About this topic

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.


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.

Related categories

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  1. On the Nature of Psychopathy.Daniel Moseley & Gary Gala - manuscript
    The primary goal of this essay is to clarify the concept of psychopathy and distinguish it from other, related, concepts. We contend that the paradigmatic trait of psychopathy is a propensity to violence that is accompanied by a lack of conscience. We also argue that conceptual clarity on this point is important for devising empirical criteria for identifying psychopaths. We also argue that a full theory of psychopathy will require one to utilize theories and assumptions that pertain to central issues (...)
  2. Beyond Physical Harm: How Preference for Consequentialism and Primary Psychopathy Relate to Decisions on a Monetary Trolley Dilemma.Dries H. Bostyn, Sybren Sevenhant & Arne Roets - forthcoming - Thinking and Reasoning:1-15.
  3. 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 (...)
  4. Examining the Factor Structure of the Self-Report of Psychopathy Short-Form Across Four Young Adult Samples.Hailey L. Dotterer, Rebecca Waller, Craig S. Neumann, Daniel S. Shaw, Erika E. Forbes, Ahmad R. Hariri & Luke W. Hyde - forthcoming - Assessment:1-18.
    Psychopathy refers to a range of complex behaviors and personality traits, including callousness and antisocial behavior, typically studied in criminal populations. Recent studies have used self-reports to examine psychopathic traits among noncriminal samples. The goal of the current study was to examine the underlying factor structure of the Self-Report of Psychopathy Scale–Short Form (SRP-SF) across complementary samples and examine the impact of gender on factor structure. We examined the structure of the SRP-SF among 2,554 young adults from three undergraduate samples (...)
  5. A New Understanding of Psychopathy: The Contribution of Phenomenological Psychopathology.Jérôme Englebert - forthcoming - Psychopathology.
    The objective of this study is to present a theoretical paper about a clinical issue. Our aim is to propose some clinical and semiological considerations for a psychopathological conception of psychopathy. We will discuss several major theoretical works dedicated to this nosographic entity. We will also examine a significant issue raised by Cooke et al., namely whether psychopathic functioning is consistently related to antisocial behavior. This theoretical essay is informed by clinical situations. The method applied a phenomenological psychopathology analysis to (...)
  6. Parsing Fear: A Reassessment of the Evidence for Fear Deficits in Psychopathy.S. S. Hoppenbrouwers, B. H. Bulten & Inti A. Brazil - forthcoming - Psychological Bulletin.
    Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by interpersonal manipulation and callousness, and reckless and impulsive antisocial behavior. It is often seen as a disorder in which profound emotional disturbances lead to antisocial behavior. A lack of fear in particular has been proposed as an etiologically salient factor. In this review, we employ a conceptual model in which fear is parsed into separate subcomponents. Important historical conceptualizations of psychopathy, the neuroscientific and empirical evidence for fear deficits in psychopathy are compared against (...)
  7. 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 (...)
  8. Interpersonal and Affective Psychopathy Traits Can Enhance Human Fitness.Janko Međedović, Boban Petrović, Jelena Želeskov-Đoric & Maja Savić - forthcoming - Evolutionary Psychological Science.
    Recently, attempts have been made to determine the evolutionary status of psychopathy. However, there is still a gap in empirical literature regarding the connection between psychopathy and fitness. In the present study, we explored the relations between the four-factor model of psychopathy and reproductive success as a fitness indicator in a sample of male convicts (N = 181). Direct relations were analyzed, together with the interaction effects between psychopathy and family risk factors (presence of criminality, substance abuse, and maltreatment in (...)
  9. Modulatory Effects of Psychopathy on Wisconsin Card Sorting Test Performance in Male Offenders with Antisocial Personality Disorder.Vanessa Pera-Guardiola, Iolanda Batalla, Javier Bosque, David Kosson, Josep Pifarré, Rosa Hernández-Ribas, Ximena Goldberg, Oren Contreras-Rodríguez, José M. Menchón, Carles Soriano-Mas & Narcís Cardoner - forthcoming - Psychiatric Research.
