Male Youth Psychopaths and Crime Behaviors
Psychopathy is personal traits that shape people’s characteristics and behavior in society. According to research, psychopaths actively participate in or significantly contribute to various criminal activities, particularly violent ones. Numerous academics have conducted extensive research on the connection between psychopathy and crime and have shown that the two are closely related. This proposed research is based on a correlational and staged experiment that will be performed in the presence of male youth psychopath inmates. The research participants will be a group of actors and male youth psychopaths. Throughout the research observation data, a collection method will be utilized by watching inmates’ physical and facial expressions to see whether they will show empathy to those who will be undergoing violent criminal actions like robbery and beating. The expected result of the research is that no male youth psychopath will show sympathy for crimes they commit against others or see people experience violent criminal acts. This research implies a need to invent a new treatment for psychopathy to reduce juvenile incarcerations since psychopathic traits begin to develop early.
Male Youth Psychopaths and Crime Behaviors
Psychologists define psychopathy as the primary characteristics of an individual. It creates a foundation of particular societal behaviors that begin to be evident in early development stages, especially in teenage/adolescence. Researchers indicate that psychopaths play a significant role or contribute to involvement in different forms of crime, incredibly violent crimes in society. Various scholars have intensively researched the relationship between psychopathy and criminal actions and identified a close relationship between the two. In defining a psychopath, researchers define it as a person who exhibits or demonstrates a discernible pattern that differentiates from the general population based on sensitivity, empathy, guiltiness, and compassion. Research indicates that psychopaths, this diagnostic group of individuals, demonstrates or show particular behavioral (crime), neuropsychological and cognitive characteristics that are not the general population. However, today, the psychopath has been misunderstood in our society since people do not know the term’s meaning; thus, they misuse the name. Researchers have indicated that psychopathy is an antisocial disorder through which an individual develops amoral and antisocial behaviors and characteristics that contribute to criminal behaviors. Because it portrays a lack of ability to love and develop healthy and morally upright personal relationships, portrays egocentricity, and demonstrates an inability to learn from experience and other related behaviors.
Additionally, research denotes that biological and environmental factors contribute to the development of psychopathy and sociopaths. However, s of psychological researchers have approved that psychopathy is also a genetic or inherited condition passed from one generation to another. This is because it is associated with the underdevelopment of brain parts responsible for emotional regulation and impulse control (Marsh, 2017). This research paper will primarily focus on the hypothesis that male youth psychopaths never show genuine empathy for the crimes they have committed or committed against others or those they watch while happening. This research will be correlational and experimental since it will be a staged robbery and beating to collect first information if the inmates show empathy to crime victims or they will not be concerned. This research has been motivated by the high prevalence of violent criminal activities in society, primarily among male youths who, to some extent, end up being inmates. Still, they do not confess the mistakes that they have committed in the community. This is because Flight & Forth (2007), in their research, indicate over 50 adolescent offenders have been incarcerated due to violent actions that psychopathic traits have fueled. The research result shows that violent youths were classified as having high scores on psychopathy, which was instrumental to reactive violence.
This section provides sufficient background literature on male juvenile participation in violent crimes instrumented by psychopathy traits. It also focuses on describing relevant peer-reviewed research carried out by different scholars concerning the matter. Research done by psychologist DeAngelis (2022) concerning a broader view of psychopathy indicates that psychopath has contributed to significant trends of violent criminals since individuals, especially youths, are capable of heinous or egregiously selfish actions on a wide-range scale. Researchers denote that psychopath is much further nuanced compared to stereotypes. The author affirms that psychopath victims (individuals) show a wide range of disconcertion propensities, including: grandiosity, aggression, low empathy, remorse, impulsivity, and violent behavior. Further, the research indicates that these psychopathy traits make people do antisocial things that reduce their compassion in society since people do not like being associated with them, and as a result, it leads to resistance.
According to prison department reports, a significant percentage of adults in the United States show a considerable range of psychopathic traits. However, these adult psychopathic traits developed during their early ages. As a result, it has contributed to a significant percentage of 15%-25% of inmates, as per the American psychological association reports (DeAngelis, 2022). It has been identified that these inmates were convicted of violent crime incidents in society, such as violating others’ rights. According to the triarchic model, separable psychopathic traits are constructed through disinhibition composed of tendencies towards irresponsibility, challenges in controlling emotions, impulsiveness, and mistrust of others. Meanness is another psychopathic trait construct involving a lack of empathy, inability to bond with others (antisocial), and destructive exploitativeness. Lastly, according to Patrick’s triarchic model, boldness is another psychopathic trait that constructs boldness,s which comprises social assurance, emotional resilience, dominance, and adventurousness. Research indicates that all the traits mentioned above contribute to the development of different and unique neurobiological features correlated (Ribes‐Guardiola et al., 2020).
