Psychopaths are often mystified and made out as evil monsters. Many believe that these individuals should be imprisoned for life, no matter what they’ve done, just because they are psychopaths. These attitudes towards and interest in psychopathy are however mainly driven by over-simplified and often faulty misconceptions of the personality construct. Is it true that all psychopathic individuals are dangerous criminals who will continue offending no matter what? Do psychopathic individuals become more dangerous because of treatment? And are all our bosses psychopathic? With this article we aim to challenge several assumptions about psychopathy that we often encounter in media and practice, by tackling these questions with research-informed responses. We will also provide practitioners working in both forensic- and non-forensic settings, with adults or minors, insights in important issues related to the assessment of psychopathic traits and the treatment of individuals with psychopathic traits.

62 Weergaven
Log in
Zijn alle psychopaten hetzelfde? Komt psychopathie alleen bij criminelen voor? Zijn ze te behandelen? Zijn er bij kinderen psychopathische trekken vast te stellen? Kunnen personen met psychopathische trekken in het bedrijfsleven succesvol zijn? Kasia Uzieblo en Wineke Smid buigen zich over enkele veronderstellingen over psychopathie die zowel leven onder leken als professionals. ‘De assumptie dat “psychopaten” onbehandelbaar en dus “hopeloos” zijn, moeten we toch stilaan achterwege laten.’

‘Hij pakt je in, vreet je op en gooit je weg … Mijn broer is een psychopaat en een seriemoordenaar,’ zei Astrid Holleeder over haar broer tijdens het Vandros-strafproces. Willem Holleeder werd op 4 juli 2019 veroordeeld voor vijf moorden, een doodslag en een poging tot moord. Tijdens een van haar verklaringen stelt Astrid Holledeer dat ze geen hoop op verbetering heeft: ‘Ik heb geen wraakgevoelens – hij is ziek. Hij kan niet anders. Hij is zo. Het enige wat helpt zijn vier muren’ (Thijssen & Stoker, 2019). De discussie of Willem Holleeder al dan niet een ‘psychopaat’ is, laten we graag aan anderen over. Wat ons hier meer intrigeert is de veronderstelling van Astrid Holleeder dat personen met psychopathische trekken onbehandelbaar/onveranderbaar zijn.

In dit artikel buigen wij ons over enkele veronderstellingen over psychopathie die we in de media maar ook bij professionals regelmatig tegenkomen. Is het juist om aan te nemen dat iedere ‘psychopaat’ hetzelfde is? Komt psychopathie enkel bij criminelen voor? Brengen

Geïnteresseerden kunnen bij de auteurs een uitgebreidere referentielijst opvragen.

1. Voor de nieuwsgierigen: Theodore Roosevelt behaalde de hoogste score op Fearless-Dominance, terwijl William H. Thaft de laagste score behaalde (Lilienfeld et al., 2012).


