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Frequencies for Rorschach Response Styles and Types of Crimes

Frequencies for Rorschach Response Styles and Types of Crimes

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Psychopathy is considered an essential construct in forensic work (Gacono, 2016). Most methodologically sound studies have involved males rather than females (Smith et al., 2014). Gender differences have been found to be, and continue to be considered important in the assessment and management of forensic populations (Cunliffe et al., 2016). Male p...

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... significant differences between gender in regards to PCL-R total score, age, IQ, types of crime (other/unknown crime type was not compared), Responses (amount produced), and Lambda (measure of test engagement) were found (see Table 1 & 2). The female psychopaths produced a Rorschach response style that was predominantly ambitent (inconsistent problem-solving style) whereas the male psychopaths produced a style that was predominantly extratensive (a trial and error problem solving style); however, there were no significant differences on any response style (see Table 2). ...

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... The authors speculate that the female psychopathic offender identifies both with the victim (AgPast) as well as the aggressor (AgPot), and aggressive behavior (AgC; Smith, Gacono, & Cunliffe, 2020). In another study, Smith et al. (2018) compared female (n = 46) and male (n = 44) psychopathic offenders on a selected set of Rorschach CS variables. The authors hypothesized that male psychopathic offenders would have significantly more Fr + rF and PER, while their female counterparts would produce more Pairs, MOR, SumV, SumT, and SumY. ...
... The authors hypothesized that male psychopathic offenders would have significantly more Fr + rF and PER, while their female counterparts would produce more Pairs, MOR, SumV, SumT, and SumY. Most of these hypotheses received no support, but female psychopathic offenders did produce more SumT than their male counterparts (Smith et al., 2018). ...
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Over the years, a significant number of Rorschach studies have been conducted with forensic adult and adolescent samples, partly motivated by the use of the test in forensic psychological evaluations. Could the Rorschach, as a performance-based personality assessment tool, provide unique information that is not as vulnerable to distortion on the part of the examinee as self-report measures are? This article provides a review of Rorschach studies on relevant Rorschach variables, including those with different forensic samples. Empirical findings are mixed; there is not a one-on-one relationship between certain Rorschach variables and forensically relevant traits, such as psychopathy or hostility. This does not mean the Rorschach cannot provide useful information in answering psychological questions before the court. A case illustration of a male college student, who committed a (first) violent offense, illustrates the unique contribution of the Rorschach for understanding the psychological dynamics behind a violent act that was seemingly out of character.
... Research indicates that male and female psychopathic structures are behaviorally similar but not equivalent (Beryl et al., 2014;Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005;de Vogel & Lancel, 2016;Dolan & Völlm, 2009;Forouzan & Cooke, 2005;Gacono & Meloy, 1994;Pauli et al., 2018;Smith et al., 2018Smith et al., , 2019Smith et al., , 2020aSmith et al., , 2021aSmith et al., , 2021bVerona & Vitale, 2018). The personality functioning of the psychopathic male is best understood as a form of pathological narcissism (Kernberg, 1967(Kernberg, , 1975(Kernberg, , 1976Gacono & Meloy, 1994, Meloy, 1988, while the psychopathic female displays a form of malignant hysteria 1 (Cale & Lilienfeld, 2002;Cunliffe et al., 2016;Forouzan & Cooke, 2005;Gacono & Meloy, 1994;Kreis & Cooke, 2011;Smith et al., 2014Smith et al., , 2018. ...
