Thursday, January 24, 2013

Graduate presents, "A Tale of Two Psychopathys: Paradigm Shift for Psychopathy" at Fielding's Winter Session 2013

Cindy M. Mitchell, Fielding's School of Psychology (2012)

Beginning in ancient times when psychopaths were viewed as evil or demonic, the
conceptualization of psychopathy has endured many transformations. Psychopathy has been
referred to as psychopathic deviance, insanity without delirium, sociopathy, and likened to
antisocial personality disorder. Empirical evidence during the past century has contributed
much to the conceptualization of psychopathy. Cleckley's documented observations marked
a renewed interest in the study of psychopathy. Since Cleckley, Robert Hare developed a
single construct theory of psychopathy based upon a hierarchical model in which two factors
are interrelated in such a way as to form a single superordinate ractor. Research
demonstrating heterogeneity within the construct of psychopathy has led to the development
of a bifactor model of psychopathy, in which two etiological pathways (Factor 1 and Factor
2) lead to a single phenotypical outcome (psychopathy). More recent research evaluating
psychopathic outcomes opens the door for a possible alternative theory of psychopathy, in
which Factor 1 and Factor 2 characteristics are representative of two separate disorders. This
alternative theory proposes that Factor 1 characteristics are representative of Psychopathic
Personality Disorder, and Factor 2 characteristics are representative of Antisocial Personality
Disorder. In addition to outcome studies, research conducted on Antisocial Personality
Disorder, successful psychopathy, and gender and cultural disparities provide support for
conceptualization of the two factors as separate disorders. The purpose of this presentation is
to provide a review of the literature, and evaluate how the literature builds upon itself to construct an alternative model of conceptualizing psychopathy.

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