Personality disorder and antisocial deviance: comments on the debate on the structure of the psychopathy checklist-revised.J Pers Disord. 2007 Apr; 21(2):142-59.JP
The recent debate on the structure of the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R: Hare, 1991; 2003) has been presented primarily as a statistical issue, but underlying it are longstanding conceptual issues about the relationship of personality concepts to deviant behavior and of psychopathy to criminality and personality disorder. I discuss these issues in this paper. The antisocial items of the PCL-R seem to reflect a propensity to commit crimes that has long been of interest to criminology. This disposition overlaps with, but differs conceptually from personality dispositions, but these surface dispositions do not provide a causal account of criminality. I present data that indicate that the core personality characteristics of psychopathy are more closely related to narcissistic and histrionic personality disorders than to antisocial personality disorder. Overemphasis on involvement in crime has obscured the nature of psychopathy as a disorder of personality characterised by interpersonally harmful behavior that need not necessarily take criminal form.