Frequently Asked Questions

Affinity fraud: do psychopaths target specific groups of people?

Individuals with psychopathic traits are often attracted to affinity groups – religious, political or social groups of people who share common values, beliefs or interests.  The collective trust that members of these groups have in one another and their common belief system provides a perfect cover for the person with psychopathy.  The psychopath has an […]

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What is the difference between psychopathy, sociopathy, and narcissistic personality disorder?

Psychopathy and narcissistic personality disorder are separate psychiatric disorders that have slightly overlapping symptoms. Sociopathy, however, is an older, outdated term for what is now called psychopathy. Unfortunately, the differentiation of these widely-used terms has caused much confusion among the general public and mental health professionals alike. Part of the problem lies not in differentiating […]

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Can children be identified as psychopathic? Can adolescents be identified as psychopathic?

Several researchers have examined qualities in children and adolescents that serve to differentiate psychopathic youth from their peers.  Frick posited that children who exhibit both conduct problems and callous/unemotional traits are most similar to adult psychopaths (Frick & Marsee, 2006).  Research findings by Lynam (1996) identified a subset of children with both conduct problems and […]

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Are they (psychopaths) aware of their condition?

Remarkably little is known about the extent to which psychopathic individuals are aware of their condition (have insight). There are cases in which psychopathic individuals have reported that they are psychopathic or sociopathic and have even rattled off a list of core features of psychopathy. However, classical clinical descriptions of psychopathic individuals emphasize their lack […]

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Is Psychopathy Genetic?

Genes play a significant role in the development of psychopathy. However socialization and other environmental factors interact with genetics, so genes are not the only determinant in whether one has psychopathic traits. Studies on the heritability of psychopathy have focused primarily on identical twins (100% shared genes) and fraternal twins (50% shared genes).  One study […]

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