Antisocial Personality, Sociopathy, and Psychopathy
Hare’s PCL-R 20-item checklist is based on Cleckley’s 16-item checklist, and the following is a discussion of the concepts in the PCL-R.
But first of all, here is Cleckley’s original list of symptoms of a psychopath:
1. Considerable superficial charm and average or above average intelligence.
2. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
3. Absence of anxiety or other “neurotic” symptoms considerable poise, calmness, and verbal facility.
4. Unreliability, disregard for obligations no sense of responsibility, in matters of little and great import.
5. Untruthfulness and insincerity
7. Antisocial behavior which is inadequately motivated and poorly planned, seeming to stem from an inexplicable impulsiveness.
7.Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
8.Poor judgment and failure to learn from experience
9. Pathological egocentricity. Total self-centeredness incapacity for real love and attachment.
10. General poverty ot deep and lasting emotions.
11. Lack of any true insight, inability to see oneself as others do.
12. Ingratitude for any special considerations, kindness, and trust.
13. Fantastic and objectionable behavior, after drinking and sometimes even when not drinking–vulgarity, rudeness, quick mood shifts, pranks.
14. No history of genuine suicide attempts.
15. An impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated seX life.
16. Failure to have a life plan and to live in any ordered way, unless it be one promoting self-defeat.
“…More often than not, the typical psychopath will seem particularly agreeable and make a distinctly positive impression when he is first encountered. Alert and friendly in his attitude, he is easy to talk with and seems to have a good many genuine interests. There is nothing at all odd or queer about him, and in every respect he tends to embody the concept of a well-adjusted, happy person. Nor does he, on the other hand, seem to be artificially exerting himself like one who is covering up or who wants to sell you a bill of goods. He would seldom be confused with the professional backslapper or someone who is trying to ingratiate himself for a concealed purpose. Signs of affectation or excessive affability are not characteristic. He looks like the real thing.
“Very often indications of good sense and sound reasoning will emerge, and one is likely to feel soon after meeting him that this normal and pleasant person is also one with -high abilities. Psychometric tests also very frequently show him of superior intelligence. More than the average person, he is likely to seem free from social or emotional impediments, from the minor distortions, peculiarities, and awkwardness’s so common even among the successful. Such superficial characteristics are not universal in this group but they are very common…”
“…It must be granted of course that the psychopath has some affect. Affect is, perhaps, a component in the sum of life reactions even in the unicellular protoplasmic entity. Certainly in all mammals it is obvious. The relatively petty states of pleasure, vexation, and animosity experienced by the psychopath have been mentioned. The opinion here maintained is that he fails to know all those more serious and deeply moving affective states which make up the tragedy and triumph of ordinary life, of life at the level of important human experience…”
1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM — the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.
2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH — a grossly inflated view of one’s abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.
3. NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM — an excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.
4. PATHOLOGICAL LYING — can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.
5. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS- the use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one’s victims.
6. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT — a lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and un-empathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s victims.
7. SHALLOW AFFECT — emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.
8. CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY — a lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.
9. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE — an intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.
10. POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS — expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.
11. PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR — a variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.
12. EARLY BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS — a variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.
13. LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS — an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.
14. IMPULSIVITY — the occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.
15. IRRESPONSIBILITY — repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.
16. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS — a failure to accept responsibility for one’s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.
17. MANY SHORT-TERM MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS — a lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.
18. JUVENILE DELINQUENCY — behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.
19. REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE — a revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.
20. CRIMINAL VERSATILITY — a diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes.
The Antisocial Personality Disorder Homepage
Dr. Hare’s Psychopathy/Antisocial Personality Confusion article
The Internet Danger Zone: Psychopaths or Sociopaths
Cleckley, Hervey (1903-1984) The Mask of Sanity, Fifth Edition, 1988. Previous editions copyrighted 1941, 1950, 1955, 1964, 1976 by St. Louis: Mosby Co.
Fishbein, D. (2000) (ed) The Science, Treatment, and Prevention of Antisocial Behaviors. Kingston, NJ: Civic Research Institute.
Giannangelo, S. (1996) The Psychopathology of Serial Murder. Westport: Praeger.
Hare, R. (1991) The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.
Hare, R. (1993) Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths among us. NY: Pocket Books.
Hare, R. (1996) Psychopathy: A clinical construct whose time has come. Criminal Justice and Behavior 23:25-54.
Jenkins, R. (1960) The psychopath or antisocial personality. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 131:318-34.
Lykken, D. (1995) TheAntisocial Personalities. Hillsdale: Erlbaum.
McCord W. & J. (1964) The Psychopath: An Essay on the Criminal Mind. Princeton: Van Nostrand.
Millon, T., E. Simonsen, M. Birket-Smith & R. Davis (1998) Psychopathy: Antisocial, Criminal, and Violent Behavior. NY: Guilford Press.
Robins, L. (1978) Aetiological implications in studies of childhood histories relating to antisocial personality. In R. Hare & D. Schalling (eds) Psychopathic Behavior. Chichester: Wiley.
Rogers, R., R. Salekin, K. Sewell & K. Cruise (2000) Prototypical analysis of antisocial personality disorder. Criminal Justice and Behavior 27(2) 234-55.
Sher, K. & Trull, T. (1994) Personality and disinhibitory psychopathology: Alcoholism and antisocial personality disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology 103:92-102.
Toch, H. & K. Adams (1994) The Disturbed Violent Offender. Washington: APA.
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