Psycho text for press kit by hgd19860


									                        PRESS KIT
                            Duration: 83 minutes
              Fibro Majestic Films & Screen Australia Australia
in association with ZDF/Arte, Germany, NSW Film & Television Office, ABC
                       Television and CBC Newsworld

                                  PRODUCER – SALLY REGAN
                                    FIBRO MAJESTIC FILMS
                            E: T: +61 2 9557 3076 F: +61 2 9557 3076
                                       M:+61 (0)417 926 796
Log Line | Short Synopsis ………………………………………..…... 3

Synopsis ………………………………………………………………….4

Participants List ………………………………………………………... 8

Credits ……………………………………………………………….….. 9

Sam Vaknin – in his own words …………………………………….11

Ian Walker - writer/director ………………………………………….12

Sally Regan – producer ……………………………………………... 13

Dr. Robert Hare …………………………………………………….… 14

The psychopath defined ………………………………………….…. 16

PCL-R Score ……………………………………………………….…. 16

Excerpt from Without a Conscience …………………………...17 - 21

The Use of Technology in Psychopathy …………………………... 22

The work of Prof. Niels Birbaumer ……………………………....    23

Tame your brain to keep your cool ………………………………... 25

How fMRI tests work on the brain ………………………………….. 26

Quiz : How to Spot a Psychopath at Work ………………………… 28

Dr Belinda Board ……………………………………………………… 29

Disordered Personalities at Work Study ………………………….. 30

Dr. Christine Kirkman …………………………………………………. 34

Summary of Dr. Christine Kirkman’s Study …………….………….. 35

Coronation St Scenario …………………………………….………….. 36

Kirkman’s 5 Pre-requisites Model ………………………….……….. 37

Making a movi e w ith a p sy chop at h i s l ike p oki ng a sna ke wi th a sti c k.

Suspected “corporate psychopath” Sam Vaknin goes in search of a diagnosis…was he
really born without a conscience? The tables are turned when film-maker Ian Walker
becomes a textbook victim.

Psychopaths…they’ll charm you, manipulate you, then ruin your life. But, not all of them
with a gun or a knife. In this extra-ordinary documentary, suspected psychopath Sam
Vaknin goes in search of a diagnosis…was he born without a conscience? “Making a
movie with a psychopath,” declares I, Psychopath’s director Ian Walker, “is a little like
poking a snake with a stick.” Unwittingly, the film-maker becomes a textbook victim.
Joined by Vaknin’s long-suffering but ever-loyal wife Lidija, the threesome embark on a
diagnostic road trip to the world’s top experts in psychopathy in which Vaknin (and his
wife) undergo a battery of rigorous psychological tests and neuroscientific experiments.
He is the world’s first civilian to willingly seek a diagnosis for psychopathy. The former
corporate criminal turns out to be a way better psychopath than any of them imagined.
By the end, Walker almost calls it quits on his own film rather than spend another day
with its main subject.

Despite the best advice of the world’s top experts, Australian documentary-maker Ian
Walker was naïve to think he could study a psychopath in the wild and not get hurt.

“I didn’t really understand how manipulative a psychopath can be,” the director of I,
Psychopath now admits. “I thought it would be a fair fight. After all, the filmmaker has
the power, really. The power of the camera and the edit.”

But, as it turns out, Walker chose his subject well. 47 year-old Israeli-born Sam Vaknin is
a former corporate criminal and a self-proclaimed master of manipulation and re-
invention. Walker first interviewed him several years ago as the author of the book
Malignant Self-Love: Narcissism Revisited.

Walker was intrigued by a throwaway line where Vaknin professed he thought himself a
“corporate psychopath”. Afterwards, the film-maker spent several years researching the
subject, but always wanted to make a film which might show psychopathic behaviour in
action. Because of his narcissism, Vaknin was almost certain to say “Yes”.

So, in February 2008, joined by Vaknin’s long-suffering but ever-loyal wife Lidija, the
threesome embarked on a diagnostic road trip to the world’s top experts in psychopathy.
Via a battery of psychological testing and brainscanning experiments, Vaknin becomes
the world’s first civilian to willingly seek a diagnosis for psychopathy.

The scientists are pleased to meet him. The “non-violent” or “white collar psychopath” is
a test subject they rarely find in their labs. Much about them, including how their brains
work, remains a mystery.

“They don't come to the attention of the science but also not to the attention of the social
system because they are not criminal,” explains German-based neurobiologist Professor
Niels Birbaumer. “They are not violent, viciously violent and that's why we don’t know them.
But their impact on society is tremendous, and it was never studied.”

In I, Psychopath, there are effectively two films happening in parallel. As the encounters
between Sam and the scientists unfold, the relationship between subject and director
shifts and changes, inadvertently supplying a voyeuristic first hand account of what it is
like to deal with an everyday “non-violent” psychopath.

Vaknin proves to be the real thing, scoring an 18 out of 24 on the official Psychopathy
Checklist (Screening Version). Most people, outside of prison, would score a zero or one,
according to the Checklist’s inventor Professor Bob Hare.

Unlike most psychopaths, though, Vaknin is ruthlessly honest about his lack of feeling
and his opportunistic predatory nature. His carefully controlled aggression worked, as
Walker recalls, “like a slow poison on my mental health.”

If the vocabulary of melodrama sounds a little extreme, Walker believes many people
experience a sense of derangement, a kind of mental dysmorphia, when caught in the
powerful grip of a psychopath.

“Given that experts now believe that one out of very hundred people qualify as a
psychopath, there’s probably at least one in every dysfunctional office. I’ve encountered
minor versions working in the media,” he laughs. “And most of them are way too careful
to let the mask drop and get caught out. That’s the problem. They are manipulative,
talentless charmers who knife you in the back as soon as it gets dark.”

The bullying, which Walker says is a stock-in-trade tool of the psychopath, started for him
on Day One of the shoot.

“After the first interview in Macedonia, where Sam lives and had been working for the
government as an economic adviser, he called me to a special meeting and read me the
riot act. He knew we’d committed to the documentary, so he threatened to pull out. He
accused me of asking negative questions, told me I was a terrible filmmaker.

“That was just the beginning. After that, the abuse came on an irregular and seemingly
irrational basis, every other day. It was like death by a thousand cuts. But he was very
callous and controlled. He never did or said anything in front of the camera, he always
waited until the main camera was turned off, or safely packed away.”

Like most psychopaths, Vaknin knows what he’s doing and is a skilled manipulator. It’s
his full-time pursuit. In one of the most insightful and informative scenes in the film,
Vaknin launches into a vicious and foul-mouthed verbal tirade against Walker then,
moments later, coolly dissects the art of bullying.

