Psychopathy and Crime

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 526
  • Published : November 15, 2006
Open Document
Text Preview
Psychopathy is a disease of the mind, in which the psychological state of someone has emotional or behavioral problems serious enough to require psychiatric evaluation. Psychopaths have no concern for the feelings of others and a complete disregard of any sense of social obligation. Psychopaths are characterized by lack of empathy, poor impulse control and manipulative behaviors. They use charm, manipulation, intimidation, and the use of severe to mild violence to satisfy their own needs. Psychopathy is derived from two Greek words: psych, meaning soul, and pathos, meaning suffering. They were once used to explain any form of mental illness. Psychopathy was recognized in the early 1800's at which time Pinel explained the condition as insanity without delirium. In the 1940's, Hervey Cleckley produced a checklist which consisted of 16 distinguishable characteristics of a psychopath: superficial charm and average intelligence, absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking, absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations, unreliability, untruthfulness and insincerity, lack of remorse or shame, antisocial behavior without apparent compunction, poor judgement and failure to learn from experience, pathological egocentricity and incapacity to 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, and failure to follow any life plan. Psychopathy is not usually diagnosed when you are a child or adolescent. There are though precursors that show symptoms of psychopathy in children and are usually diagnosed as conduct disorder. Most of these children seem to be immune to punishment and there is nothing that can be done to modify this behavior, so the majority of parents give up on their own children. Common precursors...
tracking img