A New Model of Psychopathy

Daniel Boduszek, Agata Debowska, Dominic Willmott

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle


The concept of psychopathy has long been of interest within the criminal justice
system, often presented as the causal antecedent to serial violent and sexual offences. Despite this, psychopathy has remained difficult to assess, with research in the area compromised by the absence of an established definition of the disorder. The first comprehensive conceptualisation of psychopathy was proposed by Hervey Cleckley in 1941. Cleckley suggested the prototypical psychopath to be characterised by the following 16 traits: superficial charm, absence of delusions, absence of “nervousness”, unreliability, untruthfulness, lack of remorse and shame, antisocial behaviour, poor judgement and failure
to learn by experience, pathological egocentricity, poverty in affective reactions, loss of insight, unresponsiveness in interpersonal relations, fantastic and uninviting behaviour, suicide rarely carried out, impersonal sex life, and failure to follow any life plan.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationCustodial Review
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017
Externally publishedYes


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