Scholars have endeavored in research to spur psychopathy neurobiological based on genetic, environmental, and behavior. Research has indicated that there have been studies conducted in the United States among school-age kids, preschoolers, and even juvenile offenders. It clearly shows that psychopathy is more often at early ages. And as a result, this contributes to youngsters who exhibit severe and planned aggression and lack of emotion when responding to fear and misery. Research-based on emotional intelligence conducted by Erme et al. (2012, showed that many incarcerated male juveniles are associated with psychopathic traits. This is because these juvenile males have low emotional intelligence, which is associated with the ability to perceive, control, and reason about emotions based on oneself and others. This research shows that people with psychopathy experience some challenges in social life, especially in interaction, since they have some impairment based on emotional tasks.
Research by Amy Morin (2021) on signs of psychopathy in kids indicates that a lack of remorse or empathy signifies a significant threat and a problem. Since it implies that the child has psychopathy, even though no parent wants to imagine their child to be in such a state, this is a child with psychopathy who is mostly cruel and unemotional. Scholars have associated psychopathy victims with those shown in most movies as serial killers. This is because these serial killers do not show empathy or be concerned with their inhuman actions toward other people. However, they continue their inhuman actions and end up living behind bars. As clearly portrayed in the movies, serial killers tend to learn their actions based on their background environment where they were raised since childhood. And due to early exposure, these children become psychopathy victims and end up incarcerated. They can watch an individual being humiliated in their presence and show no concern or empathy to rescue him/her from suffering or torture. However, researchers have estimated that about 1% of adults meet psychopathy, with a large number being men compared to women. In the research on signs of psychopathy among kids, Amy Morin indicated that they show various symptoms to their caregivers. These signs include; the kid constantly lying, the child is always selfish and does not share anything with others, never guilty after misbehaving, and even if punished, the child not changing their behavior. These remorseful behaviors have been associated with male adolescents, which contributes to a significant number of them being juvenile inmates for committing crimes and unwillingness to confess their mistakes and ask for forgiveness (Amy Morin, 2021).
Research done by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers indicates that individuals with psychopathic personalities are primarily associated with antisocial behavior, such as committing violent crimes, which result in incarceration. However, researchers denote that based on background, some individuals can control and manage their psychopathic traits, which contribute to antisocial tendencies and avoid engaging in malicious actions that can result in imprisonment. However, despite having antisocial behaviors, some psychopathy individuals still exist in society. This is because these researchers found that some have neural advantages that enable psychopathy people to counteract their hostile tendencies within society, enabling them to coexist despite their antisocial impulses.
My proposed research will be based on correlational and staged experimental robbery and beating in the presence of male youth psychopaths to test whether these males will show empathy or concern to the affected victims. Primarily the research will involve a group of actors and male youth psychopaths. This research will effectively contribute to previously conducted research studies since it will mainly prove that psychopaths lack or show low empathy, covering those facing criminal or being mistreated by other youths. The research will be based on the hypothesis that male youth psychopaths never feel or show genuine empathy for the crimes they have committed against others or those they observe. Research indicates that people with psychopathy commit around two to three times more than others who engage in antisocial behavior, contributing to 25% of incarcerated individuals in various prisons (Arielle Baskin-Sommers, 2022).
Researchers show the close relationship between psychopathy and the continuous happening of crimes in society. This is because even after psychopathy inmates have been discharged or released from prison, they continue to show antisocial behavior and commit similar or new crimes. This tends to happen higher rate before incarceration. This is accelerated by drug and substance use that they introduced while behind bars serving their terms. A clear indication that substance use among psychopathy people makes them commit violent crimes and continue showing antisocial and violent behaviors (Arielle Baskin-Sommers, 2022). This shows clearly that male youth psychopaths never show empathy or care for those who experience crime since they continue committing new crimes even after being released from incarceration.
To collect information, my research study aims to test whether male youth psychopath inmates will empathize with people being violently robbed and beaten, aiming to meet the research hypothesis. The correlational experiment was staged in the presence of male youth psychopaths inmates. First, I would use the observation method. Through observation, I would watch inmates’ reactions to witnessing the staged crime happen in their presence and note their physical behavior regarding the occurrence of the crime. Observation would be the most appropriate method for data collection since I will be able to directly observe inmates’ reactions and have greater accuracy on the information gathered, which would help me frame my research hypothesis (Weston et al., 2021). Another method that I will utilize is a survey questionnaire with one-opened questions to allow the inmates to express their feeling about the incident.