“Many systems in the body go haywire within a session of bullying,” he tells the camera.
“Especially once the session is over. So what bullies usually do is they start and stop,
start and stop. That achieves maximum physiological arousal and stress syndrome. And
this is the great secret of bullying. Never over do it. Small doses. The victim will do the

Alone in his hotel room at night, Walker poured out his frustration to a video diary, but it
didn’t help.

“In fact I looked like the crazy one! I thought he was childlike and stupid, but when I look
back he was playing me like a violin. And I knew that if I didn’t capture any of his tirades
on camera I didn’t have what I needed for the film.”

Just how Walker managed to call checkmate, and escape from Sam Vaknin without
sabotaging the film, makes for a thrilling ride. By the end, the film-maker resorts to
desperate measures (a shaky secret camera hidden in a backpack), then calls an early
end to the shoot rather than spend another day with its main subject.

One area I, Psychopath succeeds strongly is in dispelling the myth that psychopathy is
the exclusive domain of serial killers. Experts now believe these dangerous “social
predators” are just as common in the stockmarket, the office, halls of industry, houses of
parliament, or the corner store.

Perhaps the greatest tragedy of the film is that Vaknin presents as an articulate high
achiever who could have traveled a much different path in life if not for his psychopathic
traits. His biography reads stranger than fiction. Possessed of a 185 IQ, Vaknin was
fast-tracked to university at the age of 11. By 21 he was was flying the world in a private
jet. But, in 1997, his world came crashing down when he and his fellow company
directors became Israel’s first corporate executives to be jailed for insider trading.

He has, by his own admission, made and lost his fortune at least three times. His stint in
jail gave him time to reflect, finally coming to the conclusion that the common
denominator in all his problems was, in fact, himself.

On his release, Vaknin relocated to Macedonia where he met his wife Lidija. He now runs
an online self-help site for victims of extreme narccisists, operating on the premise that it
takes one to know one.

Sam’s wife Lidija, an intelligent, yet vulnerable, woman who loves Vaknin despite his
abundant selfishness, strikes one of the most heartbreaking chords in the film. When
Walker confronts her with footage of “the real Sam” disparaging their relationship it clearly
wounds her, yet she is insistent that Sam truly loves her.

“That’s exactly how Sam Vaknin fits into all the work I’ve done before,” Walker, explains.
“I’ve always wanted to understand why bad things happen to good people? Why do the
good guys so often come last? Why do the bastards always seem to end up with all the
fame and money, and every appearance of success?”

“One reason is because psychopaths thrive on good people. It’s the one consolation for
their victims. They take advantage of people with high empathy, people of goodwill.
That’s where the evil comes into it.”

Professor Bob Hare concurs: “The victims all have something in common and that is that
they're human. And everybody can be victimised. I have been victimised, I have been
conned and manipulated by psychopaths and I should know better, but how do you know?
If we believe in the fundamental goodness of man, we’re doomed.”

Hare is the recognised world leader in psychopathy research and, as well as his weighty
onscreen presence, he agreed to act as the film’s scientific consultant. Walker sought him
out after reading that, after more than thirty years observing psychopaths inside Canada's
high security prisons, the Professor thinks he should have spent more time at the Stock
Exchange observing society's more "successful" psychopaths.

In fact, realizing we have all just lived through an era when psychopaths seem to highjack
not just capitalism, but democracy, Walker says: “There is a case for using the

Psychopathy Checklist to create a kind of revisionist history. Think of Hitler, Stalin, the
corporate cheats at Enron, the recently disgraced American businessman Bernie Madoff,
even Donald Rumsfeld and the neocon hawks of the Bush era. All have potential to tick
most of the boxes.

“It’s definitely scary to have looked into the eyes of someone who wants to destroy you,”
Walker admits. Having survived his brush with a world class psychopath Walker says he
has only one real regret.

“I just hope I haven’t turned Sam Vaknin into a celebrity psychopath!”

                    CHARACTER LIST
Aut hor : M alig na nt S el f Lov e : Nar ci ssi sm R evi sit ed
Fir st c ivili an vo lun te er to u nde rgo t e sti ng fo r p syc hop at hy

Sa m Va kn in ’ s wi fe

Fil mm ak er

P syc hop athy Pio ne er
Emerit u s Pro fe ssor of Psy ch olo gy, Un iver sit y o f B rit ish Colu mbia

Pro fe sso r o f Med ic al P sy cho logy a nd Be ha viora l Neu robio logy
Fa cul ty o f Med ic in e, th e Univ er si ty of T übin gen

Org an isat ion al P sy ch olog i st

Re se ar ch P sy ch olog i st
Bolt on Univ er si ty

Dire ct or of I NS EAD Glob al L ead er ship Ce nt re

Ch ai r o f Cri mi nol ogy , P syc hi atry & P syc holo gy
Unive r sity o f P enn sy lva nia

P syc holo gi st

Re se ar ch P sy ch olog i st, B roc k Un iver sity , Can ada

Et hi ci st a nd Hi stor ia n

Ian Walker

Sally Regan

James Bradley

Simon Smith

Felicity Fox

Sound Design
Michael Gissing

Simon von Wolkenstein

Director, Ian Walker, Sa m Vaknin and Lidija Rangelovska
                     early in their trip

                                 SAM VAKNIN
In his own words

So you'd like to know more about me. My name Sam Vaknin. I was born in Israel in
1961. I'm an author of short stories, a winner of literary awards, and a columnist in
Central Europe Review,, PopMatters, and United Press International
(UPI). I am also the Editor of mental health categories in the Open Directory and Suite101.

I am not a mental health professional, though I was in Coun se lli ng Techniques. I hold a
Ph.D. from Pacific Western University and work as a financial consultant to leading
businesses in Macedonia, Russia and the Czech Republic.

My book, Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited, is one of the first books to talk
about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, which is just starting to gain recognition.

It was written under extreme conditions of duress. It was composed in jail as I was trying
to understand what had hit me. My nine year marriage dissolved, my finances were in a
shocking condition, my family estranged, my reputation ruined, my personal freedom
severely curtailed.

I wrote the first draft of the book in prison, by night ...standing. Then I re-wrote my
scrambled notes, uploaded them and, presto- there was a website. The book came
much later when I realized the pent up pain and solitude that narcissism wreaks upon its
sufferers and victims. It is a pernicious condition, the root of many mental health
disorders, and very poorly understood, diagnosed, reported, and studied. It was
recognized as a mental health category only in 1980 (DSM III).

