Posts Tagged ‘Lundy Bancroft’
Every nine seconds, a woman is assaulted in the U.S.A. This statistic from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence may seem shocking, but not when you take into account that one third of American women will be sexually assaulted within their lifetime — one third. That means one out of every three women you know (your sisters, daughters, mothers and friends) will likely fall victim to this awful crime.
The true scope of how many women have been attacked or victimized, especially by people they know, is terrifying. What’s even more terrifying is everything we don’t know. The last published results of the National Intimate Partner and Violence Survey are from 2010.
The closest we could get to finding real, recent answers on the frequency of sexual assault and rape in the last couple of years is from the FBI. The legal definition of rape was recently changed to include both male and female victims, but the FBI still includes statistics of the legacy definition (female victims only) in their annual crime report. We expected the FBI’s crime report to more or less match the figures from the CDC’s 2010 survey, but we noticed a drastically low number of rape victims — roughly 26 women per 100,000 people.
That’s when we realized a key fact. The FBI is basing their figures on arrests and convictions, excluding statutory rape and incest and only documenting “forcible rape.” The sad truth is that most rapes go unreported — with forcible rapes making up only a fraction of all reported rapes — and even less rapists are actually convicted. According to RAINN less than half of all rapes are reported, only 12% of what is reported actually leads to an arrest and only 3% of rapists see punishment for their actions.
When it comes to violence against women, not every zip code is equal, and some places are more dangerous than others. We’ve examined statistics from the FBI, the CDC’s 2010 comprehensive National Intimate Partner And Violence Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau to narrow down the most dangerous places for women in the United States from 2010 – 2014.
One out every six women in the U.S.A. was a victim of an attempted or completed rape in 2010.
Places like Alaska and Oregon hold the highest rates of rape against women, whereas states like Virginia and California hold some of the lowest rates. The 2014 information from the FBI also shows a different perspective than that of the above statistics from the CDC. While many of the same states are still on the top 10 list, some new states appear as well. This could be for a number of reasons. There could have been an increase or decrease in crime in the last four years among certain states or some states could just have a higher rate of conviction due to differing justice systems.
The 10 states with the largest percentage of women in 2010 who said they were raped in their lifetime are:
1. Alaska (21%)
2. Oregon (21%)
3. Michigan (20%)
4. Nevada (18.8%)
5. New Hampshire (18.7%)
6. Oklahoma (18.6%)
7. Washington (18%)
8. Colorado (18%)
9. Minnesota (16.9%
10. Connecticut (16.9 %)
In 2014, These were the states with the most rapes per 100,000 according to the FBI
1. Alaska (75.3)
2. New Mexico (51.4)
3. South Dakota (48.4)
4. Montana (42)
5. Michigan (40.9)
6. Arkansas (39.8)
7. Colorado (39.6)
8. North Dakota (37.3)
9. Kansas (37)
10. Arizona (36.6)
Sexual crimes against women (other than rape) are even more commonplace. These results from the 2010 CDC report are eye-opening.
At the lowest rate, which occurs in Louisiana, 22% of women have experienced sexual violence other than rape. Most states fall somewhere between the 30 and 35% mark, while others like Oregon see 43% of women falling victim to non-rape sexual violence. The 10 states where women are most frequently sexually assaulted are:
1. Oregon (43.3%)
2. Alaska (42%)
3. Maryland (41.9%)
4. New Hampshire (40.8%)
5. Washington (40.5%)
6. Illinois (38.6%)
7. North Carolina (38.3%)
8. New York (38%)
9. Connecticut (37.2%)
10. Kentucky (36.8%)
One of the most obvious ways to determine if a place is dangerous is by looking at the murder rate. The murder rate for females in 2010 was notably higher in certain states.
States in the southern half of the United States have a notably higher murder rate among females than states in the northern half. Southern states also have looser gun laws.
