5 Misconceptions About Psychopathy

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The Psych Talk

Psychopathy Is Not a Diagnosis:

First of all, psychopathy is not actually a real diagnosis. The closest resembling diagnosis is ‘antisocial personality disorder’. However, there have been many scales of psychopathy created over the years, including ‘the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale’ and ‘the Hare Psychopathy Checklist’. These scales test how many psychopathic traits an individual possesses. The 20 traits accessed by the Hare Psychopathy Checklist include:

  • Superficial charm
  • Grandiose estimation of self
  • Need for stimulation
  • Pathological lying
  • Cunning and manipulativeness
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Superficial emotional responsiveness
  • Lack of empathy
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Poor behavioural controls
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Early behaviour problems
  • Lack of realistic long-term goals
  • Impulsivity
  • Irresponsibility
  • Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
  • Many short-term marital relationships
  • Juvenile delinquency
  • Revocation of conditional release
  • Criminal versatility

Most Are Not Violent:

Psychopaths are portrayed as merciless killers in the media – but in real life, those with psychopathic tendencies are…

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