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A superficially charming and engaging personality combined with a ruthless willingness to "do whatever it takes to get the job done" can be extremely useful in a high-stakes, pressure-filled environment (Schouten and Silver, 2012, p. — Antisocial personality disorder (APD) is not synonymous with psychopathy: most psychopaths will also be given an APD diagnosis, however, many who are diagnosed as APD are not considered psychopaths (a unique group receiving little research attention). — APD has a lifetime (community) prevalence of 2 - 4% in the United States, but this varies widely with gender, men being about 6.5 % women being about 1%. Many points of controversy are left unanswered and many key issues remain to be addressed. Because of its importance in basic and applied research, and in the mental health and criminal justice systems, the PCL-R has been subjected to intense scrutiny by researchers and clinicians. Some investigators assert that the PCL-R, ostensibly based on Cleckley's work, has "drifted" from the construct described in his Clinical Profile.
The primary goal is not necessarily to injure others but simply to obtain the desired outcome. In conjunction with their unfeeling and incessant drive to take care of themselves, psychopaths are predators, and anyone who can feed their need at the moment is potential prey. We also report new evidence that psychopathy and its factors are dimensional in nature, perhaps extreme variants of normal personality traits and behaviors. Psychopaths are at increased risk of engaging in both reactive and instrumental aggression. Some psychopaths can control their self-serving behaviors so they remain (perhaps just barely) within the bounds of legal behavior, not because to do otherwise would be "wrong," but because being caught would unduly interfere with their efforts to get what they want. In some circumstances, psychopathic traits may actually help an individual become a well-regarded (although not necessarily well-liked) member of society. This is a detailed overview of the development and structural properties of the PCL-R and its derivatives.
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Worse, psychopaths are often superficially charming and glib; they are frequently able to take advantage of others because they know that acting genuinely friendly and helpful can be a useful strategy for getting what they want.