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Research on Psychopathy: A Personal Disorder

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2850 words
2850 words
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Psychopathy is an extremely complex subcategory of a specific personality disorder. This disorder has been researched since approximately the 18th century. Modern technology in science can detect psychopathy by examining the human brain using different techniques. This technology can and should be used to prevent violence in the world today.
Research of the brain abnormalities in psychopaths have been traced back to the 1800’s when an Italian psychiatrist and criminologist Cesare Lombroso stated that all of the mental functions in one’s brain are localized in different parts of the brain. Lombroso generalized the idea that one is born with a “criminal mind”. The criminal mind can be classified by “deformations of their skulls”. (Weber et al. 3) Lombroso’s theory of this has been discounted however; the idea of the “criminal mind” attracted attention to scientists. Curiosity arose in the research of the psychopathic brain when the case of Phineas Gage occurred in 1848. Phineas was a 25 year old man who worked as a railway worker. An iron rod went straight through his skull which damaged his prefrontal cortex. He suffered from severe brain damage, however survived the incident. This accident caused a significant change in Phineas’s personality. It did not affect his memory, intelligence, speech or motor functions, however after the accident his attitude changed whereas he became ill natured and disdainful. It also affected his ability to make decisions. Before the incident, his personality was described as kind and even tempered. (qtd. in O’Driscoll & Leach, 1998). Phineas Gage’s accident was the first aspect of evidence that prefrontal cortex damage in the brain can change different aspects of personality traits and affect socia...

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.... This concluded that those with psychopathy react to the pain much less than those who do not have psychopathic tendencies.
With all of the advanced technology that scientists have to monitor the brain and its activities, it is crucial that psychopathic tests are done everyday to lower the risk of violent crimes such as murder and rape. Every one sees a doctor annually for their physicals and it isn’t a bad idea to have some of this specific testing done to monitor the brains of patients. Those who have careers in the FBI, the police department, any medical field positions, and many other careers should be tested using the PCL-SV to ensure healthy brains. Although there are less than 1% of psychopaths in the general population, mandatory testing on such people may decrease the amount of violent and heinous crimes that are committed each day in the world today.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that psychopathy is an extremely complex subcategory of a specific personality disorder, which has been researched since approximately the 18th century. modern technology can detect it by examining the human brain using different techniques.
  • Explains that lombroso's theory of the "criminal mind" has been discounted, but the case of phineas gage in 1848 was the first evidence that prefrontal cortex damage in the brain can change different aspects of personality traits.
  • Compares the somatic marker hypothesis of damasio and the violence inhibition mechanism of blair.
  • Explains that psychopathy is a subtype of an additional personality disorder known as aspd.
  • Explains that psychopathy is characterized by the excessive lack of grey matter in the anterior rostral prefrontal cortex and temporal poles of the brain.
  • Explains that psychopaths act in cold blood because of the lack of empathy and are considerate to what they want and/or need. this brain disorder is common among drug dealers, spouse and child abusers, gang members, and cult leaders.
  • Explains that raine and colleagues (2004) have studied two different kinds of psychopaths: the unsuccessful and the successful. the hippocampus in the brain is essential for long term memory.
  • Explains that psychopaths tend to commit violent crimes at an earlier age. once released from jail, their probability of committing more criminal activities is high. jack abbott stabbed an innocent man to death.
  • Explains that sociopaths are hereditary and passed down from genes, whereas a psychopath is more of an affect of environmental situations.
  • Explains that damage to the frontal cortex is associated with aggressive behavior since the case of phineas gage.
  • Explains that the hare psychopathy checklist (pcl) and the psychopathy checklist-revised are considered the "gold standard" for measuring psychopathic behavior.
  • Explains the procedures approved by new jersey department of corrections, the new york university institutional review board (irb) and nyu special committee on prison research.
  • Explains that mri is the most affective procedure in determining whether a person suffers from psychopathy, but there are other studies and procedures to decipher this.
  • Explains that slapping the patient's hands to localize brain regions involving pain was used to determine whether or not an individual suffers from psychopathy.
  • Recommends that psychopathic tests be done every day to lower the risk of violent crimes such as murder and rape. those who have careers in the fbi, the police department, or any medical field positions should be tested using the pcl-sv.
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