Why did I go to prison in the first place? I crossed swords with the Israeli government.
Mine was shorter. I was imprisoned for grand fraud after I exposed major corruption in a
bank I bought through the stock exchange. But isn't this ("I'm not guilty!") what they all

Slowly, the realization that it was all my fault, that I was sick and needed help penetrated
the decades old defenses that I erected around me. This book is the documentation of a
road of self-discovery. It was a painful process, which led to nowhere. I am no different -
and no healthier - today than I was when I wrote this book. My disorder is here to stay,
the prognosis is poor and alarming.

My book says that narcissists are easily identifiable and that, once identified, can be
easily manipulated. The need to manipulate them arises out of their propensity to destroy
everything and everyone around them. To man ip ula te a nar ci ssi st i s t o surviv e. It
is a surv ival t a cti c of t he vi cti ms o f nar ci ssi st s.


Ian Walker has dedicated his film-making career to making the "ordinary" extra-ordinary
and the "real" surreal, a genre he describes as "magic realist" documentary. He can give
a serious twist to light-hearted subject - and, with serious topics, adds intelligent humour
and stylish visuals. He is the principal of the boutique factual production house
Magic|Real Picture Company.

In recent years, his directing work has had a distinctly "gothic" streak. He wrote and
directed OVER MY DEAD BODY for ABC-TV Science which uses hyper-real imagery, a
narrator who is dead and a wry and dispassionate tone to ask some tricky questions:
who wants you when you're dead, for what parts and what purpose? Ian was co-director
on the a six-part ABC series DUST TO DUST, which took viewers inside a funeral parlour
in Sydney's "Little Italy" and, part of the team behind ABC-TV's A CASE FOR THE

His first one-hour television documentary, THE HACKTIVISTS, a co-production for Arte
France and ABC-TV Australia, exposed the secret world of internet activism. It has now
been sold in six territories and screened at dozens of festivals around the world. His other
directing credits include episodes of the highly-praised SBS series Two of Us.
Internationally, he is best known as writer of the much-loved half-hour documentary film
MEN & THEIR SHEDS: A LOVE STORY (ABC Australia/Channel 4 UK).

His first film as Producer was the Dendy-nominated documentary NAKED ON THE
INSIDE, (SBS, 2007). It features five extra-ordinary people from around the world who
bare their flesh and tell their secrets regarding their relationship with their body. The film
has screened at festivals in Perth, Sydney and Zurich, been on television in Canada and
is coming soon on the major cable network Showtime in the United States.

Ian has a Master of Arts in Film & Television (Documentary) from the Australian Film &
Television School. His AFTRS graduation film THE NAKED LADY VANISHES won several
local and international awards and was broadcast on ABC-TV in 2000 to considerable
controversy and critical acclaim. Before his TV career, Ian worked for many years as a
newsreader on the ABC's youth station Triple J and as a documentary-maker, journalist
and producer for various programs on ABC Radio National.


Sally was awarded the Kenneth Myer Fellowship upon graduation from the Australian Film
Television and Radio School (1997) and has produced film and television in Australia,
Europe, Asia and America for the past 15 years.

From 1999 to 2003 Sally was Business Affairs Manager of Documentary Production at
Film Australia, Australia’s leading documentary agency. In her capacity as Business
Affairs Manager, Sally was responsible for over $6 million dollars AUD a year of
production, often managing across more than 50 projects at a time. This experience has
served her very well as an independent producer.

Most recently Sally has produced the multi award winning theatrical documentary thriller
FORBIDDEN LIE$. The film won the Cult Prize at the 2007 Rome Film Festival, The 2007
AFI Award for Best Documentary, The 2007 Film Critics Circle Award and was named
The Best Australian Documentary of 2007 by the Australian Film Critics Association

In 2007 Sally was awarded The Screen Producer’s Association Independent
Documentary Producer of the Year Award.

Sally has also co-produced the international Russell Crowe-featured series THE COLOUR
ratings wining THE PRIME MINISTER IS MISSING for Film Australia and ABC TV and is
currently producing the feature documentary I PSYCHOPATH for ZDF/ARTE and ABC

Scientific Consultant

Psychopathy pioneer, Dr. Robert Hare is Emeritus Professor of Psychology, University of
British Columbia. He has taught and conducted research for some 35 years, devoting
most of his academic career to the investigation of psychopathy, its nature, assessment,
and implications for mental health and criminal justice.

Dr Hare developed the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL) and its revision, the Psychopathy
Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) in response to the need for a reliable and valid assessment of
psychopathy. The checklist is considered the most reliable assessment for diagnosis of
psychopathy internationally. He is the author of several books, including Without
Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. His purpose in writing
the book was to warn people about the predators who walked among us, and to provide
a way for those with shattered lives as the result of an encounter with a psychopath to
deal with it. He believes that, for their own protection, it is crucial that people learn to
identify a psychopath who may be very close to them.

Hare consults with law enforcement, including the FBI and the RCMP, sits on the
Research Advisory Board of the new FBI Child Abduction and Serial Murder Investigative
Resources Center (CASMIRC), and is a member of the FBI Serial Murder Working Group.
He is also was a member of the Advisory Panel established by Her Majesty’s Prison
Service to develop new programs for the treatment of psychopathic offenders.

Hare along with his colleague Dr Paul Babiak has extended the theory and research on
psychopathy to the corporate world, with the development of the B-Scan-360, a 360º
instrument used to screen for psychopathic traits and behaviors, and a book, Snakes in
Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work.

Among his most recent awards are the Silver Medal of the Queen Sophia Center in
Spain; the Canadian Psychological Association Award for Distinguished Applications of
Psychology; the American Academy of Forensic Psychology Award for Distinguished
Applications to the Field of Forensic Psychology; the Isaac Ray Award presented by the
American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law for
Outstanding Contributions to Forensic Psychiatry and Psychiatric Jurisprudence; the B.
Jaye Anno Award for Excellence in Communication, presented by the National
Commission on Correctional Health Care, and the Lifetime Achievement Award
presented by the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. He is an Affiliate
Member of the International Criminal Investigative Analysis Fellowship. !

His Work

Dr. Hare addresses international audiences on every facet of psychopathy, from
personality assessment to risk factors to the psychopaths living among us. Hare believes
that while they may appear to be normal members of society, they're anything but, they
are society's most destructive and dangerous type of person.

