Abstract

Misconceptions regarding psychopathic personality: implications for clinical practice and research

Author(s): Joanna M Berg, Sarah F Smith, Ashley L Watts, Rachel Ammirati, Sophia E Green, Scott O Lilienfeld

Psychopathy is a serious condition comprising affective and interpersonal deficits, as well as potentially harmful behaviors. Nevertheless, it is also the subject of numerous myths and misconceptions, spanning etiology, assessment, treatment and even its very definition. These misunderstandings are prevalent among both laypersons and professionals, and propagate misguided attitudes toward individuals with this disorder. This article addresses seven major areas of misunderstanding regarding psychopathy and more specific mistaken beliefs within each domain. It also provides scientific evidence that reflects an up-to-date understanding of this condition with the aim of fostering more effective and evidence-based practice and treatment.


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