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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Who are They? The Psychopath and The Serial Killer Personality – Differences, Detection and Diagnosis
by Awe, Lynne, M.A., Argosy University/Phoenix, 2012, 38; 27819945
Abstract (Summary)

Psychopathy is probably one of the most fascinating, yet complex, psychological disorders studied today. When one thinks of a psychopath, they may immediately envision the serial killer. When one thinks of the serial killer, they likely conclude that the individual is a psychopath. Even though most researchers and scholars describe serial killers as psychopathic, many of the former do not possess all or even many of the characteristics empirically outlined for the psychopath. In fact, studies of purported serial killers reveal that their personalities are as different as their backgrounds. Serial killers all do, however, have several significant behavioral traits in common that set them apart from the psychopath; as well as any personality disorder outlined in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5th edition (DSM5) including criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder. Identifying a serial killer may be so confounding to many experts because of the utilization of a too-broad description, which erroneously miscategorizes individuals as serial killers. This paper explores the need for accurate criteria to detect and categorize the true serial killer and utilize such information to formulate a personality disorder definition.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Swenson, Craig D.
School: Argosy University/Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 81/8(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Personality psychology, Clinical psychology, Behavioral psychology
Keywords: Serial Killers, Psychopath, Antisocial personality, Bunday, Dahmer, Wuornos
Publication Number: 27819945
ISBN: 9781392442449
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