    Neuropsychological deficits in executive functions(EF)have been linked to antisocial behavior and considered to be cardinal to the onset and persistence of severe antisocial and aggressive behavior. However, when psychopathy is present, prior evidence suggests that the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is unaffected leading to intact EF. Ninety-one male offenders with Antisocial Personality Disorder(ASPD) and 24 controls completed the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test(WCST). ASPD individuals were grouped in three categories according to Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R)scores(low, medium and high). We hypothesized that ASPD offenders (...)
  10. Psychopathy, Autism, and Basic Moral Emotions: Evidence for Sentimentalist Constructivism.Erick Ramirez - forthcoming - In Serife Tekin & Robyn Bluhm (eds.), The Bloomsbury Companion to Philosophy of Psychiatry. Bloomsbury.
    Philosophers and psychologists often claim that moral agency is connected with the ability to feel, understand, and deploy moral emotions. In this chapter, I investigate the nature of these emotions and their connection with moral agency. First, I examine the degree to which these emotional capacities are innate and/or ‘basic’ in a philosophically important sense. I examine three senses in which an emotion might be basic: developmental, compositional, and phylogenetic. After considering the evidence for basic emotion, I conclude that emotions (...)
  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, Agency, and Practical Reason.Monique Wonderly - forthcoming - In Ruth Chang & Kurt Sylvan (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Practical Reason. New York, USA: Routledge.
    Philosophers have urged that considerations about the psychopath’s capacity for practical rationality can help to advance metaethical debates. These debates include the role of rational faculties in moral judgment and action, the relationship between moral judgment and moral motivation, and the capacities required for morally responsible agency. I discuss how the psychopath’s capacity for practical reason features in these debates, and I identify several takeaway lessons from the relevant literature. Specifically, I show how the insights contained therein can illuminate the (...)
  13. Is Psychopathy a Harmful Dysfunction?Marko Jurjako - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (1).
    In their paper “Is psychopathy a mental disease?”, Thomas Nadelhoffer and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong argue that according to any plausible account of mental disorder, neural and psychological abnormalities correlated with psychopathy should be regarded as signs of a mental disorder. I oppose this conclusion by arguing that at least on a naturalistically grounded account, such as Wakefield’s ‘Harmful Dysfunction’ view, currently available empirical data and evolutionary considerations indicate that psychopathy is not a mental disorder. For an online version of the paper, (...)
  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 (...)
  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 (...)
  16. 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 (...)
  17. Psychopathy and Pride: Testing Lykken’s Hypothesis Regarding the Implications of Fearlessness for Prosocial and Antisocial Behavior.Thomas H. Costello, Ansley Unterberger, Ashley L. Watts & Scott O. Lilienfeld - 2018 - Frontiers in Psychology 9.
  18. Are Psychopaths Legally Insane?Anneli Jefferson & Katrina Sifferd - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):79-96.
    The question of whether psychopaths are criminally and morally responsible has generated significant controversy in the literature. In this paper, we discuss what relevance a psychopathy diagnosis has for criminal responsibility. It has been argued that figuring out whether psychopathy is a mental illness is of fundamental importance, because it is a precondition for psychopaths’ eligibility to be excused via the legal insanity defense. But even if psychopathy counts as a mental illness, this alone is not sufficient to show the (...)
  19. Neuropsychology and the Criminal Responsibility of Psychopaths: Reconsidering the Evidence.Marko Jurjako & Luca Malatesti - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):1003-1025.
    Recently it has been argued that certain neuropsychological findings on the decision-making, instrumental learning, and moral understanding in psychopathic offenders offer reasons to consider them not criminally responsible, due to certain epistemic and volitional impairments. We reply to this family of arguments, that collectively we call the irresponsibility of the psychopath argument. This type of argument has a premise that describes or prescribes the deficiencies that grant or should grant partial or complete criminal exculpation. The other premise contends that neuropsychological (...)