  1. Andrews, D.A. & Bonta, J. (2010). The psychology of criminal conduct (5th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Anderson.
  2. Babiak, P., Neumann, C.S. & Hare, R.D. (2010). Corporate Psychopathy: Talking the Walk. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 28(2), 174-193. doi: 10.1002/bsl.925 Belfort, J. (2007). The wolf of Wall Street. New York: Bantam.
  3. Boddy, C.R. (2017). Psychopathic Leadership A Case Study of a Corporate Psychopath CEO. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(1), 141–156. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2908-6
  4. Boddy, C.R. & Taplin, R. (2016). The infl uence of corporate psychopaths on job satisfaction and its determinants. International Journal of Manpower, 37(6), 965–988. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-12-2015-0199
  5. Burt, G.N., Olver, M.E. & Wong, S.C.P. (2016). Investigating Characteristics of the Nonrecidivating Psychopathic O– ender. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 43(12), 1741–1760. https://doi.org/10.1177/0093854816661215
  6. Coid, J., Yang, M., Ullrich, S., Roberts, A. & Hare, R.D. (2009b). Prevalence and correlates of psychopathic traits in the household population of Great Britain. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 32(2), 65–73. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijlp.2009.01.002
  7. Coid, J., Yang, M., Ullrich, S., Roberts, A., Moran, P. et al. (2009a). Psychopathy among prisoners in England and Wales. International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, 32(3), 134–41. http://doi.org/10.1016/j. ijlp.2009.02.008
  8. DeMatteo, D., Edens, J.F., Galloway, M., Cox, J., Smith, S.T. et al. (2014). Investigating the role of the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised in United States case law. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 20(12), 96–107. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0035452
  9. Frick, P.J., Ray, J.V., Thornton, L.C. & Kahn, R.E. (2014). Can callous-unemotional traits enhance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of serious conduct problems in children and adolescents? A comprehensive review. Psychological Bulletin, 140(1), 1–57. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0033076
  10. Glenn, A.L., Johnson, A K. & Raine, A. (2013). Antisocial personality disorder: A current review. Current Psychiatry Reports, 15: 427. https://doi. org/10.1007/s11920-013-0427-7
  11. Gordts, S., Uzieblo, K., Neumann, C., Van den Bussche, E. & Rossi, G. (2017). Validity of the Self-Report Psychopathy Scales (SRP-III Full and Short Versions) in a Community Sample. Assessment, 24(3), 308–325. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191115606205
  12. Guay, J.P., Knight, R.A., Ruscio, J. & Hare, R.D. (2018). A taxometric investigation of psychopathy in women. Psychiatry Research, 261, 565–573. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2018.01.015
  13. Hare, R.D. (2003). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist–Revised manual (2nd ed.). North Tonawanda, NY: MHS.
  14. Hare, R.D., Clark, D., Grann, M, & Thornton, D. (2000). Psychopathy and the predictive validity of the PCL-R: An international perspective. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 18(5), 623- 645. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/1099-0798(200010)18:5<623::AID-BSL409>3.0.CO;2-W
  15. Hart, S.D., Cox, D.N. & Hare, R.D. (1995). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Screening Version. New York: Multi-Health Systems Inc.
  16. Hicks, B.M. & Drislane, L.E. (2018). Variants (‘Subtypes’) of psychopathy (pp. 297-335). In Patrick C.J. (ed.) Handbook of Psychopathy, 2nd Ed. New York, New York: Guilford Press.
  17. Hildebrand, M., Ruiter, C.D., Vogel, V.D. & Wolf, P.V.D. (2002). Reliability and factor structure of the Dutch language version of Hare’s Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 1(2), 139-154. https://doi.org/10.1080/14999013.2002.10471169
  18. Kimonis, E.R., Fleming, G., Briggs, N., Brouwer-French, L., Frick, P.J. et al. (2019). Parent-Child Interaction Therapy Adapted for Preschoolers with Callous-Unemotional Traits: An Open Trial Pilot Study. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 48(S1), S347–S361. https://doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2018.1479966
  19. Klein Haneveld, E., Neumann, C.S., Smid, W., Wever, E. & Kamphuis, J.H. (2018). Treatment Responsiveness of Replicated Psychopathy Profi les, Law and Human Behavior, 42(5), 484–495. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/lhb0000305
  20. Leistico, A.M.R., Salekin, R.T., DeCoster, J. & Rogers, R. (2008). A largescale meta-analysis relating the Hare measures of psychopathy to antisocial conduct. Law and Human Behavior, 32(1), 28-45. doi: 10.1007/s10979-007-9096-6
  21. Landay, K., Harms, P.D., & Crede, M. (2018). Shall we serve the dark lords? A meta-analytic review of psychopathy and leadership. Journal of Applied Psychology, 104(1), 183-196. https://doi.org/10.1037/apl0000357
  22. Leung, P.C., Looman, J. & Abracen, J. (2019). To Reoffend or Not to Reoffend ? An Investigation of Recidivism Among Individuals With Sexual Offense Histories and Psychopathy. Sexual Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/1079063219877173
  23. Lilienfeld, S.O., Waldman, I.D., Landfield, K., Watts, A.L., Rubenzer, S. & Faschingbauer, T.R. (2012). Fearless dominance and the U.S. Presidency: Implications of psychopathic personality traits for successful and unsuccessful political leadership. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103(3), 489–505. https://doi.org/10.1037/a0029392
