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Psychopathy

Although psychopathy may be viewed as an evolutionary adaptation that serves the individual well, it typically is construed as a personality disorder, or a chronic, inflexible, and maladaptive pattern of relating to the world. Most conceptualizations of psychopathy emphasize traits of emotional detachment, including callousness, failure to form close emotional bonds, low anxiety proneness, remorselessness, and deceitfulness. However, the most widely used measure of psychopathy goes beyond these traits to assess repeated involvement in antisocial behavior. The Revised Psychopathy Checklist (PCL–R) was developed with criminal offenders and weighs past antisocial behavior as strongly as traits of emotional detachment in diagnosing psychopathy. Predominant use of the PCL–R and offender samples has established a large research literature on unsuccessful psychopathy. Relatively little is known about individuals with ...

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