Thesis: Individuals With Antisocial Personality Disorder

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[. . .] To put their own minds at peace these people think it is alright to cause damage to these people as these people would ultimately cause damage to them. This is the main reason why these people think that committing crimes is the only solution. We shall now see how some of the violent acts meet the criteria for Felony assault.

Positive Link between ASPD and Felony Assault

Individuals with Antisocial Personality Disorder frequently lack empathy, tend to be manipulative and impulsive. Those traits positively correlate those individuals to commit violent crime such as felony assault.

As mentioned earlier that there are four requirements for an assault to come under the definition of a Felony assault. The first and the most important requirement is the ability of the person to carry out a particular act. This implies that there is the presence of the intention to carry harm to the other person. The only exception to this rule is the presence of a lethal weapon. Even if an unintentional injury is caused to that person with that deadly weapon, this act would still be called a Felony assault. The second requirement is the unlawful attempt made by a person to commit the act. This implies that the person actually made an attempt to carry out that act. For instance, if someone shoots another person, but misses the target, this act would still be regarded as a Felony assault as the intention was so to cause harm to the other person. The third requirement is that the intention of the person who is committing the crime is to cause violent injury to the other person. This implies that the person committed the crime with the clear intention of causing an injury to the other person. This requirement is still considered even if the other person did not get harmed since the intention was there. The fourth and the final requirement is that the crime has to be against another person, meaning that there should always be a victim. If a victim is not present then the crime would not be termed as an assault. It is also important for the victim to be a human being for a crime to become as assault. For instance, a person cannot be held responsible of an assault if a dog of a person bites another individual, even if the former person was not careful with restraining the dog. The two things that are common in most of the states with respect to felony assault are that the crime that is committed by a person should have a purpose and should be deliberate. Therefore, anyone who commits a crime unintentionally cannot be regarded as causing felony assault. The reason why people with ASPD are most of the times penalized for causing felony assault is that they always have an intention to cause harm to other people. Most of these people with violent behaviors have the tendency to commit the same kind of crime over and over again (What is Felony Assault? 2013).

Socio-Cultural Influences

With regard to ASPD, the socio-cultural perspectives are viewed differently since there is a different kind of influence of the cultural aspects on these people as compared to those who are suffering from a different mental disorder (Lock, 2000). Robert D. Hare has suggested in the past that the increase in the number of patients with this disorder has been observed in the United States and there is a chance that there are some links of its increased prevalence with the cultural mores of the society that have the flexibility to validate the violent behaviors of the individuals with this disorder. However, the rise in the number of people who suffer from this disorder could only be a result of better diagnostic techniques.

Environment

A number of researchers believe that apart from the genetic factors that are involved in predisposing a person to have ASPD, there are numerous external factors that have a role to play in the development of this disorder. These external factors include the socio-cultural influences, as explained earlier and the environment. By environment, we mean the kind of surroundings that the people live in. These surroundings are made up by the parents and friends of the people who display an antisocial behavior. It is not uncommon to note that the people, who develop this order, mostly have parents who displayed the same kind of behavior. When the parents of these people behave in a violent manner, then these people automatically start believing that it is acceptable to behave that way. Therefore, from a very young age, these people indulge in criminal activities that most of the times come under the umbrella of felony assault.

Lab Studies of Violent Behaviors

Researchers often want to assess the level of aggression that might be present in the people with this personality disorder as this assessment helps them to analyze the tendency of these people to commit crimes that are also labeled as felony's assault. One such lab test that is used to find out the level of aggression in these people is the Point Subtraction Aggression Paradigm. In this experiment, the participants of the study are made to sit in front of a computer screen and are also provided with a mechanical box that has a pair of buttons on it. The command that is given to the participants by the researcher is that they must push one of the two buttons on the box so that they can earn money. They are also told to push that button as fast as it is possible for them. The amount of money that they earn by pushing the button is the displayed on the monitor screen of the computer. The participants are also informed that they are paired with opponents (who are fictitious) and that these opponents would try to take the money that they have earned. In order for them to retaliate against their opponents, these people are told to push the other button on the mechanical box. The researchers then provoke the participants with intervals of time (acting as the opponents). The number of times a particular participant pushes the button and retaliates is used to assess the level of aggression and the tendency of that person to indulge in violent acts.

Even though many researchers believe that such types of lab measures are only artificial and do not have much to do with the actual experience, many studies have shown the validity of this approach in distinguishing the violent people from the ones who are relatively non-violent; but both of them have ASPD. It was established through studies that the male parolees who were convicts of violent felonies demonstrated a greater degree of aggressiveness according to the Point Subtraction AggressionParadigm as compared to the people who were labeled convicts of non-violent felony's assaults (Cherek et. al 1996, 1997).

On the other hand, the female parolees who gave histories of violent behavior displayed more aggressive behavior as compared to the female parolees who did not give any history of violent acts (Cherek et al. 2000).

The relationship between the levels of testosterone in the body of a person and the level of aggression in that person has also been found to be positive, even though the exact mechanism is not known and is thought to be very complex. Many researchers have concluded that when the levels of testosterone increases in the blood of a human being; be it endogenous or injected, the level of aggression in both men and women also increases (Cherek et al. 2000).

Apart from the validity of the aforementioned laboratory measures, they have made it possible for the researchers to analyze aggression a controlled setting. Therefore, these kinds of experiments have been employed to look into the association between violent behavior and ASPD.

Treatment

Since it is one of the most common personality and psychiatric disorders, the treatment of ASPD is a subject that demands a great deal of importance. According to a number of psychiatrists, the treatment of this disorder is not an easy one. People who develop this disorder can appear to be seductively charming as well as dishonest. They are often seen to declare that they are committed to change themselves but they almost never have the motivation to change themselves. It is difficult to treat these people because they lack the required level of motivation to even get themselves treated. This is the reason why the treatment of these people is only possible when they are a parole. Other programs are also being recommended for the treatment of these patients that include the residential programs. These programs are designed to provide a controlled environment for supervision of these patients along with peer confrontation (Gabbard and John G, 2000).

Another reason why these people are difficult to… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Individuals With Antisocial Personality Disorder.  (2013, March 26).  Retrieved May 23, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individuals-antisocial-personality/7690813

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"Individuals With Antisocial Personality Disorder."  Essaytown.com.  March 26, 2013.  Accessed May 23, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/individuals-antisocial-personality/7690813.