  20. Psychopathy, Executive Functions, and Neuropsychological Data: A Response to Sifferd and Hirstein.Marko Jurjako & Luca Malatesti - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (1):55-65.
  21. Some Ethical Considerations About the Use of Biomarkers for the Classification of Adult Antisocial Individuals.Marko Jurjako, Luca Malatesti & Inti Brazil - 2018 - International Journal of Forensic Mental Health.
    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, (...)
  22. Psychopathy: Philosophical and Empirical Challenges.Marko Jurjako, Luca Malatesti & John McMillan - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):5-14.
  23. 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 (...)
  24. 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 (...)
  25. 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 (...)
  26. 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, (...)
  27. 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. (...)
  28. Comparing the Response Modulation Hypothesis and the Integrated Emotions System Theory: The Role of Top-Down Attention in Psychopathy.Jaap Munneke, Sylco S. Hoppenbrouwers, Bethany Little, Karen Kooiman, Erik Van der Burg & Jan Theeuwes - 2018 - Personality and Individual Differences 122:134-139.
    Objective: Two major etiological theories on psychopathy propose different mechanisms as to how emotional facial expressions are processed by individuals with elevated psychopathic traits. The Response Modulation Hypothesis (RMH) proposes that psychopathic individuals show emotional deficits as a consequence of attentional deployment, suggesting that emotional deficits are situation-specific. The Integrated Emotions System theory (IES) suggests that psychopathic individuals have a fundamental amygdala dysfunction which precludes adequate responsiveness to the distress of others. Methods: Participants performed a visual search task in which (...)
  29. Shame, Embarrassment, and the Subjectivity Requirement.Erick J. Ramirez - 2018 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 14 (1):97-114.
    Reactive theories of responsibility see moral accountability as grounded on the capacity for feeling reactive-attitudes. I respond to a recent argument gaining ground in this tradition that excludes psychopaths from accountability. The argument relies on what Paul Russell has called the 'subjectivity requirement'. On this view, the capacity to feel and direct reactive-attitudes at oneself is a necessary condition for responsibility. I argue that even if moral attitudes like guilt are impossible for psychopaths to deploy, that psychopaths, especially the "successful" (...)
  30. 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 (...)
  31. Efekti crta ličnosti tamne trijade i emocionalne empatije na moralnu prosudbu.Ana Rožić, Domagoj Švegar & Igor Kardum - 2018 - Psychological Topics 27 (3):561-583.
    Klasične moralne dileme žrtvovanja, u kojima je potrebno žrtvovati život jedne osobe kako bi spasili nekoliko drugih života, često su definirane konfliktom između racionalnog odgovora maksimizacije ukupne dobrobiti (utilitaristička moralna prosudba) i emocionalne averzije na povredu (deontološka moralna prosudba). Novija su istraživanja moralnog prosuđivanja pokazala da su socijalno averzivni stilovi ličnosti povezani sa sklonosti utilitarističkom odgovaranju na moralne dileme. Cilj je ovoga istraživanja bio ispitati povezanosti crta ličnosti tamne trijade i odgovora na moralne dileme, kao i medijacijski efekt emocionalne empatije (...)
  32. Villains, Victims, and Verisimilitudes: An Exploratory Study of Unethical Corporate Values, Bullying Experiences, Psychopathy, and Selling Professionals’ Ethical Reasoning.Sean Valentine, Gary Fleischman & Lynn Godkin - 2018 - Journal of Business Ethics 148 (1):135-154.
    This study assesses the relationships among unethical corporate values, bullying experiences, psychopathy, and selling professionals’ ethical evaluations of bullying. Information was collected from national/regional samples of selling professionals. Results indicated that unethical values, bullying, and psychopathy were positively interrelated. Psychopathy and unethical values were negatively associated with moral intensity, while moral intensity was positively related to ethical issue importance. Psychopathy and unethical values were negatively related to issue importance, and issue importance and moral intensity were positively related to ethical judgment. (...)
