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Exploring the relationship between psychopathy and criminal thinking: utilising the Tri-PM within a forensic sample

Shannon DeBlasio (School of Criminal Justice, Arden University Ltd, Birmingham, UK)
Dara Mojtahedi (School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK)

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice

ISSN: 2056-3841

Article publication date: 2 January 2023

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Abstract

Purpose

The Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (Tri-PM) was developed in 2010 as an alternative approach to the assessment of psychopathy. The measure aims to capture psychopathic traits on a 3-factor model, which encompass the characteristics established in previous measures, as well as those evidenced within practise. Though support for the tool in academic research is growing, less is known about the scale’s utility within crime forensic settings. Thus, this study aims to explore the relationship between the Tri-PM psychopathy constructs and criminal cognition within a forensic sample.

Design/methodology/approach

Seventy-three adult male offenders, convicted for acquisitive or sexual crimes, from a Category B prison within the Northwest of England completed questionnaires measuring their criminal backgrounds, psychopathy traits (Tri-PM; Patrick, 2010) and criminal thinking styles (Psychology Inventory of Criminal Thinking Styles; Walters, 2001).

Findings

The Tri-PM measurement proved to be a successful predictor of most criminal thinking styles. Moreover, the meanness construct was the strongest predictor of proactive thinking styles, whereas the disinhibition construct was the strongest predictor of reactive thinking styles, and the boldness construct was negatively associated with reactive thinking. Comparisons among offender groups also indicated that acquisitive offenders reported higher scores of psychopathy and criminal thinking.

Originality/value

This study offers valuable insight into the proposed relationship between psychopathy and criminal thinking, using a recent addition to the repertoire of psychopathy measurements, the Tri-PM. This study also offers practical implications for those offering treatment within forensic settings, with significant relationships identified between the highly scoring psychopathy constructs and various criminal thinking styles.

Keywords

Citation

DeBlasio, S. and Mojtahedi, D. (2023), "Exploring the relationship between psychopathy and criminal thinking: utilising the Tri-PM within a forensic sample", Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCRPP-05-2022-0021

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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