2013 Student Research Conference:
26th Annual Student Research Conference

New Perspectives on Rehabilitating Psychopaths
Nicholas M. Riggins
Dr. Amber Johnson, Faculty Mentor

The criminal justice system in America has had less success in rehabilitating psychopaths than any other kind of criminal. Psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by amoral and antisocial behavior, which often includes traits of; aggression, superficial charm, a lack of empathy, and impulsivity. Most treatments, medications, and punishments have proved ineffective on these criminals. Recently, however, research in genetics and neuroscience coupled with brain scanning technologies has allowed us to gain a deeper understanding of how psychopathic brains function. This has led some researchers to argue that psychopathic traits were beneficial for our survival in the past, and may still be under certain circumstances. For society to ever effectively remedy psychopathy in criminals we must recognize that psychopathic traits exist in all people; and context determines whether they become negative or positive. Rehabilitation can be achieved by matching psychopathic traits with an appropriate context.

Keywords: Psychopath, rehabilitation, criminal justice, neuroscience

Topic(s):Justice Systems
Sociology
Psychology

Presentation Type: Poster

Session: 10-8
Location: GEO
Time: 3:30

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