According to the CDC, in 2010, the states with the most murders per 100,000 people are:
1. Louisiana (4.44)
2. Mississippi (4.13)
3. Alabama (3.85)
4. New Mexico (3.69)
5. South Carolina (3.57)
6. Arkansas (3.48)
7. Nevada (3.48)
8. Georgia (3.32)
9. Tennessee (3.1)
10. North Carolina (3.07)
Stalking doesn’t always lead to violence, but it can. Even still, stalking is far less common than sexual assault but worth mentioning. This is the percentage of women in 2010 who reported having been stalked in their lifetimes.
In Kentucky, the state with the highest percent of incidents, 19% of women report being stalked. Most states see an 11-13% rate of stalking, while the states with the lowest instances, Wisconsin and Virginia, see a rate of 9.8% and 8.6% respectively. The states with the highest percentage of women who have been stalked are:
1. Kentucky (19%)
2. Alabama (18.4%)
3. Nevada (17.7%)
4. Oklahoma (16.6%)
5. New Mexico (16.4%)
6. North Carolina (16%)
7. Tennessee (15.3%)
8. Wyoming (15.2%)
9. Mississippi (15.1%)
10. Pennsylvania (15%)
Four out of every five assaults are committed by someone the victim already knows (a friend, boyfriend, acquaintance, etc), and one third of women are assaulted by an intimate partner. The 2010 report shows the sheer number of women who reported being assaulted by an intimate partner within their lifetimes.
Considering 94% of women who are murdered and four fifths of women who are raped are attacked by someone they know, these statistics are particularly telling. These states have the highest percentage of women who have been raped, physically assaulted, or stalked by an intimate partner.
1. Oklahoma (36.8%)
2. Nevada (34.8%)
3. North Carolina (33%)
4. Michigan (32.5%)
5. Washington (32.4%)
6. Maryland (32%)
7. New Hampshire (32%)
8. Alaska (32%)
9. South Carolina (31.7%)
10. Tennessee (30.6%)
When labeling the most dangerous places for women, it may also be important to consider a woman’s mental health. A cluster of states seem to have had a notably higher suicide rate between 2004 and 2010.
If the attack is on oneself, versus a homicide or physical assault from another party, does it still count? Regardless of genetic predisposition to depression and self-harm, situations that lead a woman to suicide are perhaps indicators of an unhealthy environment.
States with highest rates of suicide per 100,000 people are:
1. Alaska (9.62)
2. Nevada (9..62)
3. Wyoming (8.19)
4. New Mexico (8.06)
5. Montana (7.96)
6. Colorado (7.76)
7. Oregon (7.23)
8. Arizona (7.18)
9. Florida (6.40)
10. Idaho (6.31)
The problem is still growing, which is why we need more information.
Despite the most comprehensive and accurate report being from 2010, the frequency of rape among women has not decreased. According to the FBI, the figures rose 1.6% between 2013 and 2014. This leads us to the question, why isn’t there a more recent CDC study on domestic abuse if the problem is growing? How many women will really be assaulted (sexually or otherwise) in their lifetimes? How many women were actually affected within the last year alone and didn’t report it to the police?
Perhaps if people are more aware of the massive scale of the problem, it could help lead to a change. For every woman who says it can never happen to me, who truly believes it’s only a problem for a few unfortunate people, there is another woman who understands that it can happen to anyone and it does happen to anyone, even if she remains silent in her understanding.
There is help out there for women who find themselves in trouble. If you need help and you’re in the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline or 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) for the National Sexual Assault Hotline.
Another beautiful heart- felt poem from a Protective Mother Hero. Join our” Love Letters To Our Children” Campaign. Leave a Legacy of Love for your Child. We value your participation and your child will too.
” You are close, even if I can’t see you
You are in my heart ,even when far away.
You are in my thoughts, my dreams, my blood, my soul
For you are my Child,
and I am your Mother.”
© K.R 2015 Love Letters To Our Children
Mother Left Grief-Stricken After Ex Allegedly Forced Her to Hold Infant Twin Daughters While He Killed Them, Then Shot Himself/ people.com
BY CHRIS HARRIS @chrisharrisment 11/19/2015 AT 03:45 PM EST
Two twin babies were shot and killed in front of their mother last week during a murder-suicide that unfolded in a home in Jacksonville, Florida.
