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Psychopathic personality: a conceptual problem

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  09 July 2009

John Gunn*
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London
Graham Robertson
Affiliation:
Institute of Psychiatry, Denmark Hill, London
*
1Address for correspondence: Dr J. Gunn, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, LondonSE5 8AF.

Synopsis

The concept of psychopathic personality is currently being called into question. Grendon prison has been established for the treatment of psychopaths. A recent study of Grendon prisoners enabled an examination of some characteristics commonly attributed to psychopaths to be carried out. It proved difficult to obtain good agreement in rating such phenomena as ‘conscientiousness’, ‘sexual deviation’, ‘impulsiveness’. Of ten reliable variables including ‘personal relationships’, ‘lying’, ‘alcohol problem’, only five bore a significant relationship one to another. It was concluded that whilst the term ‘psychopathic disorder’ may be appropriate for a small handful of individuals the term is probably now used too widely and too loosely.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1977

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References

REFERENCES

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