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NCJ Number: 98417 Find in a Library
Title: Violent and Aggressive Behavior by Criminal Psychopaths
Journal: International Journal of Law and Psychiatry  Volume:7  Dated:(1984)  Pages:35-50
Author(s): R D Hare; L M McPherson
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 16
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Three separate retrospective Canadian studies involving approximately 500 male criminals indicate that psychopaths are much more likely to be violent and aggressive than other criminals before age 30-35. There are not enough data on older offenders to determine whether or not a similar relationship holds across the psychopath's life span.
Abstract: Cleckley, who has given the most extensive and widely supported clinical descriptions of the psychopath, describes the psychopath as a person whose behavior is not explainable in terms of psychosis, neurosis, or mental deficiency. Cleckley lists the salient characteristics of the psychopath as unreliability, insincerity, pathological lying, and egocentricity; poor judgment and impulsivity; a lack of remorse, guilt, or shame; an inability to experience empathy or concern for others, or to maintain warm, affectionate attachments; an impersonal and poorly integrated sex life; and an unstable lifestyle with no long-term commitments. In the authors' three studies reported here, prison inmates were rated on a seven-point scale consistent with Cleckley's conception of psychopathy. Ratings were based on interviews and extensive case-history data. Case histories were used to ascertain convictions for violent crimes and identify agressive and violent behavior both inside and outside of prison. Those offenders classified as psychopaths according to the scale were clearly more aggressive and violent than inmates not so classified. Tabular and graphic data and 26 reference listings are provided.
Index Term(s): Canada; Offender profiles; Psychopaths; Violent offenders
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