Psychopathy, Sadism and Serial Killing

  • David J. Cooke


Like all complex human behavior serial killing is underpinned by a skein of interrelated and interacting processes; biological, social and psychological processes (Raine, 1993; Skrapec, this volume). Within the domain of personality disorder the two forms of disorder which have been most frequently implicated are psychopathy and sadistic personality disorder (SPD). It is not surprising that these disorders have been implicated as both entail predispositions to violence in general, and instrumental violence in particular (Cornell et al., 1995; Millon & Davis, 1996). These disorders are important not only because they can provide the motive to engage in serial killing -e.g., the need to dominate and humiliate- but also, they entail the absence of characteristics that would act as barriers to cruel and demeaning behavior -lack of empathy, shallow affect and callousness.


Personality Disorder Item Response Theory Sexual Arousal Antisocial Personality Disorder Serial Killing 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • David J. Cooke
    • 1
  1. 1.Douglas Inch Centre and Glasgow Caledonian UniversityScotland, UK

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