Partial helplessness conditioning as a possible etiological factor in psychopathy
The clinical syndrome characterized by chronic antisocial behavior is variously known as psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder. The entrenched behavior patterns that hallmark this disorder result in numerous costs to society, not the least of which is criminal activity. Prevalence estimates of psychopathy within the prison population range as high as 75 percent (Mawson & Mawson, 1977); yet some investigators (e.g., Cleckley, 1976) maintain that many psychopaths are ingenious enough to avoid penal confinement. Thus these psychopaths continue unhindered in their unlawful exploits, while their incarcerated counterparts occupy expensive prisons.