A police spokesman confirms to PEOPLE that the two five-month-old infants, Hayden and Kayden, were both killed on Nov. 13 by their 28-year-old father, Gawain Rushane Wilson.
Police say Wilson entered the home where the twin girls’ mother, 22-year-old Megan Hiatt, lived with her father, Travis. Wilson allegedly shot the babies, Hiatt and her father before eventually taking his own life.
Megan Hiatt, who is a twin herself, was the sole survivor of what police characterized as a “domestic incident.” Police could not confirm she had to have a breast removed as a result of last week’s violence, but did say she was shot five times. She is recovering from her injuries at UF Health Jacksonville.
The police spokesman also refused to comment on numerous media reports claiming Hiatt was forced to hold her two babies as Miller shot them dead.
Hiatt’s mother, Melissa Bateh, told First Coast News in an interview that Wilson wanted to destroy her daughter’s life. “He wanted to destroy her world. He wanted her to watch it be destroyed,” Bateh said, adding that her daughter told her she was forced to hold the infants as Wilson shot them.
” ‘Mama, he killed them. He killed them in my arms. He made me hold them when he killed them. He made me watch,’ ” Bateh recalled. “I knew, I didn’t … I couldn’t imagine someone doing that, holding your own children while someone kills them.”
Police confirm Hiatt and Miller “were a couple at one time,” but say it doesn’t appear the two were “still a couple” at the time of the shooting.
A GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help raise money to pay for the funeral costs for the twins and their grandfather. So far, it has raised nearly $20,000 in donations.
The New York State attorney general has reached a potentially significant settlement with Bon-Ton Stores, which has more than 200 department stores across the northern part of the country, over a workplace discrimination complaint filed by a victim of domestic violence
The settlement, to be announced on Thursday, stems from an episode in early October at the company’s store in Williamsville, N.Y., a suburb of Buffalo. It requires the company to educate all employees of its New York stores that victims of domestic violence are protected by state law against retaliation and harassment relating to their abuse.
In a possible violation of the law, the Bon-Ton employee was sent home by a manager shortly after revealing that her estranged husband had threatened her life the day before. Under the terms of the settlement, Bon-Ton did not admit any wrongdoing, but agreed to change its policy so that employees in a similar situation are not required to procure a protective order to stay on the job.
“Victims of domestic violence face unspeakable hardships in every aspect of their personal lives,” the attorney general, Eric T. Schneiderman, said in a statement. “Our agreement with Bon-Ton Stores stands as a model for other employers.”
Experts on workplace discrimination hailed the settlement as an important step in protecting victims of domestic violence.
“It has a great value in spreading awareness about the law,” said Amanda Norejko, of Sanctuary for Families, an advocacy group and service provider for survivors of domestic violence. “Employers who are willing to flout the law will be given pause by the fact they know the attorney general’s office is investigating these things.”
Bon-Ton declined to comment on the case or the settlement agreement.
In a variety of studies over the years, victims of domestic violence have reported that the abuse interfered with their job performance and undermined their livelihoods. A significant fraction — as high as around 50 percent in some studies — reported having lost their jobs or being forced to quit at least partly as a result of the situation.
“It’s particularly an issue for workers at the lower end of the income spectrum,” said Maya Raghu, a lawyer with Futures Without Violence, a nonprofit that works to end violence against women and children. “They work shifts, don’t have a lot of control or benefits like paid leave, sick leave to deal with this.”
The law in New York, one of a handful of jurisdictions around the country to have enacted similar measures, prevents employers from firing or otherwise punishing employees on the basis of their having experienced domestic violence.
Unlike a similar New York City law, the state law does not explicitly require employers to make accommodations for employees who have experienced abuse — such as granting time off for medical treatment and to obtain protective orders against their abusers. But some of these steps may be necessary for an employer to demonstrate that it was handling the situation appropriately, experts say.