Hare discounts the idea that psychopaths are essentially killers or convicts. His more
recent work involves educating the general public to see beyond the social stereotypes to
understand that psychopaths can be entrepreneurs, politicians, CEOs and other
successful individuals who may never see the inside of a prison and who don't commit
violent crimes. However, they do often commit violations of another sort: They exploit
people and leave them depleted and much the worse for the encounter. They prove to
be treacherous employees, conniving businessmen, or immoral officials who use their
position to victimize people and enrich themselves.

Hare says that we know little about these individuals in terms of systematic study about
how the disorder manifests in the public at large. Nevertheless, there are indications that
the personality structure and propensity for unethical treatment of others is common to
both criminal and non-criminal psychopaths. What is missing in psychopaths are the
qualities that people depend on for living in social harmony. In his book, Without a
Conscience, Hare estimated that there were more than two million psychopaths in North
America. "Psychopathy," he insists, "touches virtually every one of us." If psychopaths
make up 1% of the population, as he estimates, then we need to pay attention.

  The work of Hare and his associates clarified a set of diagnostic criteria that offers a
  practical approach to both the assessment and treatment of psychopathy. The PCL-R
  items are grouped around two basic factors, emotional/interpersonal features and social
  deviance. The following is a general list of the key symptoms that the Psychopathy
  Checklist (PCL) is designed to assess:


 1.   glib and superficial
 2.   egocentric and grandiose
 3.   lack of remorse or guilt
 4.   lack of empathy
 5.   deceitful and manipulative
 6.   shallow emotions

  Social Deviance

 7.   impulsive
 8.   poor behavior controls
 9.   need for excitement/prone to boredom
10.   lack of responsibility
11.   early behavior problems
12.   adult antisocial behavior

  PCL-R Score

  The PCL-R assesses these traits with a clinical rating scale of 20 items. Each item is
  scored on a three-point scale of 0, 1 or 2, according to specific criteria obtained through
  file information and structured interviews. A value of 0 is assigned if the item does not
  apply, 1 if it applies somewhat, and 2 if it fully applies. Scores are used to predict risk for
  criminal re-offense and as well as the probability of rehabilitation. For those assessed as
  having psychopathy, the current implication is that recovery or rehabilitation is extremely
  unlikely to the point of being hopeless.

  A c au tio nary not e : The PCL is a complex clinical tool for professional use. It sh ould
  not b e u sed to di agn ose y our sel f or ot he rs. A diagnosis requires explicit training
  and access to the formal scoring manual. People who are n ot psychopaths may have
  so me of the symptoms described here. Many people are impulsive, or glib, or cold and
  unfeeling, or antisocial, but this does not mean they are psychopaths. Psychopathy is a
  syndrome--a cluster of related symptoms.

OF THE PSYCHOPATHS AMONG US by Robert D. Hare, pp. 33-53.
Guilford Press Ne w York, 1999.

Note the following excerpt is for bac kground information for press
and is subject to copyright law. It may be used as research material
for articles, but cannot to be reprinted in whole or in part without the
permission of the publisher Guilford Publications, Inc.
Contact : kkueh

Glib and Superficial

Psychopaths are often witty and articulate. They can be amusing and entertaining
conversationalists, ready with a quick and clever comeback, and can tell unlikely but
convincing stories that cast themselves in a good light. They can be very effective in
presenting themselves well and are often very likable and charming. To some people,
however, they seem too slick and smooth, too obviously insincere and superficial. Astute
observers often get the impression that psychopaths are play-acting, mechanically
"reading their lines."

One of my raters described an interview she did with a prisoner: "I sat down and took out
my clipboard, and the first thing this guy told me was what beautiful eyes I had. He
managed to work quite a few compliments on my appearance into the interview --
couldn't get over my hair. So by the time I wrapped things up I was feeling
unusually...well, pretty. I'm a wary person, especially on the job, and can usually spot a
phony. When I got back outside, I couldn't believe I'd fallen for a line like that."

Psychopaths may ramble and tell stories that seem unlikely in light of what is known
about them. Typically, they attempt to appear familiar with sociology, psychiatry,
medicine, psychology, philosophy, poetry, literature, art, or law. A signpost to this trait is
often a smooth lack of concern at being found out. One of our prison files describes a
psychopathic inmate claiming to have advanced degrees in sociology and psychology,
when in fact he did not even complete high school. He maintained the fiction during an
interview with one of my students, a Ph.D. candidate in psychology; she commented that
the inmate was so confident in his use of technical jargon and concepts that those not
familiar with the field of psychology might well have been impressed. Variations on this
sort of "expert" theme are common among psychopaths....

Egocentric and Grandiose

Psychopaths have a narcissistic and grossly inflated view of their self-worth and
importance, a truly astounding egocentricity and sense of entitlement, and see
themselves as the center of the universe, as superior beings who are justified in living
according to their own rules. "It's not that I don't follow the law," said one of our subjects.
"I follow my own laws. I never violate my own rules." She then described these rules in
terms of "looking out for number one."
When another psychopath, in prison for a variety of crimes including robbery, rape, and
fraud, was asked if he had any weaknesses, he replied, "I don't have any weaknesses,
except maybe I'm too caring." On a 10-point scale he rated himself "an all-round 10. I
would have said 12, but that would be bragging. If I had a better education I'd be

The grandiosity and pomposity of some psychopaths often emerges in dramatic fashion
in the courtroom. For example, it is not unusual for them to criticize or fire their lawyers
and to take over their own defense, usually with disastrous results. "My partner got a
year. I got two because of a shithead lawyer," said one of our subjects. He later handled
his own appeal and saw his sentence increased to three years.

Psychopaths often come across as arrogant, shameless braggarts -- self-assured,
opinionated, domineering, and cocky. They love to have power and control over others
and seem unable to believe that other people have valid opinions different from theirs.
They appear charismatic or "electrifying" to some people.

Psychopaths are seldom embarrassed about their legal, financial, or personal problems.
Rather, they see them as temporary setbacks, the results of bad luck, unfaithful friends,
or an unfair and incompetent system.

Although psychopaths often claim to have specific goals, they show little understanding
of the qualifications required -- they have no idea how to achieve their goals and little or
no chance of attaining them, given their track record and lack of sustained interest in
education. The psychopathic inmate thinking about parole might outline vague plans to
become a property tycoon or a lawyer for the poor. One inmate, not particularly literate,
managed to copyright the title of a book he was planning to write about himself and was
already counting the fortune his bestseller would bring....

A Lack of Remorse or Guilt

Psychopaths show a stunning lack of concern for the devastating effects their actions
have on others. Often they are completely forthright about the matter, calmly stating that
they have no sense of guilt, are not sorry for the pain and destruction they have caused,
and that there is no reason for them to be concerned.

