International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 19 Num. 2 - June 2019


Aproximación contextual-funcional a la psicopatía: análisis de casos [A Functional-contextual Approach to Psychopathy: Cases Analysis]

Volume 19 Num. 2 - June 2019 - Pages 141-161


J Carmelo Visdómine Lozano , Bárbara Gil Luciano , Jesús Gil Roales-Nieto


A Functional-contextual Approach to Psychopathy: Cases Analysis.
This paper proposes a functional interpretation of psychopathic behavior as an alternative to formal attempts to explain this rare, complex and, dangerous pattern of behaviors. First of all, the contextual-functional approach is briefly summarized. In second place, four well-known historical cases of psychopathy are briefly described and analyzed. According to a functional approach, the key issues are the contingencies occurring in the personal histories of such individuals as well as the derived transformation of functions that established such rare and dangerous pattern of behavior regulation. A brief analysis is made of the cognitive and emotional characteristics traditionally predicated as exclusive of psychopathy (as lack of empathy, emotional responsiveness, impulsivity, the need of power, etcetera) that sets the stage for an interpretative analysis about the conditions that might be involved in the emergence and expansion of the behaviors typically categorized with the psychopathic label. This analysis focuses on the personal history and describes the confluence of conditions that form thoughts/beliefs about oneself and the others, that establishes as dominant reinforcers obtaining immediate pleasure and escaping aversive funtions as well as feeling unlimited power upon others. This analysis might indicate that the exceptionality of psychopathy migth lie on the occurrence of very extreme specific and unusual conditions and the non-occurrence of those conditions that might prevent the building of repertoires as those described in psychopathy. Therefore, the functional-contextual interpretation characterizes psychopaths persons not as having specific differences in their brains or having difficulties for the formation of adaptive cognitive functioning and behavior regulation, to give account for their psychopatic behavior

How to cite this paper: Visdómine-Lozano JC, Gil-Luciano B y Roales-Nieto JG (2019). Aproximación contextual-funcional a la psicopatía: análisis de casos. International Journal of Psychology & Psychological Therapy, 19, 2, 141-161.

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