The episode involving Bon-Ton began on Oct. 9, when Jodi Porter, the employee, turned up for her shift as a saleswoman and informed store security officials that her estranged husband had threatened to kill her.
Ms. Porter said in an interview that, within an hour, the store had developed a safety plan that allowed her to go about her work. But shortly thereafter, the store manager told her to leave the store immediately. She was told to stay home until she checked in with the manager several days later, missing at least one more shift in the meantime.
When she spoke with the manager again, Ms. Porter said, she was told she could not return to work until she received a protective order against her husband, which was not immediately forthcoming because he had fled after a warrant for his arrest was issued. She was given no indication that her leave would be paid.
Ms. Porter contacted a hotline at the attorney general’s office on Oct. 13 regarding an unrelated issue and also mentioned her employment situation, which prompted the investigation. Bon-Ton informed her that it would pay her during the leave after she contacted the attorney general, and she was told she would be able to return to work less than one week after that.
The safety plan the store ultimately put into effect under pressure from the attorney general — including allowing her to park closer to the store, giving her access to a safe room to elude her husband and allowing her to use her cellphone while working in the event of a threat — was essentially the same plan the store proposed at the outset of the incident, Ms. Porter said.
She said that being unable to work created a level of emotional distress above and beyond the uncertainty of not knowing whether she would have a source of income.
“I went there going, everything is fine, everything is fine,” she said. “I was trying to go about my work, just do what I’ve got to do to take my mind off of everything.”
Instead, she added, being sent home “made me feel like a victim all over again. It was like a slap in the face.”
Advocates said one of the company’s key missteps was not having a policy in place to deal with such contingencies, leading to the confusion that surrounded Ms. Porter’s situation.
“You don’t want to have a low-level manager operating off the seat of their pants,” said Penny M. Venetis, the executive vice president and legal director of Legal Momentum, a group that works on a broad range of gender equity issues, include domestic violence.
Ms. Venetis said that sending home a worker who has been threatened by a partner was often the most dangerous response an employer could choose. The employee may be less safe alone at home than at work, and the loss of a livelihood can make abused partners even more dependent on their abusers.
Ms. Porter “acted responsibly for reporting it,” Ms. Venetis said. “The actions Bon-Ton took discourage people from coming forward.”
The law in New York and many other states does not necessarily require that employers always allow victims of violence to return to work, some experts say. There may be instances in which a violent threat is imminent and an employer reasonably concludes that the victim, fellow workers and customers may be safer if the abuse victim takes time off, said Jennifer Schwartz, an employment lawyer at Outten & Golden in California.
But in those instances, it is important for the employer to go out of its way to seek input from the employee in order to get a complete picture of the circumstances, including the employee’s needs.
“We’re not saying employers should become experts on sexual violence, stalking,” Ms. Raghu said. “Just that they should be supportive of people who are victims.”
Correction: November 18, 2015
An earlier version of a picture caption with this article misstated Ms. Porter’s status at Bon-Ton. She is a current employee, not a former one.
Signs and Traits of Narcissists, Crazymakers, Emotional Manipulators, Unsafe People/ Think Like A Black Belt
Do you know the tell-tale traits of narcissists, crazy makers, emotional manipulators, controlling predators, and other unsafe people?
Well now you can! Here is my ULTIMATE, BEST, MOST COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF TRAITS OF NARCISSISTS (and other unsafe people like them):
SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT
Narcissists easily shift blame
✦ A sense of superiority places them above others
✦ Must be the center of attention, constantly seeking approval, acknowledgment, kudos, accolades, praise
✦ Act like they are the lead character in all things in life
✦ Dominate conversations because they believe they have the only worthwhile things to say
✦ Want others to give into their demands, request for favors, and put their needs first
✦ Have inflated egos, inflated sense of entitlement, inflated sense of importance, inflated need to be center stage
✦ Envious of other people’s accomplishments and will steal, lie, or sabotage others to get attention back to them
✦ Envious of other people’s possessions, they will put such ownership down or minimize it to make themselves look more noble
✦ Search for constant approval and praise to reinforce their false grandiose sense of self, they’re “on- stage,” dominating the conversation, often exaggerating their importance
✦ (Since the self is so fragile — an ever crumbling construction of their ego) — use power, money, status, looks, supposed past glories (or supposed future glories) to boost their image
✦ See criticism as baseless attacks or betrayal and countered with cold-shoulder anger or rage or chilly stares or verbal attack.