When asked if he had any regrets about stabbing a robbery victim who subsequently
spent three months in the hospital as a result of his wounds, one of our subjects replied,
"Get real! He spends a few months in a hospital and I rot here. I cut him up a bit, but if I
wanted to kill him I would have slit his throat. That's the kind of guy I am; I gave him a
break." Asked if he regretted any of his crimes, he said, "I don't regret nothing. What's
done is done. There must have been a reason why I did it at the time, and that is why it
was done...."

On the other hand, psychopaths sometimes verbalize remorse but then contradict
themselves in words or actions. Criminals in prison quickly learn that remorse is an
important word. When asked if he experienced remorse over a murder he'd committed,
one young inmate told us, "Yeah, sure, I feel remorse." Pressed further, he said that he
didn't "feel bad inside about it."

I was once dumbfounded by the logic of an inmate who described his murder victim as
having benefited from the crime by learning "a hard lesson about life."
"The guy only had himself to blame," another inmate said of the man he'd murdered in an
argument about paying a bar tab. "Anybody could have seen I was in a rotten mood that
night. What did he want to go and bother me for?" He continued, "Anyway, the guy never
suffered. Knife wounds to an artery are the easiest way to go."

Psychopaths' lack of remorse or guilt is associated with a remarkable ability to rationalize
their behavior and to shrug off personal responsibility for actions that cause shock and
disappointment to family, friends, associates, and others who have played by the rules.
Usually they have handy excuses for their behavior, and in some cases they deny that it
happened at all....

Lack of Empathy

Many of the characteristics displayed by psychopaths -- especially their egocentricity,
lack of remorse, shallow emotions, and deceitfulness are closely associated with a
profound lack of empathy (an inability to construct a mental and emotional "facsimile" of
another person). They seem unable to "get into the skin" or to "walk in the shoes" of
others, except in a purely intellectual sense. The feelings of other people are of no
concern to psychopaths.

In some respects they are like the emotionless androids depicted in science fiction,
unable to imagine what real humans experience. One rapist, high on the Psychopathy
Checklist, commented that he found it hard to empathize with his victims. "They are
frightened, right? But, you see, I don't really understand it. I've been scared myself, and it
wasn't unpleasant."

Psychopaths view people as little more than objects to be used for their own gratification.
The weak and the vulnerable -- whom they mock, rather than pity--are favorite targets.
"There is no such thing, in the psychopathic universe, as the merely weak," wrote
psychologist Robert Rieber. "Whoever is weak is also a sucker; that is, someone who
demands to be exploited...."
Deceitful and Manipulative

Lying, deceiving, and manipulation are natural talents for psychopaths.

With their powers of imagination in gear and focused on themselves, psychopaths
appear amazingly unfazed by the possibility -- or even by the certainty -- of being found
out. When caught in a lie or challenged with the truth, they are seldom perplexed or
embarrassed -- they simply change their stories or attempt to rework the facts so that
they appear to be consistent with the lie. The results are a series of contradictory
statements and a thoroughly confused listener. Much of the lying seems to have no
motivation other than what psychologist Paul Ekman refers to as a "duping delight...."

Psychopaths seem proud of their ability to lie. When asked if she lied easily, one woman
with a high score on the Psychopathy Checklist laughed and replied, "I'm the best. I'm
really good at it, I think because I sometimes admit to something bad about myself.
They'd think, well, if she's admitting to that she must be telling the truth about the rest."
She also said that she sometimes "salts the mine" with a nugget of truth." If they think
some of what you say is true, they usually think it's all true."

Many observers get the impression that psychopaths sometimes are unaware that
they're lying; it is as if the words take on a life of their own, unfettered by the speaker's
knowledge that the observer is aware of the facts. The psychopath's indifference to being
identified as a liar is truly extraordinary; it causes the listener to wonder about the
speaker's sanity. More often, though, the listener is taken in....


Shallow Emotions

"I'm the most cold-blooded son of a bitch that you'll ever meet.'' So Ted Bundy
described himself to the police following his final arrest.

Psychopaths seem to suffer a kind of emotional poverty that limits the range and depth of
their feelings. While at times they appear cold and unemotional, they are prone to
dramatic, shallow, and short-lived displays of feeling. Careful observers are left with the
impression that they are play-acting and that little is going on below the surface.

Sometimes they claim to experience strong emotions but are unable to describe the
subtleties of various affective states. For example, they equate love with sexual arousal,
sadness with frustration, and anger with irritability. "I believe in emotions: hate, anger,
lust, and greed," said Richard Ramirez, the "Night Stalker...."

The apparent lack of normal affect and emotional depth led psychologists J. H. Johns
and H. C. Quay to say that the psychopath "knows the words but not the music." For
example, in a rambling book about hate, violence, and rationalizations for his behavior,
Jack Abbott made this revealing comment: "There are emotions -- a whole spectrum of
them -- that I know only through words, through reading and in my immature imagination.
I can imagine I feel these emotions (know, therefore, what they are), but I do not. At age
thirty-seven I am barely a precocious child. My passions are those of a boy...."


         The use of technology in psychopathy

Hare and his colleagues continued this research to learn more about the brain's
involvement in psychopathic behaviors. They used whole brain functional magnetic
resonance imaging (fMRI) to see if there were neurological manifestations of the way
psychopaths process different types of words. When non-psychopaths processed
negative emotional words (e.g., rape, death, cancer), activity in the limbic regions of the
brain increased. For psychopaths there was little or no increased activity in these
regions. Curiously, however, there was increased activity in other areas. In short, the
emotional word does not have the same limbic implication for psychopaths that it does
for normal people.

! "They seemed to be like Spock or Data on Star Trek," Hare explains, "What I thought
 was most interesting was that for the first time ever, as far as I know, we found that there
 was no activation of the appropriate areas for emotional arousal, but there was over-
 activation in other parts of the brain, including parts of the brain that are ordinarily
 devoted to language. Those parts were active, as if they were saying, 'Hey, isn't that
 interesting.' So they seem to be analyzing emotional material in terms of its linguistic or
 dictionary meaning."

Yet Hare does not think that psychopathy is caused by brain damage. Instead, he says,
"there are anomalies in the way psychopaths process information. It may be more
general than just emotional information. In another functional MRI study, we looked at
the parts of the brain that are used to process concrete and abstract words. Non-
psychopathic individuals showed increased activation of the right anterior/superior
temporal cortex. For the psychopaths, that didn't happen."

