The Hannibal Lecter Myth: Psychopathy and Verbal Intelligence in the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study
Purchase on Springer.com
$39.95 / €34.95 / £29.95*
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.
Due to the intriguing nature of the psychopathy construct, it is not surprising that psychopathic characters would appear in popular culture. At times, media portrayals of psychopathic personality are consistent with scholarly research, others times they are not. In the case of Hannibal Lecter, the psychopathic killer was framed as an individual with superior intelligence—an omnibus intelligence that enhanced his ability to manipulative and victimize others. Contrary to this popular conception and based on data from 840 cases selected from the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study, ordinary least squares and ordered logistic regression models showed inverse relationships between verbal intelligence and psychopathy for eight of twelve items of the disorder in this exploratory study. Due to the uniqueness of the MacArthur sample and concern about generalizeability, further research on verbal intelligence and psychopathy is recommended.
- Barratt, E. S. (1965). Factor analysis of some psychometric measures of impulsiveness and anxiety. Psychological Reports, 16, 547–554.
- Barratt, E. S. (1994). Impulsiveness and aggression. In J. Monahan & H. S. Steadman (Eds.), Violence and mental disorder: Developments in risk assessment (pp. 61–79). Chicago: University of Chicago.
- Beaver, K. M., DeLisi, M., Vaughn, M. G., Wright, J. P., & Boutwell, B. B. (2008). The relationship between self-control and language: evidence of a shared etiological pathway. Criminology, 46, 201–232.
- Beggs, S. M., & Grace, R. C. (2008). Psychopathy, intelligence, and recidivism in child molesters. Evidence of an interaction effect. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35, 683–695. CrossRef
- Benning, S. D., Patrick, C. J., Hicks, B. M., Bloningen, D. M., & Krueger, R. F. (2003). Factor structure of the psychopathic personality inventory: validity and implications for clinical assessment. Psychological Assessment, 15, 340–350. CrossRef
- Black, D. W., & Larson, C. L. (1999). Bad boys, bad men: Confronting antisocial personality disorder. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Blair, J., Mitchell, D., & Blair, K. (2005). The psychopath: Emotion and the brain. Malden, MA: Blackwell.
- Cleckley, H. (1941). The mask of sanity. St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
- Cooke, D. J., & Michie, C. (2001). Refining the construct of psychopathy: towards a hierarchical model. Psychological Assessment, 13, 171–188. CrossRef
- Dionne, G., Tremblay, R., Boiven, M., Laplante, D., & Perusse, D. (2003). Physical aggression and expressive vocabulary in 19-month-old twins. Developmental Psychology, 39, 261–273. CrossRef
- Forth, A. E., Kosson, D. S., & Hare, R. D. (2003). The psychopathy checklist: Youth version. Toronto, ON: Multi-Health Systems.
- Frick, P. J. (1998). Conduct disorders and severe antisocial behavior. New York: Plenum.
- Gottfredson, M. R., & Hirschi, T. (1990). A general theory of crime. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
- Hall, J. R., & Benning, S. D. (2006). The “successful” psychopath: Adaptive and subclinical manifestation of psychopathy in the general population. In C. J. Patrick (Ed.), Handbook of psychopathy (pp. 459–478). New York: Guilford.
- Hare, R. D. (1991). The Hare psychopathy checklist—revised. Toronto, ON: Multi-Health Systems.
- Hare, R. D. (2003). The Hare psychopathy checklist—revised (2nd ed.). Toronto, ON: Multi-Health Systems.
- Hare, R. D., & Neumann, C. S. (2008). Psychopathy as a clinical and empirical construct. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 4, 217–246. CrossRef
- Harpur, T. J., Hart, S. D., & Hare, R. D. (2002). Personality of the psychopath. In P. T. Costa & T. A. Widiger (Eds.), Personality disorders and the five-factor model of personality (2nd ed., pp. 299–324). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
- Hart, S., Cox, D., & Hare, R. D. (1995). Manual for the psychopathy checklist: Screening version (PCL: SV). Toronto, ON: Multi-Health Systems.
- Hirschi, T., & Hindelang, M. J. (1977). Intelligence and delinquency: a revisionist review. American Sociological Review, 42, 571–587. CrossRef
- Hollingshead, A. B., & Redlich, F. C. (1958). Social class and mental illness: A community study. New York: Wiley. CrossRef
- Hudziak, J. J., Helzer, J. E., Wetzel, M. W., Kessel, K. B., McGee, B., Janca, A., et al. (1993). The use of the DSM-III-R checklist for initial diagnostic assessments. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 34, 375–383. CrossRef
- Johansson, P., & Kerr, M. (2005). Psychopathy and intelligence: a second look. Journal of Personality Disorders, 19, 357–369. CrossRef
- Kaufman, A. S., & Kaufman, N. L. (1990). Kaufman brief intelligence test (K-BIT). Circle Pines, MN: American Guidance Service.
