About this topic
Summary

Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by antisocial behaviour, lack of remorse and empathy, and a constellation of symptoms that are suggestive of decision-making impairments. This condition raises several philosophical issues. Besides scientists, philosophers, working within philosophy of psychiatry, investigate the scientific validity and mental illness status of psychopathy. In moral psychology, it is debated whether psychopaths offer a counter-example to motivational internalism and if their case can be used to support sentimentalism about moral judgment and motivation as opposed to rationalism. There are philosophical debates concerning the moral responsibility and the legal responsibility of psychopathic offenders. In applied ethics, there is a discussion on the possibility and legitimacy of forms of biological moral enhancement of psychopaths.

Key works

A fundamental text for the contemporary conceptualisation of psychopathy is Hare 2003. Scepticism about the category of psychopathy is advanced in Mullen 2007. An empirically informed philosophical discussion of the mental illness status of psychopathy is in Nadelhoffer & Sinnott-Armstrong 2013. Levy 2014 offers a recent and influential argument for the conclusion that psychopaths are not morally responsible, Greenspan 2003 argues for the opposite conclusion. For the conclusion that psychopaths are not legally responsible, see Morse 2008, see Maibom 2008 for the opposite conclusion. Within metaethics, Nichols 2002 argues that the psychopathic disorder offers evidence for a sentimentalist interpretation of moral judgment. Maibom 2005, instead, maintain that psychopaths suffer from morally relevant rational deficits. For a discussion of motivational internalism in relation to psychopathy, see Sinnott-Armstrong 2014. Two opposing views on the possibility of biological moral enhancement of psychopaths are offered in Maibom 2014 and Glannon 2014.

Introductions

Blair et al 2005 and Patrick 2006 are introductory texts on the scientific research on psychopathy. For an overview of meta-ethical debate, see Maibom 2013. The legal and moral responsibility of psychopaths are dealt with, respectively, in the collection Malatesti & McMillan 2010 and in the companion Kiehl & Sinnott-Armstrong 2013.

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  1. The Subject of Psychopathology: Of What Plural Is It Made?Jurandir Freire Costa, Benilton Bezerra & Jairo de Almeida Gama - 2019 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 26 (2):89-97.
  2. A Defense for the Acquitted?Rafaela Texeira Zorzanelli - 2019 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 26 (2):165-167.
    Serpa, Leal, and Muñoz’s article proposes that learning through narrative is fundamental in the field of mental health, including clinical practice, caregiving, and research. The reason is that mental health patients’ experiences are marked by pain, suffering, and stigma, and are of themselves a call for stories, a call to be heard and socially legitimized. The narratives, whose relevance should be situated in the broader movement of the narrative turn, therefore have a key role in overcoming epistemic injustice—a concept put (...)
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  3. Pharmacological Treatment of Schizophrenia in Light of Phenomenology.Melissa Garcia Tamelini & Guilherme Peres Messas - 2019 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 26 (2):133-142.
    The construction of the phenomenological project of psychopathology began in the 1920s. Husserl’s philosophical elaborations, which started to be drawn a few decades earlier, had a broad repercussion on the historical and cultural context of the time and was eventually incorporated into several disciplines, including psychopathology. Particularly in this field, phenomenology had a significant impact, because its epistemological foundations was a close match to the rigorous purposes of a scientific investigation of mental disorders.The phenomenological contribution has established an irrevocable and (...)
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  4. When the Body Stands in the Way: Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Depersonalization, and Schizophrenia.Yochai Ataria - 2019 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 26 (1):19-31.
    Although not identical, this article suggests that complex posttraumatic stress disorder, depersonalization and schizophrenia share at least one feature: in all these cases, the body becomes a defective tool, an IT. In turn, those suffering from them can no longer be-in-the-world through the living body but rather experience their body as an object; they manage their lives on the level of body image.The next section outlines some cognitive and phenomenological concepts such as body schema, body image, body-as-subject and body-as-object. Thereafter, (...)
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  5. Why Does the Diagnosis of Schizophrenia Persist?Huw Green - 2018 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 25 (3):197-207.
