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Nathan Brooks, Katarina Frtizon, Bruce Watt – January 2020

Overview of Theories and Empirical Findings Relevant to Psychopathic Personality Characteristics Amongst High-Functioning Populations

There has been a growing body of work over the past two decades which examines psychopathy outside of the realm of criminal populations and this book aims to contribute to the debate about what many authors have referred to as the “paradox” of psychopathy, namely that while many psychopathic traits are damaging and harmful, in certain circumstances these same characteristics may convey an advantage and allow the individual to achieve a measure of success. Throughout the book, we will present research in which theories, classification systems and clinical descriptions of psychopathy have highlighted the potential for adaptive traits associated with this personality construct to manifest in positive outcomes, particularly in a business context. We begin in the current chapter with a broad overview of definitions of psychopathy as well as some of the primary theories that explain the psychopathic personality as a whole. In the second half of the chapter, we will examine the evidence for adaptive and positive outcomes associated with the disorder.

Nathan Brooks, Katarina Fritzon, Simon Croom – January 2020

Corporate Psychopathy: Entering the Paradox and Emerging Unscathed

Psychopathy, the dark triad and related personality disorders may have negative consequences within organisations, individuals and society. There may, however, be positive benefits in terms of creativity and reaction to stressful circumstances and extreme environments. The developing body of research is beginning to address some elements of the paradoxes related to psychopathy. In this chapter, the focus is on both concluding the key themes emerging in the field and moreover, providing guidance for addressing and minimising the exposure to organisational, societal and individual threats that can easily become toxic to those caught in the psychopathic “tangled web”.

Nathan Brooks – January 2020

Conceptualising Psychopathy: Empirical, Clinical and Case Interpretations

The diagnosis of psychopathy in individuals poses a number of challenges for psychologists, psychiatrists, the legal system and society at large. In addition to classifying an individual’s personality disorder, the implications for treatment, legal recourse and remedy may hinge upon effective, reliable and valid diagnosis. This chapter discusses the current state of psychopathy assessment and classification, both existing and emerging, particularly considering how assessment regimes are closely linked to an underlying conceptualisation of psychopathy. Currently, there is much contention regarding various presentations of psychopathic personality, including what constitutes criminal, noncriminal or even successful psychopathy. The chapter proposes the Clinical Classification Criteria of Psychopathy (CCCP) as a clinical framework within which to assess and classify individuals with psychopathy, illustrated by the use of five case histories.

Nathan Brooks, Katarina Fritzon – January 2020


The Assessment of Psychopathic Personality Across Settings

The chapter will review the body of assessment instruments examining psychopathic personality, explore strengths and weakness, and discuss the measures most suitable for use in the workplace.

Nathan Brooks, Katarina Fritzon, Bruce Watt, Keith Duncan, Lars Madsen – January 2020

Psychopathy is prevalent and problematic in criminal populations, but is also found to be present in noncriminal populations. In 1992, Robert Hare declared that psychopaths may also “be found in the boardroom”, which has since been followed by an interest in the issue of noncriminal, or even successful, psychopathy. In this chapter, the paradox of criminal and noncriminal psychopathy is discussed with specific attention given to the similarities and differences that account for psychopathic personality across contexts. That psychopathy is a condition typified by a constellation of traits and behaviours requires wider research across diverse populations, and thus the streams of research related to criminal and noncriminal psychopathy are presented and the implications of these contrasting streams are explored.

Nathan Brooks – January 2020

The Tangled Web: Psychopathic Personality, Vulnerability and Victim Selection

This chapter will explore the tendency of psychopathic individuals to deceive others, exploit vulnerability and target victims in pursuit of self-gain, examining the implications of this behaviour in the workplace. The evidence relating to the varied mechanisms that provide psychopaths with the ammunition to coerce, abuse and deceive is presented, based on both empirical studies and case reports.

Nathan Brooks – November 2019

Clinical Classification Criteria of Psychopathy: A Framework for the Classification of Psychopathic Personality

The clinical construct of psychopathy is defined by a constellation of interpersonal, affective and lifestyle characteristics (Cleckley, 1941; Hare, 1999). Traits associated with psychopathy include: insincerity, pathological lying, egocentricity, unreliability, lack of remorse, and an inability to experience empathy or concern for others (Cleckley, 1941; Hare, 1999; Hare & McPherson, 1984). Despite not being recognised as formal disorder in the DSM-5 (instead captured under ASPD; APA, 2013), psychopathy is recognised by the criminal justice system and legal frameworks (Hare, 2003; Monahan, 2006), with diagnoses typically based on the outcomes of assessment instruments. Although assessment tools such as the PCL-R and PPI-R are comprised of factors and subscales, practitioners often have limited interpretations of these, instead viewing psychopathy at the global and outcome level. The lack of specification pertaining to psychopathic personality traits and behaviours leads to clinical and forensic decisions being made on what is considered to be a ‘prototypical psychopath’, a position implying that all psychopathic individuals are essentially the same. The Clinical Classification Criteria of Psychopathy (CCCP) was formulated to guide and assist in the decision making related to psychopathic personality, proving structured criteria to overcome the current diagnostic and interpretative challenges concerning psychopathy. The CCCP specifying criteria include, cruelty-sadism, social adjustment, disinhibition, capacity, and severity. The paper will discuss the application of the CCCP, exploring case examples, prioritisation of risk, and implications for the treatment and management of psychopathic personality traits.