- Loney, B. R., Frick, P. J., Ellis, M., & McCoy, M. G. (1998). Intelligence, callous-unemotional traits, and antisocial behavior. Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment, 20, 231–247. CrossRef
- Luria, A. R. (1961). The role of speech in the regulation of normal and abnormal behavior. New York: Basic Books.
- McGloin, J. M., Pratt, T. C., & Maahs, J. (2004). Rethinking the IQ-delinquency relationship: a longitudinal analysis of multiple theoretical models. Justice Quarterly, 21, 603–636. CrossRef
- Moffitt, T. E. (1993a). The neuropsychology of conduct disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 135–151. CrossRef
- Moffitt, T. E. (1993b). Adolescence-limited and life-course persistent antisocial behavior: a developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674–701. CrossRef
- Monahan, J., Steadman, H., Silver, E., Appelbaum, P., Robbins, P., Mulvey, E., et al. (2001). Rethinking risk assessment: The MacArthur study of mental disorder and violence. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Mullin-Nelson, J. L., Salekin, R. T., & Leistico, A. R. (2006). Psychopathy, empathy, and perspective-taking ability in a community sample: implications for the successful psychopathy concept. International Journal of Forensic Mental Health, 5, 133–149.
- O’Kane, A., Fawcett, D., & Blackburn, R. (1996). Psychopathy and moral reasoning: comparison of two classifications. Personality and Individual Differences, 20, 515–514. CrossRef
- Patton, J., Standford, M., & Barratt, E. (1995). The factor structure of the Barratt impulsiveness scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, 768–775. CrossRef
- Paulhus, D. L., & Williams, K. M. (2002). The dark triad of personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556–563. CrossRef
- Reynolds, C. R., Willson, V. L., & Clark, P. L. (1983). A four-test short form of the WAIS-R for clinical screening. Clinical Neuropsychology, 5, 111–116.
- Salekin, R. T., Yff, R. M. A., Neumann, C. S., Leistico, A. R., & Zalot, A. A. (2002). Juvenile transfer to adult courts: a look at the prototypes for dangerousness, sophistication-maturity, and amenability to treatment through a legal lens. Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, 8, 373–410. CrossRef
- Salekin, R. T., Neumann, C. S., Leistico, A. R., & Zalot, A. A. (2004). Psychopathy in youth and intelligence: an investigation of Cleckley’s hypothesis. Journal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology, 33, 731–744. CrossRef
- Skeem, J., & Mulvey, E. (2001). Psychopathy and community violence among civil psychiatric patients: results from the MacArthur violence risk assessment study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 69, 358–374. CrossRef
- Skeem, J. L., Miller, J. D., Mulvey, E., Tiemann, J., & Monahan, J. (2005). Using a five-factor lens to explore the relation between personality traits and violence in psychiatric patients. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 454–465. CrossRef
- Steadman, H. J., Mulvey, E. P., Monahan, J., Robbins, P. C., Appelbaum, P. S., Grisso, T., et al. (1998). Violence by people discharged from acute psychiatric inpatient facilities and by others in the same neighborhoods. Archives of General Psychiatry, 55, 393–401. CrossRef
- Ullrich, S., Farrington, D. P., & Coid, J. W. (2007). Dimensions of DSM-IV personality disorders and life-success. Journal of Personality Disorders, 21, 657–663. CrossRef
- Vaughn, M. G., DeLisi, M., Beaver, K. M., Wright, J. P., & Howard, M. O. (2007). Toward a psychopathology of self-control theory: the importance of narcissistic traits. Behavioral Sciences and the Law, 25, 803–821. CrossRef
- Vitacco, M. J., Neumann, C. S., & Jackson, R. L. (2005). Testing a four-factor model of psychopathy and its association with ethnicity, gender, intelligence, and violence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 73, 466–476. CrossRef
- Vitacco, M. J., Neumann, C. S., & Wodushek, T. (2008). Differential relationships between the dimensions of psychopathy and intelligence: replication with adult jail inmates. Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35, 48–55. CrossRef
- Wechsler, D. (1999). Wechsler abbreviated scale of intelligence. San Antonio, TX: The Psychological Corporation.
- Wilson, J. Q., & Herrnstein, R. J. (1985). Crime and human nature: The definitive study of the causes of crime. New York: Simon and Schuster.
- The Hannibal Lecter Myth: Psychopathy and Verbal Intelligence in the MacArthur Violence Risk Assessment Study
Journal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Volume 32, Issue 2 , pp 169-177
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Psychopathic personality
- Author Affiliations
- 1. 203A East Hall, Ames, IA, 50011-1070, USA
- 2. School of Social Work, Division of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, Department of Public Policy Studies, Saint Louis University, Tegeler Hall, 3550 Lindell Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63103, USA
- 3. Florida State University, College of Criminology and CJ, 634 West Call Street, Hecht House, Tallahassee, FL, 32306-1127, USA
- 4. Division of Criminal Justice, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, USA