Hare and his colleagues then conducted an fMRI study using pictures of neutral scenes
and unpleasant homicide scenes. "Non-psychopathic offenders show lots of activation in
the amygdala [to unpleasant scenes], compared with neutral pictures," he points out. "In
the psychopath, there was nothing. No difference. But there was overactivation in the
same regions of the brain that were overactive during the presentation of emotional
words. It's like they're analyzing emotional material in extra-limbic regions."

Niels Birbaumer was born in 1945. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1969, in biological
psychology, art history, and statistics, from the University of Vienna, Austria. From 1975
to 1993, he was a Full Professor of clinical and physiological psychology, University of
Tübingen, Germany. From 1986 to 1988, he was a Full Professor of psychology,
Pennsylvania State University, USA. Since 1993, he has been a Professor of medical
psychology and behavioral neurobiology at the Faculty of Medicine, the University of
Tübingen, and Professor of clinical psychophysiology, University of Padova, Italy. Since
2002, he has been the Director of the Center of Cognitive Neuroscience, University of
Trento, Italy.

Since 1975 he has been supervisor of the German Society of Behaviour Modification. He
is fellow of the Academy of Behavioural Medicine Research and fellow of the Society of
Behavioural Medicine. The scientific oevre of Prof. Birbaumer consists of over 400
publications. He is the author of three books and editor of eight.

In 2001 the World Cultural Council presented Birbaumer with the Alb ert Ein stei n
World A wa rd o f Sci en c e. The award is given as recognition to scientific and
technological development that has brought true benefit and well-being to mankind. Prof.
Birbaumer was recognized for his many contributions to Neurobiology, as well as his
pioneering work on the self-regulation of slow cortical potentials and behavior.

Birbaumer has been experimenting with neurofeedback to see whether it can help
psychopathic criminals control their impulses.

Birbaumer’s laboratory is one of the three largest worldwide and is definitely the most
productive and internationally well-known in the field of cortical psychophysiology.

Prof. Niels Birbaumer, Tubingen University

Tame your brain to keep your cool

IT SEEMS that emotional self-control really does come from within.

Previous studies have shown that people can learn to control the activity levels of
specific brain regions to alter, for example, pain levels, when shown real-time
"neurofeedback" from fMRI brain images. Now a similar approach may help
psychopathic criminals increase their emotional fluency.

Niels Birbaumer and Ranganatha Sitaram from the University of Tübingen in
Germany found that by showing healthy volunteers the activity levels of the insula,
a brain region important in emotional processing, represented in real time as a
thermometer bar on a screen, the volunteers could control their emotional

After four training sessions they had learned to raise and lower their insula activity
levels, in turn changing how they rated the emotional quality of disturbing or
neutral images.

Three psychopathic prison inmates who lacked a normal insula response trained
the same way. After four days, one appeared to have learned to raise his insula
activity towards more normal levels. It opens a potential avenue for treating
emotional disorders such as psychopathy or social phobia, the team told a
meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Atlanta, Georgia, last week.

Article from New Scient ist, 28 October, 2006 Issue no 2575

How fMRI tests work on the brain
In I, Psychopath, Sam Vaknin and his wife Lidija both undergo fMRI testing at the
laboratory of Dr. Niels Birbaumer and his team at Tubingen University.

Brain cells communicate by producing tiny electrical impulses that facilitate processes
such as thought, memory, consciousness, and emotion. Electroencephalography (EEG),
a process that involves placing multiple electrodes on a person's scalp to capture neural
signals, detects these impulses as tiny currents.

The acquired signals, when amplified and input into a computer for processing, can be
translated into messages or commands that reflect a person's intentions and emotions.
By being shown a “thermometer” which represents the signals to a particular part of the
brain, the subject can use their thoughts to make the reading rise and fall. Each time this
exercise is undertaken, it strengthens the neural pathways to that particular section of the

Birbaumer calls his machine a Thought Translation Device, or TTD. It is attuned to a low-
frequency brain wave called the slow cortical potential, which people can produce at will.
By controlling their thoughts, patients can answer yes-or-no questions, spell out
sentences or even surf the Internet.

Niels Birbaumer has had considerable success in using this technique to enable patients
with Lou Gherig disease (locked in syndrome) to translate brain activity into computer
commands to enable them to communicate.

Experiments are currently being undertaken to see if this same technique could be
pioneered to change psychopath’s behaviour. In psychopaths there is little electrical
activity in the anterior cingular, the section of the brain that deals with empathy.

The hypothesis is that if a psychopath could strengthen their neural pathways to the
anterior cingular, then they could “switch on” their empathy region. The main problem
hindering researchers is that successful research to date has been undertaken on
subjects who have a need to overcome a mental or physical handicap. The technique is
not as successful with Psychopaths as they are flawed subjects for the test. They lack
incentive to succeed in the test as their sense of grandiosity means they see no need to
change their behaviour.

Sam Vaknin is prepa red for his fMRI in the lab at Tubingen

How to Spot a Psychopath at Work

  1.   Does your boss or workmate come acro ss as smooth,
       polished and charming?

  2.   Do they turn most conversat ions around to a discussion
       about them?

  3.   Do they discred it or put others down in order to build-up
       their own image and reputation?

  4.   Can they lie with a straight face to the ir co-workers,
       customers, or business associates?

  5.   Do they consider people they’ve outsm arted or manipulated
       as dumb or stupid?

  6.   Are they opportunistic, ruthless, hat ing to lose and playing
       to win?

       Do they come across as cold and calculating?

  7.   Do they sometimes act in an unethical o r dishonest

       Have they created a power network in t he organisation,
       then used it for personal ga in?

  8.   Do they show no regret for making dec isions that negatively
       affect the company, shareholders, or e mployees?

Belinda Board is a Chartered Clinical
Psychologist, registered with the British
Psychological Society. She has also read an
MSc in Forensic psychology and has further
studies in Organisational psychology. She is
currently researching mental ill health “in a
forensic context”. Her published papers can
be found in the Journal of Affective Disorders
and the Journal of Psychology, Crime and
Law. She guest lectures on the Forensic MSc
programme at the University of Surrey.
Board’s research interests include personality
disorders and understanding them outside the
context      of   the medical     model which
emphasises the labelling and 'medicalisation'
of these behavioural clusters. She also has
research interest in mental health in the
workplace.      Her   current   research      is
investigating mental health barriers to RTW.
Board has successfully run PeopleWise, an
organisation of consulting psychologists to industry, for over 15 years.

