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Title: Theory of mind, empathy and androgyny in psychopathic disorder
Author: Asghar, Adam
ISNI:       0000 0001 3430 1969
Awarding Body: University of Warwick and University of Coventry
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2007
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The following thesis mainly focuses on the conceptualisation that the symptoms of psychopathic disorder are a function of selectively impaired empathy abilities. Those with apsychopathic disorder are considered to be manipulative and predatory, callous towards others and substantially lacking in empathy or guilt for the harm they do to others. Recent initiatives have attempted to devised interventions for psychopathy, yet the outcomes are not encouraging. A failure to understand its aetiology may explain poor treatment outcomes. The literature review summarises studies that have examined the Theory of Mind (ToM) abilities of those with a psychopathic disorder. The literature is critically evaluated in terms of methodologies: it is reasoned that the conclusions ofthe reviewed studies are likely to be a consequence oftheir methodologies rather a representation of a psychopathic disorder. Although the authors of these studies concluded that cognitive empathy is intact within psychopathy and thereby explains their tendencies, this extrapolation and its subsequent generalisation across different populations is reasoned to be untenable. The empirical Pllper addresses the methodological critiques raised in the literature review and aims to construct a more robust methodology. In doing so, this paper investigated the relationship between cognitive empathy, emotional empathy, ToM and androgyny within psychopathy. In contrast to the published literature, this study identified that cognitive empathy is not a determinant of psychopathic tendencies and that ToM is impaired in this disorder. As expected, emotional empathy was also found to be impaired. Gender, however, mediates the relationship between these measures and thereby identifies that there is not a simple linear relationship between them. The reflective review discusses personal, professional and research reflections relating to this thesis. Discussion is focused on the political and professional implications to psychopathy and its treatment, and exploring the evidence that informs on its conceptualisation and how this impacts on our understanding of treatment outcomes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Clin.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available