Psychopathy. Chapter uri icon


  • There remain numerous fundamental issues in the study of psychopathy that contemporary scholars debate, despite some areas of relative agreement. After briefly distinguishing between psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (APD), this chapter will focus on some of these areas of controversy. We will spend some time discussing recent theoretical and conceptual debates in the field in terms of the appropriate inclusion of criminality in the construct, as well as recent discussions about whether the psychological construct of boldness is or is not part of psychopathy. We also will review the different approaches to the measurement of psychopathy. We will review the rather substantial literature on the link between psychopathy and crime and violence, focusing on meta-analytic work. As most research on psychopathy focuses on adult men, less is known about the viability of the construct among females and among youth. For that reason, we spend considerable space on psychopathy among women and whether and how to think of the construct of psychopathy among youth. Psychopathy is now studied, and measures of psychopathy are applied, in numerous countries with people from a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Therefore, we will examine the construct and measurement of psychopathy in terms of ethnicity and culture. Finally, we will discuss this recent research on the use of psychopathy measures and descriptions in the real world. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)

author list (cited authors)

  • Douglas, K. S., Nikolova, N. L., Kelley, S. E., & Edens, J. F.

citation count

  • 23

complete list of authors

  • Douglas, Kevin S||Nikolova, Natalia L||Kelley, Shannon E||Edens, John F

editor list (cited editors)

  • Cutler, B. L., & Zapf, P. A.

Book Title

  • APA handbook of forensic psychology, Vol. 1: Individual and situational influences in criminal and civil contexts.

publication date

  • January 2015