✦ Can never accept blame. Others are always to blame.
✦ Feel being center of attention is good, right, and proper
✦ Have a grandiose sense of self-importance
✦ Think they are special, God-touched, or privileged
✦ Think they can only be understood by other special or high-status people
✦ Have unreasonable expectation of favorable treatment
✦ Believe they are beyond the rules. Laws do not apply to them and remorse is only felt when someone catches and confronts them.
“However they are upset over any inconveniences they suffer as a result of being busted. They believe they have the right to do what ever it takes to get short term gratification without suffering any consequences.” ~Lynne Namka
TYPICAL WAYS OPERATING OR REACTIONS (blaming, drama storms, etc.)
✦ High maintenance because they need your attention, praise, and deference
✦ Fake sweetness, honor, and good intentions, but deprive them of something they want and look out as they reveal their true selves.
✦ Express grand, exciting plans, but rarely can make them happen
✦ Blame others rather than take personal responsibility
✦ Lack of empathy colors everything they do.
✦ May say, “How are you?” when you meet, but they are not interested
✦ Their blame-shifting creates defensiveness. Then they belittle the defensiveness: “Why are you so angry?”
✦ Since they shift blame so well & seamlessly, your guilt/insecurity issues stay raw and over-sensitive.
✦ Lend you a hand up, then subtlety cut off at the knees to keep you indebted & coming back.
Need some Narcissist Kryptonite?
The Narcissist — A User’s Guide
✦ If you point out an error they made, they go into defensive mode counter any such notion with anger, venting, rage, cold-shoulder, or withdraw
✦ Give you a metaphorical rug & then keep pulling it out from under you
✦ They are: blowhards, braggarts, blusterers, brow-beaters, bullies, big-headed, and ultimately bogus.
✦ Help you gain certain skills/info/connections, but then forever make you feel beholden to them.
✦ Extremely skilled at making anyone under their influence crave their approval.
✦ Make you feel special & then emotional distance themselves in ways that keep you unsure of yourself.
✦ Use a judgmental “you’re OK”/”you’re not OK” yo-yoing to keep you off-balance & “blameworthy.”
✦ Groom people via manipulation (charm/rage combo) to sell their reality/rationalizations to others.
✦ Virtually all of their ideas or ways of behaving in a given situation are taken from others, people they know and perhaps think of as an authority.
✦ Their sense of self-importance and lack of empathy means that they will often interrupt the conversations of others.
✦ Expect others to do mundane things, since they feel too important to do them
✦ Constantly use of “I”, “me,” and “my” when they talk.
✦ Very rarely talk about their inner life, memories and dreams, for example.
✦ Lie, using subterfuge and deception as tools
✦ Are stuck in one level of maturity where growth is not an option
✦ Only have eyes for “me, myself, and I” instead of “we”
✦ Don’t understand empathy, except to fake it as a tool
✦ Play “Give to get” by being nice or helpful only to expect reciprocation
✦ Put on the air of “having it all together” and will not readily admit failure or weakness
✦ Jump to defensive mode readily and frequently
✦ May apologize, but it doesn’t mean a real change in behavior
✦ Run from their own problems rather than tackling them
✦ Demand your trust rather than being transparent and earning it
✦ See you as extensions of themselves and resist your freedom
✦ Create stories, euphemisms, sayings, definitions, rules they hold up as Truth. Their world is false.
✦ Must talk about themselves & be in control. They want you to just be an ego-stroking entity for them.
