Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality Disorder

3408 words 14 pages
Introduction The purpose of this study is to compare and contrast the constructs of psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder. The aim is to highlight whether the terms psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder reflect the same construct or whether they differ. Furthermore, recommendations for treatment of criminal behavior will be explored. For the purposes of this evaluation some definitions need to be highlighted: Criminal offence is an act that breaks a law, which relates how to behave in society. The harm caused by the act is seen to be against society as a whole, not just a specific person. Sometimes it refers to the specific law that was broken (Herring, 2009). Crime is the breach of rules or law for which some authority …show more content…

In accordance, Masters & Robertson (1990) argued that diagnosed conduct disorders in childhood and antisocial personality in adulthood significantly overlap with criminality, however, not to the extent that these human tendencies should be equated.


Psychopathy Eysenck & Eysenck (1964), combined biological and individual factors in an attempt to describe crime and introduced a personality variable namely psychoticism, which was marked by aggression, coldness and with an impersonal behavior associated with criminal behavior. Blair et al (1995) conducted a study on emotions and found that while psychopathic subjects are not necessarily criminal, they do have the nature and emotional character that greatly increases their chances of repeatedly becoming involved in crime. In addition, Hare et al (1988) characterized psychopathy in terms of two major clusters of behavioral tendencies. The first cluster includes tendencies toward manipulative, callous, and nonempathetic behavior toward others, and the second, includes tendencies to be impulsive and irresponsible in daily activities. It is important to notice that individuals that are diagnosed as psychopathics, exhibit such characteristics to extreme degrees (Wilson and Hernstein, 1985). Psychopathy is most commonly assessed with the Psychopathy checklist revised (PCL-R) defined by psychologist Robert D. Hare (Hare, 1991).


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