  33. The Moral Bioenhancement of Psychopaths.Elvio Baccarini & Luca Malatesti - 2017 - Journal of Medical Ethics 43 (10):697-701.
    We argue that the mandatory moral bioenhancement of psychopaths is justified as a prescription of social morality. Moral bioenhancement is legitimate when it is justified on the basis of the reasons of the recipients. Psychopaths expect and prefer that the agents with whom they interact do not have certain psychopathic traits. Particularly, they have reasons to require the moral bioenhancement of psychopaths with whom they must cooperate. By adopting a public reason and a Kantian argument, we conclude that we can (...)
  34. Temporal Experience, Emotions and Decision Making in Psychopathy.Anja Berninger - 2017 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16 (4):661-677.
  35. Emotion-Based Learning Systems and the Development of Morality.R. J. R. Blair - 2017 - Cognition 167:38-45.
    In this paper it is proposed that important components of moral development and moral judgment rely on two forms of emotional learning: stimulus-reinforcement and response-outcome learning. Data in support of this position will be primarily drawn from work with individuals with the developmental condition of psychopathy as well as fMRI studies with healthy individuals. Individuals with psychopathy show impairment on moral judgment tasks and a pronounced increased risk for instrumental antisocial behavior. It will be argued that these impairments are developmental (...)
  36. The Hegemony of Psychopathy.Lajos L. Brons - 2017 - Santa Barbara, California: Brainstorm Books.
    Any social and political arrangement depends on acceptance. If a substantial part of a people does not accept the authority of its rulers, then those can only remain in power by means of force, and even that use of force needs to be accepted to be effective. Gramsci called this acceptance of the socio-political status quo “hegemony.” Every stable state relies primarily on hegemony as a source of control. Hegemony works through the dissemination of values and beliefs that create acceptance (...)
  37. The Kindness of Psychopaths.Zdenka Brzović, Marko Jurjako & Predrag Sustar - 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 (...)
  38. Moral Rationalism and Psychopathy: Affective Responses to Reason.Allen Coates - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (7):855-877.
    Evidence suggests that psychopaths’ notoriously immoral behavior is due to affective rather than rational deficits. This evidence could be taken to show that, contrary to moral rationalism, moral norms are not norms of reason. Rationalists could reply either that psychopaths’ behavior is in fact primarily due to rational deficits or that affects are involved in responding to rational norms. Drawing on the work of Antonio Damasio and colleagues, I argue the latter is the better defense of moral rationalism.
  39. 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.
  40. Investigating the Multivariate Relationship Between Impulsivity and Psychopathy Using Canonical Correlation Analysis.Siobhán Fox & Sean Hammon - 2017 - Personality and Individual Differences 111:187–192.
    Background -/- Impulsivity is generally considered a core feature of psychopathy, however one problem with understanding the association between these constructs is that both are multifaceted. Existing research often treats one or both of these constructs as unidimensional with important information regarding the complex nature of the relationship being lost. To clarify this issue the present study employs a canonical correlation analysis (CCA) which allows for the comparison of two multifaceted measurement scales simultaneously. -/- Methods -/- Respondents (n = 970) (...)
  41. Psychopathy and Responsibility: Empirical Data and Normative Judgments.Walter Glannon - 2017 - Philosophy, Psychiatry, and Psychology 24 (1):13-15.
    Psychopathy is one of the most frequently cited disorders in discussions of moral and criminal responsibility. Many philosophers and psychologists have argued that psychopaths’ impaired capacity for empathy, diminished responses to fear-inducing stimuli, and failure to conform to social norms indicate that they are not responsible for their actions. In “Philosophers on psychopaths: A cautionary tale in interdisciplinarity,” Jarkko Jalava and Stephanie Griffiths cite psychological data from case studies, the moral/conventional distinction task, fear conditioning and facial affect recognition experiments in (...)
  42. Associations Between Psychopathic Traits and Brain Activity During Instructed False Responding.Andrea L. Glenn, Hyemin Han, Yaling Yang, Adrian Raine & Robert A. Schug - 2017 - Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging 266:123-137.