... Research indicates that male and female psychopathic structures are behaviorally similar but not equivalent (Beryl et al., 2014;Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005;de Vogel & Lancel, 2016;Dolan & Völlm, 2009;Forouzan & Cooke, 2005;Gacono & Meloy, 1994;Pauli et al., 2018;Smith et al., 2018Smith et al., , 2019Smith et al., , 2020aSmith et al., , 2021aSmith et al., , 2021bVerona & Vitale, 2018). The personality functioning of the psychopathic male is best understood as a form of pathological narcissism (Kernberg, 1967(Kernberg, , 1975(Kernberg, , 1976Gacono & Meloy, 1994, Meloy, 1988, while the psychopathic female displays a form of malignant hysteria 1 (Cale & Lilienfeld, 2002;Cunliffe et al., 2016;Forouzan & Cooke, 2005;Gacono & Meloy, 1994;Kreis & Cooke, 2011;Smith et al., 2014Smith et al., , 2018. The grandiose self-structure is self-regulating for psychopathic males, bolstering an omnipotent sense of self while circumventing both internal and external threats to self-image (Gacono, 1990;Kernberg, 1967Kernberg, , 1975Kernberg, , 1976Meloy, 1988). ...
... Of note is a constellation of typical hysterical defenses (primitive idealization, repression, and all forms of denial; Tables 3, 6, & 7) produced significantly more by the FPs. The FP also produce more T and ROD, which, when produced in nonpatient participants, may represent a sign of health; but for psychopaths, these only provide an intrapsychic irritant that stimulates disruptions to their personality functioning (Gacono & Meloy, 1994;Smith et al., 2018). The male psychopath is less troubled by these interpersonal pulls (MP T = 0, 90%). ...
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The psychopathic personality is organized at a borderline level of personality. Additionally, while male psychopaths are considered to manifest pathological narcissism, female psychopaths are best understood in terms of malignant hysteria. Using Kernberg's three components of borderline personality functioning (identity diffusion, reliance on primitive defenses, and transient lapses in reality testing),
... In summary, female psychopathy can be conceptualized as having a malignant hysterical style organized at a borderline or psychotic level of personality which includes increased pseudodependency, pathological self-focus, dysphoric affect, a suggestible and impressionistic cognitive style, somatic symptoms, poor reality testing, and poor emotional controls (Cale & Lilienfeld, 2002;Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005, 2008Cunliffe et al., 2016;Forouzan & Cooke, 2005;Gacono & Meloy, 1994;Hare, 2003;Hicks et al., 2010;Kreis & Cooke, 2011;Smith et al., 2014Smith et al., , 2018Verona et al., 2012). ...
... While optimal PCL-R cutoff scores may vary in clinical usage, a PCL-R total score ≥ 30 is recommended for all research that categorically purports to compare psychopaths and non-psychopaths 3 . (Cunliffe et al., 2016;Gacono, 2016;Gacono & Gacono, 2006;Hare, 2003;Neumann et al., 2016;Smith et al., 2018) Data Analysis. The Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 22 was used for all calculations. ...
... Recently, research has been conducted that has shown convergence with Rorschach data and PAI findings (Morey & McCredie, 2019;. Our findings have been consistent with previous independent findings with the Rorschach and the PCL-R with incarcerated psychopathic women (Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005;Smith et al., 2014Smith et al., , 2018. Specifically, the result of somatic concerns on the PAI (SOM-C) is similar to finding body concerns on the Rorschach (An + Xy) with psychopathic women (Smith et al., 2014). ...
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In this study, PCL-R scores were used in correlational analyses with PAI scales in a sample of incarcerated women (N = 133). The total PCL-R score was significantly correlated with many PAI scales including ANT, DRG, and AGG. Categorical analyses were also used where the psychopathic women (N = 71; PCL-R ≥ 30) were significantly higher on the PAI scales of MAN, VPI, PAR, BOR, ANT, AGG, DOM; the non-psychopathic women (N = 28; PCL-R total score ≤ 24) scored higher on the RXR scale. These results further elucidate the conceptualization of female psychopathy (borderline and histrionic personality traits) and were consistent both with clinical observations, theoretical conceptualizations, and previous Rorschach research. Clinical implications were provided for working with incarcerated psychopathic women.
