Why we are often wrong when we talk about Psychology

Katarzyna Uzieblo, Wineke Smid

Research output: Contribution to specialist/vulgarizing publicationArticleSpecialist

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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.
Translated title of the contributionWhy we are often wrong when we talk about Psychology
Original languageDutch
Number of pages11
Specialist publicationDe psycholoog : maandblad van het Nederlands Instituut van Psychologen (NIP)
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • psychopathy
  • myths
  • assessment
  • treatment


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