Disordered Personalities at Work
 In 2005, Belinda published ‘Disordered Personalities at Work’ – a study that compared
 Personality Disorder (PD) profiles across 3 separate populations - forensic, psychiatric and
 a “normal” sample of high-ranking business execs. The business sample was a s lik ely as
 the prison and psychiatric populations to demonstrate traits associated with nar ci ssi st ic
 and co mpu l sive p er son ali ty d isord er and sig ni fi ca ntly mor e l ike ly to show
 characteristics associated with h istri oni c p er so n ali ty di so rde r. These are the elements
 of PD associated with the “emotional component” of psychopathy. Her conclusion is that
 there are elements of PD in everyone (varying only in degree) and overlap between the
 different PDs. Labelling someone with a PD is unreliable and can become problematic (eg,
 legally and implications for treatability). Board refers to psychopathy as a form of PD
 “although it has not featured in the last versions of DSM”. She says psychopathic PD
 comprises “emotional detachment” (superficial charm, egocentricity, etc) + “antisocial

Disordered Personalities at Work Study
(Study done 2001, paper published 2005)

Taking a dimensional approach (which views the characteristics of personality disorders as
extremes of normal behaviour) and in view of growing evidence for the existence of
successful psychopaths, Belinda Board examines the representation of PD traits across
three distinct groups – forensic, psychiatric and a “normal” sample of high-ranking business

  1. Categorical              vs     dimensional          approach         to    personality

     •     categorical approach = characteristics of PDs distinct from normal behaviour
           (common view, held by American Psychiatric Association DSM etc)

     •     dimensional approach = PDs as extreme or exaggerated forms of normal behaviour

     2. Manifestations of PDs

     •     Taking the dimensional approach, there may be people in the community with
           elements of PD who have avoided PD labels because:

         a) they haven’t come into contact with mental health services or criminal justice
             systems (this is where most diagnoses are made), or

         b) because their PDs manifest in socially acceptable ways, like business leadership

     •     Antisocial PD: it is commonly diagnosed in criminal populations and because these
           people have, by definition, behaved antisocially, the label is associated with socially
           deviant behaviour - this circularity confounds understanding of the personality
           characteristics underlying the PD and ensures its high prevalence rates in offender

     •     Growing evidence for the existence of ‘successful psychopaths’ - people with
           psychopathic PD patterns but without history of arrest & incarceration .

     •     Elements of NPD bear striking resemblance to personality characteristics
           associated with successful business leadership – aggressiveness, extroversion,
           grandiosity etc

2. "Disordered Personalities at Work" – motivation

 •     the dimensional vs categorical debate + an interest in the idea of “successful
       psychopaths” is what motivated her study – she asked:

     a) Is there overlap between the PD profile of a “normal” population and a clinical
        populations known to have high levels of PDs?
     b) Are there differences in the degree of PD representations? (MMPI measures PDs
        on a scale, doesn’t assign distinct categories)

 •     PLUS specific interest in those PDs associated with psychopathy (NPD, antisocial,
       histrionic, borderline, passive-aggressive & paranoid) because of the links between
       psychopathy and success in senior management – ie, finding more evidence for
       this idea of the “successful psychopath”

3. Participants in the study

 •     BB compared PD traits across forensic, psychiatric and "normal" senior business
       management samples

     1. “normal” sample = 39 senior business managers and CEOs from leading UK
         British companies (testing carried out by BB: MMPI-PD + interview)

     2. forensic sample = 1085 mentally disordered offenders from Broadmoor Special
        Hospital, England (patients with legal classification of either “Mental Illness” or
        “Psychopathic Disorder”) – data from existing hospital records

     3. psychiatric sample = data taken from MMPI testing by Morey et al (1985) – 475
        randomly selected psychiatric patients

4. Findings of Belinda Board’s study

 •   Business manager sample significantly MORE likely to show traits associated with
     hi stri oni c per so na lity di so rde r (eg, superficial charm, insincerity, egocentricity
     and manipulation)

 •   Business sample AS LIKELY to show traits associated with nar ci ssi st ic
     per son al ity di sor der (eg, grandiosity, self-focused lack of empathy for others,
     exploitativeness and independence)

 •   Business sample AS LIKELY to show traits associated with co mp ul siv e
     per son al ity di sord er (eg, perfectionism, excessive devotion to work, rigidity,
     stubbornness and dictatorial tendencies)

 •   The senior business management sample appears to possess - to a degree that is
     equivalent to and at times exceeds the criminal sample – the e mo tio na l
     co mpo ne nt s of p syc hop at hic PD (narcissism, histrionic, compulsive traits) but
     lack the elements of psychopathic PD associated with a ‘deviant lifestyle’
     (antisocial, borderline, paranoid, passive-aggressive)

 •   The results showed elements of PDs across all four sample populations. The
     continuous distribution of PDs across normal and clinical populations supports the
     dimensional perspective that the characteristics of PD are not qualitatively different
     from those of “normal” personality but vary in degree.

5. Conclusions of Belinda Board’s study

  1. Valid to measure PDs as a constellation of traits rather than categorical states
     (evidence for the dimensional perspective – overlap between characteristics of

  2. Elements of PD found to be distributed across a fully functioning sample drawn
     from the non-clinical population. PD profile for the senior business manager
     showed significant elements of what’s referred to as the “emotional component”
     of psychopathic PD but absent of those elements of PD associated with a
     “deviant lifestyle”

  3. The reason why these people progress to positions of legitimate power, rather
     than social deviance, remains perplexing – but, as a place of origin, it’s wrong to
     look to medical models of disease

  4. There is enormous weight of evidence that challenges the categorical perspective
     of PD “entities” and, for the following reasons, it is time to focus on a dimensional
     approach to personality and its pathology:

         a. Health professionals, especially those who can influence the liberty of an
            individual, have a duty of care to use the most reliable and valid methods
            to assess risk of offenders

         b. More accurate and consistent measurement of PDs would assist research
            (esp. in the area of assessing treatment)

  5. Accepted limitations of the study: relatively small size of business manager
     sample + business and forensic samples represent extremes in the populations

  6. The act of labelling individuals has been shown to lead those individuals to adopt
     roles that reflect society’s expectation of possessing that particular label – ie,
     labels become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

     “PD labels, defined by their socially deviant behaviour, cease being descriptive
     and become explanations of the very behaviours they were intended to simply

For an academic, Christine Kirkman watches a lot of television, Whenever she can tune in
her life goes on hold for the long running TV Soap Coronation Street. It’s a guilty pleasure
that gave her one of her best research ideas.

A former mental nurse from the “old institutions”, Kirkman is a chartered psychologist and
senior lecturer at the University of Bolton, teaching psychology and research methods to
registered nurses. She spent 6 years doing the “Soap opera to science” study for her PHD,
published 2005.