    The diagnosis of schizophrenia causes no end of contention. Controversial for almost as long as it has been classified, schizophrenia has been called "the sacred symbol of psychiatry", "the sublime object of psychiatry", and simply a "scientific delusion". Calls have been made to "reconstruct" schizophrenia, "reconceive" schizophrenia, and simply dispense with the term altogether.Meanwhile, high-profile psychiatrists promote the view that schizophrenia is a brain disease, although neither of these...
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  6. Don’T Blame the Model: Reconsidering the Network Approach to Psychopathology.Laura F. Bringmann & Markus I. Eronen - 2018 - Psychological Review 125 (4):606-615.
    The network approach to psychopathology is becoming increasingly popular. The motivation for this approach is to provide a replacement for the problematic common cause perspective and the associated latent variable model, where symptoms are taken to be mere effects of a common cause (the disorder itself). The idea is that the latent variable model is plausible for medical diseases, but unrealistic for mental disorders, which should rather be conceptualized as networks of directly interacting symptoms. We argue that this rationale for (...)
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  7. Le concept de psychopathie est-il cohérent ? Bases cérébrales et responsabilité morale.Andreas Wilmes - 2014 - Psychiatrie, Sciences Humaines, Neurosciences 12 (1):31-49.
    Although many psychiatrists regard psychopathy as a coherent scientific construction, some clinicians and philosophers regard it as irrelevant. According to the latter, psychopathy is nothing more than a means of social control. The present study focuses on the issues of the neurological bases and moral responsibility related to psychopathy. While neuroscience aims to identify dysfunctions in psychopaths, action theory and ethics tend to vindicate the hypothesis of the moral irresponsibility of the psychopath. However, rather than reinforcing the concept of psychopathy, (...)
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  8. Call Me Irresponsible Is Psychopaths' Responsibility a Matter of Preference?Jalava Jarkko & Griffiths Stephanie - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):21-24.
    The philosophical debate over psychopaths’ moral and criminal responsibility is increasingly evidence based. However, as we noted, such arguments are misleading if philosophers only consider evidence that supports their own positions. In his response, Glannon counters our argument by introducing new evidence—neuroimaging data—and so demonstrates the exact problem we outlined; Strijbos, in contrast, offers a workable solution.Glannon’s response is a succinct summation of the strengths and weaknesses that philosophers bring to the debate. Although Glannon accurately portrays the potential role of (...)
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  9. What Is the Philosopher's Role in Interdisciplinary Research?Derek Strijbos - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):17-19.
    Do psychopaths suffer from impairments that undermine their capacity for moral reasoning and behavior? And, if so, does that mean they are not morally responsible for their actions? The first, empirical question might seem to be rather straightforward, whereas the second, philosophical question might seem more complex and therefore more difficult to answer. In their rich and thought-provoking paper, Jalava and Griffiths target the first question. They forcefully remind us of the fact that answering empirical questions can be just as (...)
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  10. Distortions of Mind Perception in Psychopathology.Kurt Gray, Adrianna C. Jenkins, Andrea S. Heberlein & Daniel M. Wegner - 2011 - Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108 (2):477-479.
    It has long been known that psychopathology can influence social perception, but a 2D framework of mind perception provides the opportunity for an integrative understanding of some disorders. We examined the covariation of mind perception with three subclinical syndromes—autism-spectrum disorder, schizotypy, and psychopathy—and found that each presents a unique mind-perception profile. Autism-spectrum disorder involves reduced perception of agency in adult humans. Schizotypy involves increased perception of both agency and experience in entities generally thought to lack minds. Psychopathy involves reduced perception (...)
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  11. Moral Evaluations and the Cluster B Personality Disorders.Nancy Nyquist Potter - 2013 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 20 (3):217-219.
  12. The Significance of Psychotic Experience.H. Osmond - 1958 - Hibbert Journal 57:236.
  13. Response to the Commentaries.Piers Benn - 1999 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 6 (1):57-58.
  14. No One is Psychotic in My Presence.S. Nassir Ghaemi - 2008 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 15 (4):315-319.
  15. Neuromorality.Dharol Tankersley - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (4):367-369.
  16. What is a Feeling of Unfamiliarity?Matthew Ratcliffe - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 14 (1):43-49.
