Saturday, February 05, 2011

Part II - Personality Disorders and The Unsuspecting Character

Continuing our discussion of Personality Disorders, I thought I would talk a little bit about Psychopathy and Antisocial Personality disorder. According to The Criminal Mind by Katherine Ramsland, PhD, this category is poorly understood.

Ramsland describes, Hervey Cleckly's sixteen distinct clinical criteria for assessing psychopathy. Including
  • Hotheaded
  • Manipulative
  • Exploitative
  • Irresponsible
  • Self-Centered
  • Shallow
  • Unable to bond
  • Lacking in empathy or anxiety
  • Likely to commit a wide variety of crimes
  • More violent, more likely to recidivate, and less likely to respond to treatment than other offenders.
According to the DSM-IV
  • Pervasive pattern of disregard for the rights of others evident since the age of fifteen indicated by three of the following
    • Failure to conform to social norms and observe lawful behaviors
    • Deceitfulness, repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others
    • Impulsive or failure to develop long-term plans
    • Irritability and aggressiveness
    • Disregard for safety of self or others
    • Consistent irresponsibility
    • Lack of remorse and indifference to harming, mistreating, or stealing from another
Robert Hare developed a list of traits and behaviors  to be weighted from 0 to 2 by clinicians and then tested on prison population. His list included:
  • Lack of remorse or empathy
  • Shallow emotions
  • Manipulative
  • Serial relationships
  • Lying
  • Egocentricity
  • Glibness
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Parasitic lifestyle
  • Persistent violation of social norms
After reviewing the above notes from Ramsland's book, check out this link to a case study of a psychopath

Using the case study with what you know from The Criminal Mind what type of character could you develop based on Ani? Ani was in prison for conning people but you could just as easily develop him into a murderer, or a "get ahead at any cost" CEO of a major company.

I look forward to seeing your ideas!

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