"Psychopath" redirects here. For other uses, see Psychopath (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Psychosis, Psychopathology, or Psychic.
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Psychopathy (/saɪˈkɒpəθi/) (or sociopathy [/ˈsoʊsiəˌpæθi/]) is traditionally defined as a personality disorder, characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior. It may also be defined as a continuous aspect of personality, representing scores on different personality dimensions found throughout the population in varying combinations. The definition of psychopathy has varied significantly throughout the history of the concept; different definitions continue to be used that are only partly overlapping and sometimes appear contradictory.
American psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley's work on psychopathy probably influenced the initial diagnostic criteria for antisocial personality reaction/disturbance in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), as did American psychologist George E. Partridge's work on sociopathy. The DSM and International Classification of Diseases (ICD) subsequently introduced the diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and dissocial personality disorder, stating that these have been referred to (or include what is referred to) as psychopathy or sociopathy. Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare later repopularised the construct of psychopathy in criminology with his Psychopathy Checklist.
Although no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis titled...