Neurobiological Models of Psychopathy

In contemporary academic and clinical parlance, psychopathy refers to a personality disorder characterized by a combination of affective, interpersonal, lifestyle, and behavioral elements. Specific psychopathic traits include glib superficiality, callous lack of empathy, a conning and manipulative interpersonal style, poor behavioral controls, and impulsivity, among others. These traits emerge early in childhood (assessed as early as 5 years old), progressing to chronic interpersonal instability and antisocial behavior through adulthood. For individuals meeting full clinical criteria for psychopathy, these traits are found in many domains of their life and remain remarkably stable across the life span.

The current clinical standard for evaluating psychopathy is based on an expert-rater device, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (Hare PCL-R). The Hare PCL-R requires extensive collateral source review (i.e., social worker reports, ...

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