Porter, S. (1996). Without conscience or without active conscience? The etiology of psychopathy revisited. (2), 179-189. doi:10.1016/1359-1789(95)00010-0 Despite an impressive body of research spanning seven decades, the causes of psychopathy and psychopathic violence remain enigmatic for mental health professionals and society as a whole. A keystone of the disorder is the absence of normal human emotional experience. In recent years, a predominant view has been that a genetic predisposition is essential to its formation while environmental factors determine the course of the disorder. The present paper proposes an alternate, less common pathway to psychopathy in which environmental factors are critical ("secondary psychopathy"). Clinical and empirical evidence is reviewed supporting the hypothesis that negative childhood experiences can profoundly affect emotional functioning in adulthood. Specifically, certain individuals who are severely traumatized or disillusioned by loved ones might over time learn to "turn off" their emotions as an effective coping mechanism, later emerging as psychopathic personality disorder. It is argued that, with continued validation of the hypothesis, secondary psychopathy should be considered a distinctive dissociative disorder based on this detachment of emotion and cognition/behavior. . . . distinguished between two variants of psychopathy based on different etiological pathways, one (primary) being predominantly congenital and the other (secondary) primarily environmental. . . . This article suggests the possibility that over time negative environmental experiences can sometimes contribute to deactivation or vitiation of normal human emotion and eventually lead to a type of secondary psychopathy - a dissociative disorder.. . . . Despite absence of empathy for others, the volition of secondary (and fundamental) psychopaths is presumably perfectly functional. If the secondary psychopathy category receives continued validation, the salient implications relate to intervention. These individuals might represent a population for which early intervention or treatment in adulthood might be beneficial for society.
Patrick, C. J., & Zempolich, K. A. (1998). Emotion and aggression in the psychopathic personality.(4), 303-338. doi:10.1016/S1359-1789(97)00003-7 This paper presents an integrative conceptual framework for understanding relationships between psychopathy and aggression, and reviews the extant relevant literature in relation to this framework. Issues pertaining to conceptualization and subtyping of aggression are reviewed with reference to contemporary emotion theory, and recent research on the emotional and temperamental underpinnings of criminal psychopathy is described. It is argued that different forms of aggression may be related to disparate facets of psychopathy, and that these relationships may be mediated by common dispositional factors. Methodological limitations of existing studies are identified, and suggestions for future research are offered.
Berardino, S. D., Meloy, J. R., Sherman, M., & Jacobs, D. (2005). Validation of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory on a Female Inmate Sample. (6), 819-836. doi: 10.1002/bsl.666 This investigation evaluated the construct validity of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI; Lilienfeld & Andrews, 1996), a self-report measure designed to assess psychopathy. One hundred and two incarcerated females were administered the Kaufman Brief Intelligence Test (K-BIT), an oral alcohol and drug screening measure, a demographic interview, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory—2 (MMPI-2), the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R), and the PPI. There were significant correlations among the PPI, MMPI-2 scales, and the PCL-R. In addition, the correlations between the PPI and the separate PCL-R factors were not significantly different from each other, indicating that the PPI is assessing both facets of the psychopathy construct to some extent. A high correlation between the PPI and the DSM-IV criteria, which assesses adult antisocial behaviors, revealed adequate concurrent validity. Nonsignificant or negligible correlations between the PPI and the MMPI-2 scales provided some support for discriminant validity. The results are discussed with respect to the clinical and forensic utility of the PPI, the limitations of the study, and the need for further research.
Gurley, (2009) provided a helpful summary: There is much confusion surrounding the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) and its counterparts, psychopathy, and sociopathy. Some individuals refer to the three as the same diagnosis but with different names (e.g., Blackburn, 1988; Rabin, 1986; Stout, 2005). Others differentiate between the three terms in various ways. For example, Lykken (1995, 1998) believes that psychopaths and sociopaths represent subcategories of ASPD. He goes on to state that although psychopaths and sociopaths have similar patterns of behavior, the two are distinct disorders. More specifically, Lykken believes that the personality and behavior of a psychopath is due to a congenital difference in temperament whereas the personality and behavior of a sociopath is due to unsocialized character caused by parental failures. In other words, the personality and behavior a psychopath is a result of genetics whereas the personality and behavior of a sociopath is due to the environment. Hare's conceptualization of the differences between psychopath and sociopathy is similar to Lykken's (Babiak & Hare, 2006; Hare, 2007). Hare (e.g., 1993, 1996, 2007) does differentiate between psychopathy and ASPD, stating that APSD is characterized by criminal behavior whereas psychopathy is a set of personality traits that can lead to criminal behavior. According to Hare (2008), the consensus in the field of psychology is that psychopathy and ASPD are distinct disorders. . . . [in] DSM-I, 1952, one of the disorders that experienced a name change was psychopathy, which referred to a personality disturbance consisting of traits that have been delineated by Cleckley (1964) including superficial charm, manipulativeness, and irresponsibility (see Cleckley, 1998, for a complete list of criteria). According to Jenkins (1960), the American Psychiatric Association reported that the term, "psychopath" was a poor term that needed to be changed. Their reasoning behind it may have been the confusion of the term psychopathy with psychotic - two similar sounding terms that represent very different disorders. Thus, in the initial edition of the DSM, the disorder formally known as psychopathy became Sociopathic Personality Disorder, Antisocial Reaction (American Psychiatric Association, 1952; Jenkins, 1960). . . . In addition to the Antisocial Reaction, the Committee on Nomenclature and Statistics of the American Psychiatric Association included criteria for a similar disorder called "Dyssocial Reaction." . . . The distinction between Dyssocial Reaction and Antisocial Reaction is remarkably similar to the distinction some modern day researchers have made between sociopathy and psychopathy (e.g., Lykken, 1995, 1998, see above for description); the etiology of Antisocial Reaction was genetic whereas the etiology of the Dyssocial Reaction was environmental.