  17. Responsibility Without Blame: Empathy and the Effective Treatment of Personality Disorder.Hanna Pickard - 2011 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 18 (3):209-224.
  18. Some Problems Related to Corrections of Error in the Scholarly Literature.Gordon F. Moran - 2009 - Journal of Information Ethics 18 (1):21-24.
  19. The Truth Will Set You Free, or How a Troubled Philosophical Theory May Help to Understand How People Talk About Their Addiction.Patricia A. Ross - 2007 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 13 (3):227-231.
  20. Psychosis Good and Bad: Values-Based Practice and the Distinction Between Pathological and Nonpathological Forms of Psychotic Experience.Mike Jackson & K. W. M. Fulford - 2002 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 9 (4):387-394.
  21. Philosophy of Psychiatry.Dominic Murphy - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  22. Dominic Murphy Psychiatry in the Scientific Image.Robin Brown - 2009 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (3):673-678.
  23. Psychosis and Autism as Diametrical Disorders of the Social Brain.Bernard Crespi & Christopher Badcock - 2008 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (3):241-261.
    Autistic-spectrum conditions and psychotic-spectrum conditions (mainly schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression) represent two major suites of disorders of human cognition, affect, and behavior that involve altered development and function of the social brain. We describe evidence that a large set of phenotypic traits exhibit diametrically opposite phenotypes in autistic-spectrum versus psychotic-spectrum conditions, with a focus on schizophrenia. This suite of traits is inter-correlated, in that autism involves a general pattern of constrained overgrowth, whereas schizophrenia involves undergrowth. These disorders also (...)
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The Validity of Psychopathy
  1. Psychopathy Treatment and the Stigma of Yesterday's Research.Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen - 2020 - In Sandra L. Borden & J. D. Allhoff (eds.), Ethics and Error in Medicine. New York: Routledge.
  2. Can Psychopathic Traits Be Adaptive? Sex Differences in Relations Between Psychopathy and Emotional Distress.Janko Međedović & Katarina Sokić - 2018 - Psychological Topics 27 (3):481-497.
    One of the most prominent models of psychopathy operationalizes this construct as consisting of four factors: interpersonal, affective, lifestyle and antisocial traits. These traits show different relationship patterns with other constructs, and these relations may differ in men and women. The aim of this study was to investigate whether the relations between psychopathic traits and indicators of emotional distress (depression, anxiety and stress), differ between men and women. Data was collected on 650 students (60% women) at the University of Zagreb. (...)
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  3. Complex Relations Between Psychopathy and Fitness May Indicate Adaptive Trade-Offs.Janko Međedović - forthcoming - Evolutionary Psychological Science.
    In order to assess the potential of psychopathy to increase evolutionary fitness, we examined the relations between psychopathy and fitness indicators (number of children and grandchildren, problems in physical health both in parents and offspring) in a sample of post-reproductive individuals (N = 187; Mage = 66.52). Specifically, we explored the possibility that psychopathy traits are involved in evolutionary trade-offs: both positive and negative relations with different fitness components. Psychopathy was measured via three traits—interpersonal, affective, and lifestyle characteristics, which are (...)
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  4. Exploring the Links Between Psychopathy and Life History in a Sample of College Females: A Behavioral Ecological Approach.Janko Međedović - 2018 - Evolutionary Psychological Science 4 (466).
    In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that psychopathy emerges as an adaptive behavioral response to a harsh environment: psychopathy could represent a mediator in the link between a harsh environment and fast life history pathway. We measured environmental harshness, psychopathy (boldness, meanness, and disinhibition), and a wide range of life history parameters (expected longevity, covitality, age at first menstruation, age at first sex, mating success, planned age at first reproduction, and expected total fertility) in a sample of young (...)
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  5. Psychopathy, Identification and Mental Time Travel.Luca Malatesti & Filip Čeč - 2018 - Free Will and Action.
    Recently some have argued that psychopaths might suffer generalised cognitive impairments that affect their capacity for mental time travel. In relation to the past, mental time travel is the capacity to have memories of past episodes in which the agent was personally involved. In relation to the future, mental time travel involves prospection, the capacity to imagine future situations where the agent might be involved. The authors argue that certain studies on the instrumental learning of psychopaths show that, in relation (...)