The character Dierdre Barlow was one woman who kept falling for the wrong guy. It
culminated in a storyline that left poor Dierdre behind bars, doing time for the man she
loved. Kirkman thought there may be other “Dierdre’s” watching the show.

Kirkman set out to explore the nature of the heterosexual relationship and it’s traumatic
effect on the female partners who become victimised. She posed herself a question : If
psychopaths are unable to form meaningful relationships, why and how do they enter into
“love relationships”?

Armed with the knowledge gained through her six years of research, she is now intent on
educating women on how to avoid psychopathic men. Kirkman says beware of intelligent
men who charm with flowers! She suggests there is a certain profile for the female victim,
easily identified by the psychopath as a good target for his deceptive tactics. Kirkman says
the damage experienced by victims is not well understood or dealt with by existing
therapeutic practice – Kirkman is interested in addressing this.

In I, Psychopath, Kirkman interviews Sam Vaknin’s wife, Lidija, just as she did her previous
subjects to examine the nature of her relationship with Sam. Kirkman gets Lidija to
complete the P-Scan to get a sense of Sam’s psychopathy score and does various
personality tests (NEO-FFI, EETS) to see if Lidija fits the profile of the “suitable” female
victim (high empathy, “co-operative”).

Summary of Dr. Christine Kirkman’s Study into the
Partners of Psychopaths
Kir kma n’ s study id en ti fi ed:

A) Common themes in the nature of psychopaths in
1.        Manipulation through charm and plausible interaction (deception)
2.        Pathological lying (deception)
3.        Economic abuse
4.        Emotional abuse and psychological torture
5.        Multiple infidelities
6.        Isolation and coercion
7.        Physical Assault, sexual assault and rape
8.        Using children and maltreatment of children

B) Four discriminating characteristics of the psychopath that
   manifest in the context of an heterosexual relationship:

1.        the psychopath can use p at hol ogi ca l g libn e ss to gain power over the woman;

2.        thri ll -se ek ing and the ant isoc ial p ur su it o f p ow er provide the impetus for
          this process;

3.        the ab sen ce o f guil t is the reason that thrill-seeking and dominant urges are
          satisfied without being harnessed or deterred by guilt.

C) Commonalities in the experiences of the female partner

1.        common personality traits, especially high empathy
          (assessed via EET and Neo-Five Factor Inventory tests)

2.        eventual detection of deception in the relationship

3.        ego-defence mechanisms used to reduce anxieties

4.        significant physical, social, psychological damage from the relationship

Conclusions of Kirkman’s Study :

•        There are males living amongst us who have the behavioural/personality features
         that define psychopathy and forming a relationship with them is profoundly

•       The damage experienced by victims is not well understood or dealt with by existing
         therapeutic practice

    •    Heterosexual relationships with men who have psychopathic traits were shown to
         be qualitatively and quantitatively different from both normal and “bad or stressful”

    •    Evidence of “successful psychopaths” (all had committed crimes) + “evolutionary
         success” - they are able to recognize easily exploited co-operators through a range
         of potentially advantageous and identifiable characteristics (especially empathy)

    •   Based on her findings, Kirkman developed a theoretical model to understand how a
        psychopathic male establishes a heterosexual relationship – “Th e 5
        Pre req ui si te s Mod el ” [good summary of all findings]

    Coronation St Scenario – psychopaths in popular culture

    •   When watching Coronation St, Kirkman noticed massive public interest in Deirdre
        Barlow’s story of being duped by a psychopathic lover and saw the opportunity to
        access female victims of psychopaths (17 million viewers)

    •   The particular storyline (1998-9) was the one in which Coronation St character
        Deirdre Barlow was deceived and manipulated by the TV soap’s fictional
        psychopath, Jon Lindsay. Jon had posed as an airline pilot, conned Deirdre,
        committed fraud and she was thrown in jail for his crimes. The British public started a
        big grassroots campaign, pleading with Granada Television to "free the Weatherfield
        One." The Home Secretary even involved Prime Minister Tony Blair, who, with only a
        touch of irony, attempted to intervene on Deirdre's behalf. When another of
        Lindsay's victims came forward, Deirdre was released and Jon was finally made to
        pay for his crimes.

    •   Kirkman phoned Granada and researchers confirmed that the John Lindsay
        character came from psychopathic personality, based on a real experience.

    •   Kirkman placed ads/articles in local papers: ‘Were you duped like Deirdre?’ to find
        her research subjects.

       Kirkman’s “5 Prerequisite Model”

    The heterosexual relationship pre-quisites for males with
psychopathic traits forming a relationship with a non-psychopathic

                                        LACK OF
      MOTIVATION                      RESTRAINING

                   SUITABLE VICTIM

      OVERCOMING                        CREATING
        EXTERNAL                     CONDITIONS TO
       INHIBITORY                        SECURE
        FACTORS                      ATTACHMENT OF


The 5 Prerequisites Model
Based on the findings of her study, Kirkman devised the 5 Prerequisites Model to explain
how psychopathic males establish heterosexual relationships, which can then be used as a
context for victimization. All 5 prerequisites have to be in place:

1.     Mo tiv atio n
•      Sensory deprivation and the pathological need for thrill-seeking

2.     La ck o f int er na l r e str ai nin g for ce s
•      Lack of conscience and of an empathic concern for others

3.    Ident ific at ion o f a co -op er ativ e vic ti m (vs d efec tor)
•     To identify and eventually partner a female who is manipulable, easily exploited and

•     Study showed these are women who are highly empathic and are easily identified
      through a range of behaviours which show that they’re c o-ope rat or s

•      Eg, sharing resources, being honest in communication, being affiliative, having
       pleasant temperaments, being non-aggressive, and having high emotionality

•      Women who are, in biological terms, d efe ctor s (uncooperative or cynical) would
       be avoided by the male as pursuing women with those traits would fail to serve his
       best interests.

•      Vulnerabilities– many of the women were vulnerable at the time of meeting the male
       due to their youth or past unhappy experience.

4.     Ove rco m ing exte rn al in hibi tory fac tor s (reservations of family & friends)

•      Pathological glibness + successful deceptive tactics used to convince the woman’s
       significant others of his suitability as a future partner, or convince the woman to
       reject the influences of outsiders.

5.     Cr ea ti ng co ndit ion s to se cu re a tt ac h me nt o f v ict i m
•      He invests considerable effort into securing the female’s attachment; the woman’s
       trust in the male was quickly fuelled as he pursued her with charm.

•      By creating attachment security, the woman’s empathic tendencies become
       available for exploitation .


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