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.
Culhane, S. E., Hilstad, S. M., Freng, A., & Gray, M. J. (2011). Self-Reported Psychopathology in a Convicted Serial Killer. , 8 (December 2010), 1-21. doi: 10.1002/jip. The following paper presents a case study of a convicted serial murderer. Through data from personal correspondence, police reports, a true crime novel, witness statements, medical examiner reports, court appeals, and crime scene reports from the actual murder cases, and most important, a series of psychological self-report measures, a case study was developed. Included in the psychological measures were tests of general psychopathology, specific tests of psychopathy, anger and aggression scales, and sociological measures related to family, individual, situational, and community risk factors, as well as previous criminal behaviour, including weapon and drug use. The results of these various measures are incorporated into the life history and criminal activity of the individual. The purpose of this research was to develop a more complete psychological report of a serial killer than any other previously reported.
Cooke, D. J., & Michie, C. (2001). Refining the construct of psychopathy: Towards a hierarchical model. (2), 171-188. doi:10.1037/1040-3522.214.171.124 Psychopathy is characterized by diverse indicators. Clinical accounts have emphasized 3 distinct facets: interpersonal, affective, and behavioral. Research using the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), however, has emphasized a 2-factor model. A review of the literature on the PCL-R and related measures of psychopathy, together with confirmatory factor analysis of PCL-R data from North American participants, indicates that the 2-factor model cannot be sustained. A 3-factor hierarchical model was developed in which a coherent superordinate factor, Psychopathy, is underpinned by 3 factors: Arrogant and Deceitful Interpersonal Style, Deficient Affective Experience, and Impulsive and Irresponsible Behavioral Style. The model was cross-validated on North American and Scottish PCL-R data, Psychopathy Screening Version data, and data derived from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; American Psychiatric Association, 1994) antisocial personality disorder field trial. . . . We are advocating the future revision of the full PCL-R to assist research into the nature of the disorder; however, we strongly emphasize the necessity of continuing to use the full PCL-R for risk assessment and other applied purposes. [The authors criticise the two factors analysis of PCL-R. They argue that a more appropriate account should include three factors. The interpersonal/affective factor is separated in an interpersonal and an abnormal affect component. Factor I: Arrogant and deceitful interpersonal items: 1. Glibness/superficial charm 2. Grandiose sense of self-worth 4. Pathological lying 5. Conning/manipulative. Factor II: Deficient affective experience: 6. Lack of remorse or guilt 7. Shallow affect 8. Callous/lack of empathy 16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions. Factor III: 3. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 9. Parasitic lifestyle 13. Lack of realistic, long-term goals 14. Impulsivity 15. Irresponsibility. Remaining items that do not fall under any factor: 10. Poor behavioural controls 11. Promiscuous sexual behaviour 12. Early behavioural problems 17. Many short-term marital relationship 18. Juvenile delinquency 19. Revocation of conditional release 20. Criminal versatility. For a three factor analysis of psychopathy in childhood and adolescence, see Frick and Hare 2001b.]
Carveth, D. L. (2007, April 28th). Degrees of psychopathy vs. "The Psychopath" comments on J. Reid Meloy's "A Psychoanalytic View of the Psychopath." Paper presented at the 18th Annual Day in Psychoanalysis, Toronto, ON. Criminal gangs are wary of severe psychopaths for their extreme narcissism makes them unreliable and untrustworthy gang members. In his recent review of the concept of "antisocial personality disorder," Meloy (2007a) writes that "A substantial body of research has shown that, at most, only one out of three patients with antisocial personality disorder has severe psychopathy. . . . Meloy (2007b) summarizes his view of the psychopath by underlining three factors: no attachment, underarousal and minimal anxiety. . . . I would argue that there can be no significant wrongdoing without at least some degree, however mild, of narcissism and psychopathy, for without these our attachment to, our identification with, and our empathy and concern for others—i.e., our conscience—would restrain us. . . . two concerns: that establishing a concrete conception of a group the psychopath invites projection and scapegoating and two, the denial of a psychopathic dimension is a problem because people should be forced to confront the degree of psychopathy and each of us rather than projecting it onto a group
Cale, E. M., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2002b). Sex differences in psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder: A review and integration. (8), 1179-1207. Although the correlates and causes of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) have been the subject of extensive investigation, researchers in this area have until recently focused almost exclusively on males. As a consequence, relatively little is known about psychopathy and ASPD in females. In this paper, we review the empirical literature in sex differences in the base rates, mean symptom levels, correlates, and factor structure of psychopathy and ASPD. In addition, we discuss the potential sex-differentiated phenotypic expressions of psychopathy and ASPD (e.g., somatization disorder [SD]) as well as sex differences in the developmental trajectories of these conditions. There is suggestive evidence that these conditions may be differentially expressed across biological sex, although further investigation of this issue is warranted. We conclude with recommendations for future research in this area, including suggestions for embedding the study of sex differences in psychopathy and ASPD within a construct validational framework. . . . The most consistent finding across studies is that psychopathy and ASPD are more prevalent in males than in females. However, the magnitudes of these sex differences are uncertain