Michael Davis, Lee Rainbow, Katarina Fritzon, Adrian West, Nathan Brooks – November 2018

Behavioural investigative advice: A contemporary commentary on offender profiling activity

The term “profiling” (as in “offender profiling”, “criminal profiling”, or “psychological profiling”) was first regularly used by members of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Behavioral Science Unit who defined it as the process of drawing inferences about a suspect’s characteristics from details of his or her actions exhibited during the commission of a crime (Douglas & Burgess, 1986; Teten, 1989). Much discussion has subsequently been focussed on whether such activity represents art or science, with the discipline being subject to considerable scrutiny by both practitioners and academics alike (Cook & Hinman, 1999). Whilst many practitioners have been strident in advocating the relative merits of their specific methodological approach over that of their “competitors”, of greater concern is the recent proliferation within the academic literature of rather uninformed commentaries and perceptions of the contemporary role of the “profiler”, which are at best outdated, and at worst based upon misconceptions (Rainbow & Gregory, 2011).The role of the contemporary “profiler” has undergone significant evolution in recent times. Beginning in the United Kingdom, the emergence of Behavioural Investigative Advice (BIA) as a distinct profession best exemplifies this shift in focus from the traditional, narrow view of “offender profiling” to a discipline which now encompasses a broad range of scientifically based yet pragmatic activities related to supporting police investigations (Rainbow et al., 2014).

Elise Owens, Fergus McPharlin, Nathan Brooks, Katarina Fritzon - August 2017

The Effects of Empathy, Emotional Intelligence and Psychopathy on Interpersonal Interactions

The current study investigated the relationships between empathy (emotional and cognitive), emotional intelligence, psychopathy, emotional contagion, and non-conscious behavioural mimicry (smiles and hand scratches), using self-report scales and a script-based interview session exhibiting nine non-verbal gestures, on a student sample. Past findings suggest a deficit of emotional but not cognitive empathy in psychopaths. Empirical research on non-conscious behavioural mimicry in psychopathy with reference to emotional intelligence is somewhat scarce; however it was proposed that individuals high in psychopathic traits would show reduced emotional mimicry based on the relation of empathy to mimicry. The study was quasi-experimental, involving individual assessment of 51 participants. Results suggest decreased emotional empathy at high levels of psychopathy and show that emotional intelligence moderates the relationship between psychopathy and non-conscious mimicry (smiles per minute). Social competence might be more predictive of effects of psychopathy on non-conscious mimicry.

Katarina Fritzon, Courtney Bailey, Simon Croom, Nathan Brooks - 2017

Problem Personalities in the Workplace: Development of the Corporate Personality Inventory

The notion that individuals with psychopathic personality characteristics exist in the corporate world is both a logical extension of the estimated community prevalence rates of the disorder, as well as a scientific hypothesis based on the observation that a number of the characteristics of the disorder could convey an advantage within this context (Crant & Bateman, 2000; Kets de Vries & Miller, 1985). The research sought to develop a self-repot assessment inventory to effectively measure non-criminal psychopathy to aid in the detection of psychopathic personality traits in individuals within business contexts. A key part of the scale development involved testing it's construct, divergent and convergent validity, as well as the reliability of the subscales identified through factor analysis. This involved examining the bivariate corrections between the factors and subscales of the Psychopathic Personality Inventory-Revised (PPI-R) and Corporate Personality Inventory (CPI), as well as the Paulhus Deception Scales.

Wayne Petherick, Nathan Brooks - January 2013

Where to From Here?

The last in the profiling section, looks at the future of profiling and what can still be done to make the field more valid (measuring what it claims to measure) and reliable (being able to measure consistently across time and situations). This chapter looks specifically at research, ethics, accountability, and education and training. For example, there is no unified ethical canon by which profilers live, and there are no universal training standards. Far be it from the authors to suggest that this chapter offers this; rather, these issues are discussed in a general sense, including what makes their unification across methods and practitioners difficult, if not impossible.

Andrew Cannon, Rebekah Doley, Claire Ferguson, Nathan Brooks – October 2012

Antisocial Personality Disorder and Therapeutic Justice Court Programs

It has become commonplace for courts to supervise an offender as part of the sentencing process. Many of them have Anti Social Personality Disorder (ASPD). The focus of this article is how the work of specialist and/or problem solving courts can be informed by the insights of the psychology profession into the best practice in the treatment and management of people with ASPD. It is a legitimate purpose of legal work to consider and improve the well-being of the participants in the legal process. Programs designed specifically to deal with those with ASPD could be incorporated into existing Drug Courts, or implemented separately by courts to aid with reforming offenders with ASPD and in managing the re-entry of offenders into the community as part of their sentence. For the success of this initiative on the part of the court, ASPD will need to be specifically diagnosed and treated. Close co-operation between courts and psychologists is required to improve the effectiveness of court programs to treat people with ASPD and to evaluate their success.

Bruce Watt, Nathan Brooks – June 2012

Self-Report Psychopathy in an Australian Community Sample

Psychopathy has long been identified as a central personality correlate of criminal and violent behaviour yet remains relatively unexplored in Australia. The present study utilised the recently developed Self-Report Psychopathy Scale – III (SRP-III) with an Australian community sample (N = 327). As expected, males reported higher levels of psychopathy across the four SRP-III facets, callous-affect (CA), interpersonally manipulative (IPM), erratic life-style (ELS) and criminal tendencies (CT). Psychopathy was associated with lower levels of empathy (especially CA), higher alcohol use (ELS, CT), pro-violence thoughts (IPM, CA) and elevated depression, anxiety and stress (IPM, ELS). Each facet was found to enhance the statistical prediction of physical aggression, beyond age, gender, social desirability and violent thoughts. The SRP-III is a potentially useful instrument for measuring psychopathic characteristics when comprehensive documentation is not available.

Publications: CV
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