  24. Lykken, D.T. (1995). The antisocial personalities. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
  25. Mathieu, C., Neumann, C., Babiak, P. & Hare, R.D. (2015). Corporate Psychopathy and the Full-Range Leadership Model. Assessment, 22(3), 267–278. https://doi.org/10.1177/1073191114545490
  26. Meffert, H., Thornton, L.C., Tyler, P.M., Botkin, M.L., Erway, A.K. et al. (2018). Moderation of prior exposure to trauma on the inverse relationship between callous-unemotional traits and amygdala responses to fearful expressions: An exploratory study. Psychological Medicine, 48(15), 2530–2540. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291718000156
  27. Neo, B., Sellbom, M., Smith, S.F. & Lilienfeld, S.O. (2018). Of Boldness and Badness: Insights into Workplace Malfeasance from a Triarchic Psychopathy Model Perspective. Journal of Business Ethics, 149(1), 187–205. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-016-3108-8
  28. Pardini, D., Stepp, S., Hipwell, A., Stouthamer-Loeber, M. & Loeber, R. (2012). The clinical utility of the propose DSM–5 callous-unemotional subtype of conduct disorder in young girls. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 51(1), 62–73. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2011.10.005
  29. Patrick, C.J., Fowles, D.C. & Krueger, R.F. (2009). Triarchic conceptualization of psychopathy: Developmental origins of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness. Development and Psychopathology, 21(3), 913–938. doi:10.1017/S0954579409000492.
  30. Polaschek, D.L.L., & Daly, T.E. (2013). Treatment and psychopathy in forensic settings. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(5), 592–603. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2013.06.003
  31. Polaschek, D.L.L. & Skeem, J.L. (2018). Treatment of Adults and Juveniles with Psychopathy (pp. 710-731). In Patrick C.J. (ed.) Handbook of Psychopathy, 2nd Ed. New York, New York: Guilford Press.
  32. Rice, M.E., Harris, G.T. & Cormier, C.A. (1992). An Evaluation of a Maximum Security Therapeutic-Community for Psychopaths and Other Mentally Disordered Offenders. Law and Human Behavior, 16(4), 399–412. https://doi.org/10.1007/bf02352266
  33. Salekin, R.T. (2002). Psychopathy and therapeutic pessimism: Clinical lore or clinical reality? Clinical Psychology Review, 22(1), 79–112. doi: 10.1016/S0272-7358(01)00083-6
  34. Salekin, R.T., Andershed, H. & Clark, A.P. (2018). Psychopathy in Children and Adolescents. Assessment and Critical Questions Regarding Conceptualization (pp. 479-508). In Patrick C.J. (ed.) Handbook of Psychopathy, 2nd Ed. New York, New York: Guilford Press.
  35. Sewall, L.A. & Olver, M. E. (2019). Psychopathy and treatment outcome: Results from a sexual violence reduction program. Personality Disorders: Theory, Research, and Treatment, 10(1), 59–69. https://doi.org/10.1037/per0000297
  36. Smith, S.F. & Lilienfeld, S.O. (2013). Psychopathy in the workplace: The knowns and unknowns. Aggression and Violent Behavior, 18(2), 204–218. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.avb.2012.11.007
  37. ten Brinke, L., Black, P.J., Porter, S. & Carney, D.R. (2015). Psychopathic personality traits predict competitive wins and cooperative losses in negotiation. Personality and Individual Di± erences, 79, 116–122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2015.02.001
  38. ten Brinke, L., Kish, A. & Keltner, D. (2018). Hedge Fund Managers With Psychopathic Tendencies Make for Worse Investors. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 44(2), 214–223. https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167217733080
  39. Thijssen, W. & Stoker, E. (2019, 18 januari). ‘Hij pakt je in, vreet je op en gooit je weg’: Is Willem Holleeder een psychopaat? Retrieved from https://www.volkskrant.nl/cultuur-media/hij-pakt-je-in-vreet-je-open- gooit-je-weg-is-willem-holleeder-een-psychopaat~b4f37f0c/
  40. Trentacosta, C.J., Waller, R., Neiderhiser, J.M., Shaw, D.S., Natsuaki, M.N. et al. (2019). Callous-Unemotional Behaviors and Harsh Parenting: Reciprocal Associations across Early Childhood and Moderation by Inherited Risk. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 47(5), 811–823. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10802-018-0482-y
  41. Uzieblo, K., Verschuere, B., Van den Bussche, E. & Crombez, G. (2010). The validity of the psychopathic personality inventory-revised in a community sample. Assessment, 17(3), 334-346. doi: 10.1177/1073191109356544
  42. Viding, E. & McCrory, E.J. (2012). Genetic and neurocognitive contributions to the development of psychopathy. Development and Psychopathology, 24(3), 969–983. https://doi.org/10.1017/S095457941200048X
  43. Viding, E. & McCrory, E.J. (2018). Understanding the development of psychopathy: Progress and challenges. Psychological Medicine, 48(4), 566–577. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291717002847
  44. Verona, E. & Vitale, J. (2018). Psychopathy in Women. Assessment, Manifestations, and Etiology (pp. 509-528). In Patrick C.J. (ed.) Handbook of Psychopathy, 2nd Ed. New York, New York: Guilford Press.
  45. Waller, R., Gardner, F., Hyde, L.W., Shaw, D.S., Dishion, T.J. & Wilson, M.N. (2012). Do harsh and positive parenting predict parent reports of deceitful-callous behavior in early childhood? Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53(9), 946–953. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7610.2012.02550.x
  46. Waller, R., Hyde, L.W., Klump, K.L. & Burt, S.A. (2018). Parenting Is an Environmental Predictor of Callous-Unemotional Traits and Aggression: A Monozygotic Twin Differences Study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 57(12), 955–963. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2018.07.882