Roberta Cattani

Psychopathological characterizations of psychopathy between model of deficit and model of moral disengagement

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Critically discusses the main explanatory theories published in literature about psychopathy. One of the psychological characteristics of psychopathy, the absence of guilt, has been explained referring to a deficit model about emotions. However, these arguments are not exhaustive in terms of explanation, considering the accurate ability of psychopaths to master the emotions of others in order to manipulate and considering the presence of intact cognitive abilities that may work compensatory respect to any emotional difficulty. From this assumption, in the present investigation is then suggested how it seems appropriate to consider the intervention of moral disengagement mechanisms and strategies of cognitive distortion in psychopathic subjects, to better explain the psychopathological traits.


  • psychopathy
  • cognitive distortions
  • moral disengagement


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