✦ Find personality weaknesses & exploit them as easily as you & I ride a bicycle.
✦ Will rarely listen to or respect your “No”
✦ Take advantage of others to reach his or her own goals
✦ Appear tough-minded or unemotional
✦ React to criticism with anger, blame-shifting, shaming or humiliating others
✦ Fail to recognize people’s emotions and feelings
✦ Exaggerate achievements, personal history or talents
✦ Are unpredictable in mood and behavior
✦ Become aggressive, hostile, verbally vicious, or withdraws when threatened
✦ Can vocalize regret for a short time when found out, but soon rationalizes it away
✦ Appearance is important, so primping or fastidiousness is common
✦ Withdraw or a cold shoulder is used as a tool to make you do what they want
✦ Rationalize everything to make sure they always come out on top
✦ Will steal an idea, quote, lesson plan, piece of wisdom — call it their own
✦ Groom underlings and create organizational or business environments to suit their need for ego stroking
“Crazymakers thrive on drama, and melodrama requires a sense of impending doom. Everything is an emergency, a deadline, a matter of life and death, or something they will get to eventually. Read ‘never’ … Nearly any situation can be cast as melodrama to support a crazymaker’s plot lines …
“A crazymaker is someone who makes you crazy by constantly stirring up storms.
“‘Normal’ doesn’t serve their need for power.
“Everything is always their problem, but nothing is their fault.”
SOURCE: “The Artist’s Way at Work – Riding the Dragon. Twelve Weeks to Creative Freedom” by Mark Bryan, with Julia Cameron and Catherine Allen
✦ Create Employment Hemorrhage — narcissists drive people away with inconsistent, raging, and arrogant actions.
✦ Tend to be a lot of talk — fantasizing about power, success and attractiveness
✦ Can suck up to bosses while talking down to those they think inferior
✦ Expect others to go along with them because their plans are better or special
✦ Expect constant praise and attention
✦ When work or plans fail, will blame others and make it sound plausible
✦ Will take advantage of co-workers
✦ Will be jealous of others’ success but wear a face of confidence
✦ Play the “If you don’t like it I’m taking my ball and going home” game
✦ Exaggerate abilities and uses blame-shifting to cover deficits
✦ Can’t understand “There is no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM’.”
✦ Often argumentative, but arguments are convoluted, emotional, irrational
The following tips on narcissistic behavior come from The Winning Teams website:
✦ They feel that the rules at work don’t apply to them.
✦ They will always cheat whenever they think they can get away with it.
✦ If you share workload with them, expect to do the lion’s share yourself.
✦ They love to delegate work or projects and then interfere by micro-managing things
✦ If things go well, they take the credit; if the work turns out badly, they blame the person they delegated it to.
✦ There tend to be higher levels of stress with people who work with or interact with a narcissist, which in turn increases absenteeism and staff turnover.
✦ They get impatient and restless when the topic of discussion is about someone else, and not about them.
Need some Narcissist Kryptonite?
The Narcissist — A User’s Guide
MUST BE RIGHT ATTITUDE
✦ Value religiosity’s rules or business protocol over spiritual growth.
✦ Take pride in their own righteousness and rightness.
✦ Attempt to belittle any version of reality that conflicts with theirs.
✦ Can’t believe they make mistakes.
✦ Have an inability to feel or process or truly understand shame.
✦ Create scenarios to discover your weakness or fears to manipulate later.
✦ Don’t use language as communication. It’s for hiding, deflecting, avoiding, masking, & manipulating.
✦ Their charm is false. Contradict them a few times & you’ll feel their out-of-proportion narcissistic rage.
✦ Their conversations & interactions aren’t meant to enlighten, but to confuse, control, & create drama.
✦ Are black holes, working to get time, money, or talent from you.
✦ Expect you to lend a listening ear and give votes of approval.
✦ Use emotional withdraw to create guilt and compliance.
✦ Will use the parental or child role to get what they want.
✦ Will betray secrets to feel more powerful.