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  6. What Can Philosophers Learn From Psychopathy?Heidi L. Maibom - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):63-78.
    Many spectacular claims about psychopaths are circulated. This contribution aims at providing the reader with the more complex reality of the phenomenon (or phenomena), and to point to issues of particular interest to philosophers working in moral psychology and moral theory. I first discuss the current evidence regarding psychopaths’ deficient empathy and decision-making skills. I then explore what difference it makes to our thinking whether we regard their deficit dimensionally (as involving abilities that are on or off) and whether we (...)
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  7. Delineating Psychopathy From Cognitive Empathy: The Case of Psychopathic Personality Traits Scale.Janko Međedović, Tara Bulut, Drago Savić & Nikola Đuričić - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):53-62.
    There is an ongoing debate regarding the content of psychopathy, especially about the status of antisocial behavior and disinhibition characteristics as core psychopathy features. Psychopathic Personality Traits Scale (PPTS) represents a novel model of psychopathy based on core psychopathy markers such as Interpersonal manipulation, Egocentricity and Affective responsiveness. However, this model presupposes another narrow trait of psychopathy: cognitive responsiveness, which represents a lack of cognitive empathy. Since previous models of psychopathy do not depict this feature as a core psychopathy trait, (...)
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  8. False-Positives in Psychopathy Assessment: Proposing Theory-Driven Exclusion Criteria in Research Sampling.Rasmus Rosenberg Larsen - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):33-52.
    Recent debates in psychopathy studies have articulated concerns about false-positives in assessment and research sampling. These are pressing concerns for research progress, since scientific quality depends on sample quality, that is, if we wish to study psychopathy we must be certain that the individuals we study are, in fact, psychopaths. Thus, if conventional assessment tools yield substantial false-positives, this would explain why central research is laden with discrepancies and nonreplicable findings. This paper draws on moral psychology in order to develop (...)
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  9. Psychopathic Personality Disorder: Capturing an Elusive Concept.David J. Cooke - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):15-32.
    The diagnosis of psychopathic personality disorder has salience for forensic clinical practice. It influences decisions regarding risk, treatability and sentencing, indeed, in certain jurisdictions it serves as an aggravating factor that increases the likelihood of a capital sentence. The concatenation of symptom that is associated with modern conceptions of the disorder can be discerned in early writings, including the book of Psalms. Despite its forensic clinical importance and historical pedigree the concept remains elusive and controverted. In this paper I describe (...)
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  10. Psychopathy: Philosophical and Empirical Challenges.Marko Jurjako, Luca Malatesti & John McMillan - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):5-14.
    Editorial introduction to the special issue of the European Journal of Analytic Philosophy.
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  11. Electrophysiological Correlates of Empathic Processing in Individuals with Psychopathic Meanness Traits.J. D. M. Van Dongen, Inti A. Brazil, F. M. van der Veen & I. H. A. Franken - forthcoming - Neuropsychology.
  12. Psychopathy Could Use a Little Skepticism.John A. Fennel - 2013 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 4 (2):14-15.
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  13. Some Ethical Considerations About the Use of Biomarkers for the Classification of Adult Antisocial Individuals.Marko Jurjako, Luca Malatesti & Inti Brazil - 2019 - International Journal of Forensic Mental Health 18 (3):228-242.
    It has been argued that a biomarker-informed classification system for antisocial individuals has the potential to overcome many obstacles in current conceptualizations of forensic and psychiatric constructs and promises better targeted treatments. However, some have expressed ethical worries about the social impact of the use of biological information for classification. Many have discussed the ethical and legal issues related to possibilities of using biomarkers for predicting antisocial behaviour. We argue that prediction should not raise the most pressing ethical worries. Instead, (...)
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  14. Classification and Treatment of Antisocial Individuals: From Behavior to Biocognition.Inti A. Brazil, J. D. M. van Dongen, J. H. R. Maes, R. B. Mars & Arielle R. Baskin-Sommers - 2018 - Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews 91:259-277.