    Lying is one of the characteristic features of psychopathy, and has been recognized in clinical and diagnostic descriptions of the disorder, yet individuals with psychopathic traits have been found to have reduced neural activity in many of the brain regions that are important for lying. In this study, we examine brain activity in sixteen individuals with varying degrees of psychopathic traits during a task in which they are instructed to falsify information or tell the truth about autobiographical and non-autobiographical facts, (...)
  43. On Blaming and Punishing Psychopaths.Marion Godman & Anneli Jefferson - 2017 - Criminal Law and Philosophy 11 (1):127-142.
    Current legal practice holds that a diagnosis of psychopathy does not remove criminal responsibility. In contrast, many philosophers and legal experts are increasingly persuaded by evidence from experimental psychology and neuroscience indicating moral and cognitive deficits in psychopaths and have argued that they should be excused from moral responsibility. However, having opposite views concerning psychopaths’ moral responsibility, on the one hand, and criminal responsibility, on the other, seems unfortunate given the assumption that the law should, at least to some extent, (...)
  44. A New Legal Treatment for Psychopaths? Perplexities for Legal Thinkers.Maria Isabel Gonzalez-Tapia, Ingrid Obsuth & Rachel Heeds - 2017 - International Journal of Law and Psychiatry:DOI: 10.1016/j.ijlp.2017.04.004.
    Public perception, fueled not only by popular and news media but also by expert claims that psychopaths are archetypes of evil: incorrigible, remorseless, cold-blooded criminals, whose crimes manifest in the most extreme levels of violence. But is there empirical evidence that psychopaths truly are what they are portrayed to be? If so, should the law respond, and adjust its treatment of psychopaths in court — permitting psychopathy to be admitted under an insanity defense and/or resulting in mitigation? In this paper, (...)
  45. 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’ (...)
  46. Psychopathy in Relation to the Insurance Industry.John-Michael Kuczynski - 2017 - Madison, WI, USA: Freud Institute.
    Insurance agents are confidence-men--con men--and that is what psychopaths are; and that is why psychopaths are drawn to the insurance industry, which is the insurance industry is so tightly regulated.
  47. Why so Much Psychosis and Psychopathy in the United States?John-Michael Kuczynski - 2017 - Madison, WI, USA: J.-M. Kuczynski.
    A fictitious dialogue in which an answer is given to the question: Why are the rates of psychosis and psychopathy in the United States so high?
  48. Psychopathy Moderates the Relationship Between Orbitofrontal and Striatal Alterations and Violence: The Investigation of Individuals Accused of Homicide.Bess Y. H. Lam, Yaling Yang, Robert A. Schug, Chenbo Han, Jianghong Liu & Tatia M. C. Lee - 2017 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 11.
  49. Psychopathy: Morally Incapacitated Persons.Heidi Maibom - 2017 - In Thomas Schramme & Steven Edwards (eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Medicine. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 1109-1129.
    After describing the disorder of psychopathy, I examine the theories and the evidence concerning the psychopaths’ deficient moral capacities. I first examine whether or not psychopaths can pass tests of moral knowledge. Most of the evidence suggests that they can. If there is a lack of moral understanding, then it has to be due to an incapacity that affects not their declarative knowledge of moral norms, but their deeper understanding of them. I then examine two suggestions: it is their deficient (...)
  50. Fine Cuts of Moral Agency: Dissociable Deficits in Psychopathy and Autism.Dana Kay Nelkin - 2017 - In S. Matthew Liao & Collin O'Neil (eds.), Current Controversies in Bioethics. New York: pp. 47-66.
    With a new understanding of the deficits of psychopaths, many have argued that psychopaths are not morally accountable for their actions because they seem to lack any capacity for fundamental moral understanding. And yet, a lack of capacity for empathy, which has been seen as the root of this incapacity, has also been attributed to subjects with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). But there is much evidence that at least many with ASD have moral understanding and are rightly treated as morally (...)
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