Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Classification of Psychopathy in

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association, is the reference book widely used by physicians and mental health professionals for the diagnosis of mental disorders, and it is consistent with the International Classification of Disease coding system. Psychopathy or psychopathic personality is not a listed diagnosis. The DSM is used in a variety of settings, including forensic (related to the legal system), clinical, research, and social purposes. This entry describes psychopathy and explains where it fits in the evolving DSM classification system.

Psychopathy is a construct without consensual definition. Historically, Hervey Cleckley, since the 1940s, and Robert D. Hare, since the 1980s, have had the most impact on the understanding of psychopathy. Cleckley’s classic, The Mask of Sanity, ...

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