AR because smoking cessation required a similar all-or-nothing approach. Lifetime nondependent drug users may have tended toward NR because they were apparently able to use drugs without developing drug dependence and may have felt they could achieve nondependent use of alcohol as well. This study’s finding that individuals with a personality disorder (PD) had a reduced likelihood of achieving AR supports findings in clinical samples on the adverse effects of antisocial PD (Pettinati et al. 1999; McKay & Weiss 2001; Ciraulo et al. 2003). Recent research has shown that obsessive–compulsive, paranoid, and antisocial PD are the most common personality disorders in the general U.S. population and among people with alcohol dependence (Grant et al. 2004c). However, dependent, histrionic, and antisocial PD are the most strongly associated with the odds of alcohol dependence (Grant et al. 2004d). Additional research to identify specific personality disorders that are implicated as impediments to AR should be helpful in tailoring treatment programs to the needs of alcohol-dependent individuals who have these disorders.
The long history of heterogeneity in both terminology and theory about psychopathy continues. The modern era of thinking about psychopathy begins with Cleckley's work, originally done in 1941. Cleckley's emphasis of the psychopath as a constellation of various personality traits was essentially overturned by the American psychiatric establishment in revisions to the DSM, culminating in 1980 in a behaviorally based description and the use of the term antisocial personality disorder. Robert Hare, through his writing and widely popular testing initiatives, returned to a personality/trait approach derived from Cleckley's original factors. Hare's approach and tests have been particularly influential both in practical forensic settings and in academic research. Although a number of other tests of psychopathy have been developed and a number of authors have expressed reservations about Hare, Hare's approach has dominated. Hare has also been important in popularizing psychopathy in the lay public, especially via his 1993 book and by the 2006 a work he co-authored, examining the psychopath in a business context. This business/leadership theme was later followed up by Lawrence (2010). Hare's works have tended to be somewhat sensationalized and have co-mingled academic and lay (newspaper type) accounts. Despite much research on neurophysiological correlates of psychopathy, no clear consensus has developed yet concerning a neuropsychological theory of psychopathy. Many points of controversy are left unanswered and many key issues remain to be addressed.
— There is considerable overlap between psychopathy and the other personality disorders including borderline, histrionic, narcissistic, making clear classification difficult.
— All personality disorders face controversy in terms of classification. For example, should psychopathy be seen as a taxon (a category) or as an attribute (as a symptom), whether to view it as a dimension (with quantitative degrees of severity) or as a set of discrete types or, other? As an example of other, psychopathy may be seen as a neurophysiological disease/ brain disorder (Based on Millon 2012).