There are many different aspects that can be taken when trying to understand the causes, nature and distribution of crime. One of these outlooks is Criminal Psychology, which tries to explain crime through psychological means. In the mid 19th century psychology had started to develop "new ideas for criminology and it provided evidence on the mental state of all accused person coming before the courts," (Blackburn, 1993, p.32). There are many different sorts of crimes and psychological conditions that may be able to explain them. Personality disorders may lead to criminal offenses and the evaluation of it is necessary when trying to explain why crime occurs.
Psychopathy and Crime.
There has been controversy to what exactly a psychopath is and it has been frequently mistaken with "antisocial personality disorder"(1660, small article). Psychopathy is a personality disorder and people who are diagnosed with it are "characterized by egocentricity, absence of empathy, absence of guilt, superficial charm, shallow emotions, absence of anxiety, and absence of long lasting relationships (Frick, o" Brien, Wooten & McBurnett, 1994, p. 700)."There have been studies that have been done to try to see the correlation between psychopathy and crime. David J. Simourd and Robert D. Hoge wanted to find out if offenders who were assessed as psychopaths had greater risks and needs than nonpsychopaths. The risk level in this study pertains to the probability of offending that is determined the amount of risk factors that are involved in a particular situation. The need occurs when a person is need of doing a crime because of a life change, such as losing a job. .
There is a certain method that is used to diagnose a person as a psychopath, it is known as the Psychopathy Checklist- Revised (PCL-R). It is a 20 item check list and there are two factors within the test, the first involves personality traits and the second involves the person's life style.