State of the art: Psychopathy

Derek Mitchell and James Blair argue that psychopaths lack the ‘music of emotion’.
ONE of the first things to strike you when you begin to work with psychopathic individuals is the clear discordance between the way that they verbalise emotion and the way that they appear to experience it. As Johns and Quay (1962) once put it, psychopathic individuals ‘know the words but not the music’ (p.217). In this article we argue that although these individuals commit a hugely disproportionate amount of crime, criminality is not the essence of the disorder. The essence lies in their difficulties with emotion.

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