Psychopathy


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to Psychopathy: antisocial personality disorder

Psychopathy

 

(pathological personalities, psychopathic constitutions), a group of mental disorders belonging to minor, or borderline, psychiatry, manifested by a disharmonic personality, as a result of which the individual may cause harm to himself or society. There is no clearly defined line between psychopathy and variants of normal personality types. Classifying psychopathies as mental diseases is arbitrary: unlike diseases that develop in a regular way (onset, course, outcome), psychopathies are stable and lifelong—although the degree to which the pathological traits are manifested may vary—and are usually not associated with delirium, hallucinations, or other symptoms of marked impairment of mental activity. Psychopathies are caused by hereditary factors, intrauterine injuries to the fetus, birth traumas, infections and poisonings in infancy, improper upbringing, and negative social influences.

The manifestations of psychopathies are varied. Several clinical types are distinguished according to the particular personality traits that are dominant. For example, asthenic (impotent) psychopaths are highly impressionable, excitable, and easily fatigued. They tolerate physical and mental stress poorly and are indecisive and depressed. Psychasthenic psychopaths are extremely suspicious; they are filled with perpetual doubts as to the correctness of their judgments and actions and are incapable of making decisions. Excitable (explosive) psychopaths have extremely strong emotional reactions and are unrestrained and inclined to aggressive actions. They have drives and are often addicted to alcohol, which markedly intensifies the manifestation of pathological traits. Paranoic psychopaths are inclined to develop exaggerated ideas that dominate all their impressions and emotions; whatever is not in conformity with these ideas is ignored. Paranoic personalities include pathologically jealous and litigious persons and fanatics. Hysterical psychopaths tend to indulge in fantasies, which, as it were, substitute as reality for them. The behavior of hysterical psychopaths is characterized by affectation and theatricality. There are also other types of psychopathies. Conditions similar to psychopathies may result from schizophrenia and organic brain disease.

Psychopathies can be prevented and treated by proper upbringing in childhood and the constant corrective influence of the family, school, and fellow workers. Psychotherapy and psychotropic agents are indicated in decompensation of psychopathies and in situations where psychopathies make day-to-day living difficult.

REFERENCES

Gannushkin, P. B. Klinika psikhopatii: Ikh statika, dinamika, sistematika. Moscow, 1933.
Kerbikov, O. V. “K ucheniiu o dinamike psikhopatii.” In Izbr. trudy. Moscow, 1971. Pages 163–87.
Leonhard, K. Normale und abnorme Pers ö nlichkeiten. Berlin, 1964.

M. I. FOT’IANOV

References in periodicals archive ?
Babiak, "From Darkness into the Light: Psychopathy in Industrial and Organization Psychology," in ed.
Asessment of juvenile psychopathy and its association with violence: A critical review.
Adolescent psychopathy and the Big Five: results from two samples.
After gender was controlled for, psychopathy, sadism, and empathy (affective empathy, cognitive empathy, and social skills) were examined for their predictive utility of trolling behaviour.
Borenstein and Radin selectively quote from the book, ignoring that Soltes accepts psychopathy as a relevant construct; they again imply that we claimed that an ironclad linkage exists between DT personalities and the occurrence of fraud, which we did not do.
The results demonstrated that among dark triads only psychopathy positively predicted bullying but none of the dark triads predicted victimization in adolescents.
Riesgo de violencia y psicopatia en diferentes tipologias criminales: Un estudio empirico [Violence risk and psychopathy in different criminal typologies: An empirical study].
While some in the research sample did fit the classic definition of psychopathy, a significant subgroup did not.
Although criminals with psychopathy are among the hardest to work with, psychological treatment causes them, like other high-risk criminals, to reoffend less," Polaschek says.