Participants of my research study will be a group of actors from my team performing the staged crime and twenty male youth psychopath inmates who will be the audience. The inclusion criteria for my group actors would be based on diversity to show the unity of different people to carry out a particular violent mission. I will select people willing to educate inmates on behavioral changes and control their antisocial tendencies despite being psychopaths.
Procedure for carrying out my research to get the anticipated result would be performing staged robbery or even beating and showing it to the inmates to see if they will feel any empathy towards the person who has been a victim of the crime or done to them.
Research indicates that there are several measurements based on a continuum of discrete and continuous. For my research will use nominal measures for my research variables. This is because nominal-scale measurements of variables are used when research variables can be categorized but not ranked (Dalati, 2018). For instance, the research will be based on gender since it primarily focuses on male youth psychopath inmates.
My correlational and staged experiment on robbery and beating for research will be performed in the presence of at least twenty male youth inmates. The predicted result is that I expect none of the male youth psychopaths will show empathy or feel sorry for those crimes being done to them and mistreatment as per the performance. This is because the literature review has indicated that this group has been used in seeing such incidents since some of them have performed such crimes over and over again. Therefore, they have nothing to show empathy for since it was them they could do the same as portrayed in the staged robbery experiment.
Concerning the result obtained from the research experiment that out of twenty male youth psychopath inmates, none showed empathy or felt those whose crimes were committed against them can be well described through the triarchic model. The triarchic model/theory denotes that psychopathy among people is constructed based on three major domains: disinhibition, meanness, and boldness, as discussed in the literature review, through the triarchic model concerning psychopathy conceptions that contribute to people’s personalities which are based on their emotional intelligence. And due to a lack of emotional intelligence, none of the twenty male youth psychopath inmates showed empathy to those experiencing crimes in the experiment. Based on the three domains of the theory, inmates lack emotional intelligence, which is why they never show empathy for the crimes they commit or see happening in society (Marsh, 2017). In future research on this topic, various data methods will need to incorporate both qualitative and quantitative data. Through various ways such as surveys, questionnaires, and interviews among different youth age groups to compare the results to determine how psychopathy affects different age groups, resulting in overpopulation in prisons.
Conclusively, psychologists define psychopathy as the fundamental traits that make up an individual and lay the groundwork for specific social behaviors that emerge early in a person’s development, particularly throughout adolescence. Based on three triarchic theory domains, boldness, disinhibition, and meanness significantly contribute to developing criminal and antisocial behaviors among male youths. Additionally, drug and substance use among youths significantly contributes to behaviors that make them show no empathy when they have committed crimes or when watching them happen in society. As a result, concluded from the research, there is a need to search for a proper way to treat psychopathy with current technological innovation to have a sustainable solution for increased crimes in our societies.
Amy Morin, L. C. S. W. (2021, December 6). Signs of psychopathy in Kids. Verywell Family. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.verywellfamily.com/is-my-child-a-psychopath-4175470Arielle Baskin-Sommers Assistant Professor of Psychology. (2022, October 20). Psychopaths can feel emotions and can be treated – don’t believe what you see on crime shows. The Conversation. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://theconversation.com/psychopaths-can-feel-emotions-and-can-be-treated-dont-believe-what-you-see-on-crime-shows-181446Dalati, S. (2018). Measurement and Measurement Scales. In Modernizing the Academic Teaching and Research Environment (pp. 79-96). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-74173-4_5DeAngelis, T. (2022, March 1). A broader view of psychopathy. Monitor on Psychology. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://www.apa.org/monitor/2022/03/ce-corner-psychopathyErmer, E., Kahn, R. E., Salovey, P., & Kiehl, K. A. (2012). Emotional intelligence in incarcerated men with psychopathic traits. Journal of personality and social psychology, 103(1), 194.
Flight, J. I., & Forth, A. E. (2007). Instrumentally violent youths: The roles of psychopathic traits, empathy, and attachment. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 34(6), 739-751. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854807299462Marsh, A. (2017). The fear factor: How one emotion connects altruists, psychopaths, and everyone in-between. Hachette UK.
Ribes‐Guardiola, P., Poy, R., Patrick, C. J., & Moltó, J. (2020). Electrocortical measures of performance monitoring from go/no‐go and flanker tasks: Differential relations with trait dimensions of the triarchic model of psychopathy. Psychophysiology, 57(6), e13573.
Weston, L. E., Krein, S., & Harrod, M. (2021). Using observation to better understand the healthcare context. Qualitative Research in Medicine and Healthcare, 5(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/qrmh.2021.9821