Research on Psychopathy: A Personal Disorder Essay

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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 …show more content…

Moving forward into the 20th century, Hervey Cleckley made a contribution to the knowledge and research of the psychopathic brain. He wrote a book called, “The Mask of Sanity” (1976) where he described psychopathy as a configuration of interpersonal and behavioral features. He found that not only do psychopaths contain an antisocial behavior, they also have many negative characterizations and traits such as being manipulative, fearless, impulsive and lacking empathy as well as remorse or guilt. He also found that psychopathy is not only in those who show criminal behavior, however psychopathy may be present in those who appear to be successful and socially fit individuals.
Furthering the studies of psychopathy, there are two main theories that have been used to explain this abnormalities in the brain. The first theory is called the Somatic Marker Hypothesis of Damasio (1994) which proposed that damage to the prefrontal cortex in the brain causes poor decision making abilities which shows a lack of potential development for the somatic aspects that are linked to the excitement of rewards and/or punishment. This leads to an inconsiderate attitude towards any negative consequences as well as social rules or outcomes. This theory is supported by its neurobiological equivalent which is the orbitofrontal and medial frontal cortex in the brain which is responsible for decision making and other cognitive processes. Neuropsychological evidence proves that the Somatic

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