    Antisocial behavior is a heterogeneous construct that can be divided into subtypes, such as antisocial personality and psychopathy. The adverse consequences of antisocial behavior produce great burden for the perpetrators, victims, family members, and for society at-large. The pervasiveness of antisocial behavior highlights the importance of precisely characterizing subtypes of antisocial individuals and identifying specific factors that are etiologically related to such behaviors to inform the development of targeted treatments. The goals of the current review are to briefly summarize research (...)
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  15. Il modello medico forte e i disturbi antisociali della personalità (Eng. The strong medical model and antisocial personality disorders)).Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Luca Malatesti - 2018 - Sistemi Intelligenti 30 (1):175-188.
    Dominic Murphy in several influential publications has formulated and defended what he calls the strong medical model of mental illness. At the core of this project is the objectivist requirement of classifying mental illness in terms of their aetiologies, preferably characterised by multilevel mechanistic explanations of dysfunctions in neurocomputational processes. We are sympathetic to this project and we devise an argument to support it based on a conception of psychiatric kinds. Murphy has, moreover, maintained that there are some open issues (...)
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  16. The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Šustar - 2017 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 31 (2):189-211.
    Psychopathy attracts considerable interdisciplinary interest. The idea of a group of people with abnormal morality and interpersonal relations raises important philosophical, legal, and clinical issues. However, before engaging these issues, we ought to examine whether this category is scientifically grounded. We frame the issue in terms of the question whether ‘psychopathy’ designates a natural kind according to the cluster approaches. We argue that currently there is no sufficient evidence for an affirmative answer to this question. Furthermore, we examine three ways (...)
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  17. Deux mesures de psychopathie chez les patients médicolégaux.Denis Delannoy, Xavier Saloppé, Luca A. Tiberi, Christelle Delescluse & Thierry H. Pham - 2017 - Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique 175 (3):297-299.
    In the forensic field, psychopathy is a disorder that raises many questions. Indeed, the diagnostic evaluation by the PCL-R offers no opportunity to assess the variability of the disorder on the entire life. However, the dimensional scales used to assess this fluctuation, at least in the medium term. This study helps to validate the CAPP-IRS using the PCL-R with forensic patients.
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  18. La psychopathie et son évaluation.Denis Delannoy, Xavier Saloppé, Vicenzutto Audrey, Vanessa Majois, Claire Ducro & T. H. Pham - forthcoming - EMC - Psychiatrie.
    L’évaluation de la psychopathie reste incontournable tant dans le domaine de l’expertise, de l’orientation, du traitement, que de l’évaluation et la gestion du risque. Le profil psychopathique et le niveau de risque de récidive associé constituent des indicateurs pertinents pour les professionnels de terrain. Cet article se propose de compléter le premier datant de 2011 en apportant des connaissances supplémentaires relatives aux modèles d’évaluation de la psychopathie ainsi qu’un éclairage optimiste sur l’efficacité des traitements auprès d’adultes délinquants. Il décrit, d’une (...)
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  19. Responsibility and Psychopathy: Interfacing Law, Psychiatry and Philosophy.Luca Malatesti & John McMillan (eds.) - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    The discussion of whether psychopaths are morally responsible for their behaviour has long taken place in philosophy. In recent years this has moved into scientific and psychiatric investigation. Responsibility and Psychopathy discusses this subject from both the philosophical and scientific disciplines, as well as a legal perspective.
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  20. Soortgelijke stoornissen. Over nut en validiteit van classificatie in de psychiatrie.Olivier Lemeire - 2014 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 76 (2):217-246.
    The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was published in 2013. This manual classifies all known mental disorders and provides operationalized criteria for their diagnosis. The goal of this manual is to facilitate communication, treatment and research with reliable and valid diagnoses. This article will provide a study of what this diagnostic validity actually entails. Firstly, it will include a discussion of the different conceptions of validity that have appeared in the literature so far. To (...)
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  21. A Comprehensive Neuroimaging Review of PCL-R Defined Psychopathy.Stephanie Y. Griffiths & Jarkko V. Jalava - 2017 - Aggression and Violent Behavior:DOI: 10.1016/j.avb.2017.07.002.