Chapter
Psychopathy is an essential construct for research and applied usage (Gacono, 2016). The Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R; Hare, 2003) is the only valid method for assessing the Cleckley psychopath. In this chapter, we discuss theoretical and empirical roots of psychopathy and provide clinical and forensic guidelines for use of the PCL-R. We rely on our extensive PCL-R research and clinical experience in discussing gender differences among psychopaths. Although males show a malignant narcissistic style, the female variant is characterized by a malevolent type of hysteria (Cunliffe & Gacono, 2005, 2008; Gacono & Meloy, 1994; Smith, Gacono, & Cunliffe, 2018). Gender differences are highlighted and guidelines for the assessment of psychopathic and nonpsychopathic female offenders are provided.
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Managing the incarcerated population is the primary task within correctional settings. Using psychological assessment to predict institutional behavior, the psychologist has a unique set of skills essential to the management of prisoners. PCL-R, PAI, and Rorschach data were compared with institutional infractions (total, physical, verbal, non-aggressive) among 126 incarcerated women. Multiple binary logistic regression analyses were used which found significant correlations between PCL-R total score, PAI scales (BOR, ANT, VPI), and Rorschach variables (ROD, EGOI, TCI, AgPot, AgPast, SumV, SumC’, MOR) with total, verbal, physical, and nonviolent incident reports. Each of these measures adds incrementally to the assessment and understanding of institutional misbehavior for incarcerated women. Clinical implications of the findings were presented.
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Erratum--please note on page 116, the total score of 34 should be 37. Also, the text should read "might receive" instead of receive, accounting for the potential individual items scoring.
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Recently in Psychoanalytic Psychology, Gullhaugen et al. (2021) proposed a Dynamic Model of Psychopathy (DMP) to better understand psychopathic traits. Several issues with the authors' methodology, including the use of the Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version (PCL: SV) as an independent measure and a small sample size (N = 16) relative to their conceptual approach and the number of statistical analyses conducted, limit the conclusions that can be drawn from their data. Additionally, the authors discuss their findings as if the data from this study with all males could apply to women. In this article, we use the methodological issues presented in the Gullhaugen study to discuss problems with the broader psychopathy literature. We also provide a psychodynamic model of psychopathy consistent with theory and empirical data.
Chapter
Long before psychology, bias has existed in science. From the beginning, concerns have been raised about the reliability, validity, and accuracy of social science research (Meehl, 1954). In this chapter, we define and discuss the origins of bias and how it can erode the scientific method. We focus specifically on bias in psychological research, theory, assessment, and treatment. We discuss the range of common misconceptions and misinformation that permeates the female offender literature. Finally, we conclude with ten myths about female offenders and offer guidelines for identifying bias and how to avoid it.
Chapter
The treatment and management of female offenders provide unique challenges to even the most experienced clinicians. Incarcerated women, in addition to exhibiting multiple mental health issues, trauma histories, and chronic substance use, provoke strong countertransference reactions that if not managed, threaten the integrity of any treatment endeavor. Diagnosis and assessment are essential to guiding interventions and managing the antisocial woman’s distinctive psychodynamics (Gacono, Nieberding, Owen, Rubel, & Bodholdt, 2001; see Chapters 3 and 4Chapter 3Chapter 4). In this chapter, we discuss essential clinical issues, a conceptual model of female psychopaths, management versus treatment, a treatment process including managing transference/countertransference, and effective treatment interventions. We conclude by offering a case example of the use of the assessment process in treating Anna, an incarcerated non-psychopathic woman.
Chapter
Despite the perception that women do not commit sexual offenses, female offenders engage in sexual homicide, sexually assault their students or their own children, and, at times, work with co-perpetrators to sexually aggress against their victims. Few studies have used psychological tests to psychometrically map the personality of female sexual offenders. In this chapter, we use the PCL-R, PAI, and Rorschach in studying a sample of female sexual offenders with offenses against minors (N = 39). These women evidenced (1) borderline reality testing, defenses, & thinking; (2) a damaged sense of self (entitlement & victim stance); (3) abnormal bonding and pseudo-dependency (maladaptive neediness); (4) affective instability; (5) impulsivity; and (6) chronic anger couched within a malignant hysterical style that masks an underlying paranoid position. Descriptive personality measure data and two case examples are presented to highlight the dynamics of their offending behavior.