✦ Can use flattery or sickly-sweet protests of innocence like a stealth weapon.
✦ Use verbal skills to block or deflect being confronted.
✦ Impact our lives negatively despite appearing to have some positive effect.
NARCISSISTS’ SUBCONSCIOUS FALSE EGO
✦ Their subconscious creates a false ego from which to relate to the world. They are their own avatar!
✦ Subconsciously real relationships don’t exist for them. We’re all just players on the narcissists stage.
✦ Their sole subconscious pursuit is to be seen as God’s gift to the world in a certain area or skill set.
✦ Early emotional trauma freezes their worldview at that age, making them immature, impatient, inconsiderate.
Thank you for visiting and learning about self defense.
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Is successful psychopathy an oxymoron? What’s the difference between psychopaths who spend their lives in prison and those who excel in society? These are some of the questions examined in a new study published in Current Directions in Psychological Science.
The study, a scientific status report on early and current research, seeks to define “successful psychopathy” and compare the most common models in use today.
Most research on psychopathy involves studying people who are incarcerated — and these individuals are assumed to be “unsuccessful.”
“Nevertheless, the past decade has witnessed growing interest in an intriguing possibility: Perhaps many psychopathic individuals are thriving in the everyday world, in some cases occupying the higher echelons of selected professions,” wrote Scott Lilienfeld, corresponding author, in the study. “Indeed, [Robert D. Hare] posited that incarcerated psychopaths ‘represent only the tip of a very large iceberg.’”
Definition: What is Successful Psychopathy?
According to Lilienfeld and his colleagues, scientists disagree over how to define success.
“Some emphasize short-term success, whereas others emphasize long-term success; some emphasize the attainment of personal fame and fortune, whereas others emphasize behaviors benefiting society,” said Lilienfeld. “Still others emphasize only the absence of prominent antisocial behavior.”
This fundamental disagreement has led to three distinct models of psychopathy, all of which were examined and compared in this review.
The differential-severity model suggests that psychopathy is a single construct on a spectrum, and that successful and unsuccessful psychopaths only differ in their severity.
This model has not been statistically verified. In fact, a study conducted on 29 participants with psychopathic traits seems to refute it. “Success” was defined by whether or not the participant had been convicted of a crime.
The study found that the scores between the two groups on the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) only differed in specific areas. The unsuccessful psychopaths scored higher on measures of charm and guiltlessness, for example, but lower on other measures.
This model also suggests that psychopathy is a single construct, but that successful psychopaths also possess some characteristics outside of psychopathy that help them to buffer themselves against poor consequences. Some of these factors might be intelligence or positive parenting.
Several studies lend credibility to this theory, according to the research team. One such study found that successful psychopaths exhibit higher executive functioning and more sensitive responsiveness, and are better at processing information. This study also used incarceration to define “success.”.
Several other studies have linked positive parenting with the inhibition of antisocial behaviors. Though the link has not been proven, several longitudinal studies are in the works to examine it further.
Unlike the first two models, the differential-configuration model suggests that psychopathy is a combination of several traits and factors. Successful and unsuccessful psychopaths differ in the individual traits they possess. One particular trait that many successful psychopaths may exhibit is fearless dominance.
In one study, scientists surveyed 146 psychologists, lawyers and psychology professors to describe a psychopath they knew who had achieved success. 75 percent of respondents identified colleagues; many of them were distinguished from unsuccessful psychopaths by certain traits, such as extraversion, self-discipline, and a lack of agreeableness.
Lilienfeld and his colleagues concluded: “Although successful psychopathy has long been the province of popular psychology, recent research has begun to shed light on this enigmatic construct.”
While early research has been interesting and thought provoking, more research and a better definition of “successful psychopath” are needed before any strong conclusions can be drawn.
“By attending to these [factors], researchers will hopefully achieve a better understanding of how one person with pronounced psychopathic traits can end up being the prototype of the habitual criminal, whereas another can end up being the prototype for [the successful psychopath],” Lilienfeld said.