    Neurobiological theories of psychopathy typically include abnormalities in paralimbic circuits, and a neurobiological profile of paralimbic dysfunction in increasingly invoked in applied legal settings. The current study systematically evaluated whether sMRI and fMRI findings in PCL-R defined psychopaths suggest paralimbic dysfunction. Our review indicates diffuse and variable neural correlates of psychopathy, with numerous issues complicating the interpretation of these heterogeneous data. Our review also extends previous discussions concerning how this heterogeneity may be related to sample characteristics, methodological variations, and statistical (...)
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  22. The Neural Signatures of Distinct Psychopathic Traits.Justin M. Carré, Luke W. Hyde, Craig S. Neumann, Essi Viding & Ahmad R. Hariri - 2013 - Social Neuroscience 8 (2):122-135.
    Recent studies suggest that psychopathy may be associated with dysfunction in the neural circuitry supporting both threat- and reward-related processes. However, these studies have involved small samples and often focused on extreme groups. Thus, it is unclear to what extent current findings may generalize to psychopathic traits in the general population. Furthermore, no studies have systematically and simultaneously assessed associations between distinct psychopathy facets and both threat- and reward-related brain function in the same sample of participants. Here, we examined the (...)
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  23. Philosophers On Psychopaths: A Cautionary Tale in Interdisciplinarity.Jarkko Jalava & Stephanie Griffiths - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):1-12.
    Philosophers typically rely on empirical data when they comment on psychopaths’ moral responsibility. Many argue that psychopaths, as per the data, suffer from significant impairments in the precursors of moral reasoning and behavior, and therefore they should not be held morally responsible for their actions. However, careful analysis of these studies shows that this view is mistaken. We discuss how several philosophers— perhaps following the lead of social scientists—have systematically misinterpreted or simplified psychological data to support their conclusions about psychopaths’ (...)
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  24. Smith and Lilienfeld’s Meta-Analysis of the Response Modulation Hypothesis: Important Theoretical and Quantitative Clarifications.Joseph P. Newman & Arielle R. Baskin-Sommers - 2016 - Psychological Bulletin 142 (12):1384-1393.
    In the first meta-analytic review of the response modulation hypothesis (RMH), an attention-based model for understanding the etiology of psychopathy, Smith and Lilienfeld (2015) report that the average effect size for response modulation deficits in psychopathic individuals fell in the small to medium range (r = .20; p. < .001, d = .41). Moreover, support for the RMH extended to both psychopathy dimensions, across diverse assessments and settings, and spanned child, adult, female, and male samples. The analysis also revealed good (...)
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  25. The Linguistic Output of Psychopathic Offenders During a PCL-R Interview.Marina T. Le, Michael Woodworth, Lisa Gillman, Erin Hutton & Robert D. Hare - 2016 - Criminal Justice and Behavior:1-15.
    We used text analysis software to examine the linguistic features of the speech of 21 psychopathic and 45 other offenders during the interview part of a Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL-R) assessment. Regression analysis was run on the linguistic categories to determine which were the best predictors of psychopathy scores. Relative to the other offenders, psychopaths used more disfluencies (“you know”) and personal pronouns, made fewer references to other people (e.g., personal names, family), and were also less emotionally expressive. In particular, a (...)
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  26. Clinical Ethics: NICE Guidelines, Clinical Practice and Antisocial Personality Disorder: The Ethical Implications of Ontological Uncertainty.M. D. Pickersgill - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (11):668-671.
    The British National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has recently released new guidelines for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the psychiatric category antisocial personality disorder. Evident in these recommendations is a broader ambiguity regarding the ontology of ASPD. Although, perhaps, a mundane feature of much of medicine, in this case, ontological uncertainty has significant ethical implications as a product of the profound consequences for an individual categorised with this disorder. This paper argues that in refraining from emphasising uncertainty, (...)
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  27. A Grave Problem of Conscience: Kantian Morality in the Face of Psychopathy.Norman K. Swazo - 2014 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 28 (1):89-106.
    Clinical psychologists remain puzzled about the diagnostic basis and therapeutic disposition of individuals who present with a clinical profile of psychopathy. Psychopaths have been characterized as lacking in conscience and presenting a mask of sanity, thus differentiating them from psychotics and neurotics. The clinical profile of the psychopathic personality seems at odds with Kant’s moral philosophy, in which Kant characterizes not only the central role of conscience in moral judgment, but in which Kant also insists that every person has a (...)
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