Science Says That Convicted Murderers Might Actually Be Less Psychopathic Compared To Other Kinds Of Criminals

Caltili - - illustrative purposes only

The words “psychopath” and “murderer” always seem to go hand in hand. In books, movies, TV shows, and podcasts, psychopathy is frequently associated with homicide. Multiple studies have even linked certain psychopathic personality traits to acts of violence and cruelty.

However, a study from 2022 has found that convicted murderers might actually be less psychopathic than other types of criminals.

Researchers from the Institute of Criminological Sociological Research in Belgrade, Serbia, studied 247 male convicts who were serving time in the two largest penitentiary facilities in the country.

The study was led by Janko Medidović and Nikola Vujičić. It was published in the scientific journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Of the 247 convicts, 46 were murderers, 82 had committed non-homicide violent offenses, and 119 were non-violent offenders.

They were given questionnaires that tested their levels of psychopathy, sadism, and Machiavellianism, which is a personality trait used in the field of psychology that is characterized by interpersonal manipulation, lack of empathy, indifference to morality, and a drive to do whatever is necessary for their own self-interests.

The team of researchers looked at the results for each criminal and the details of their past crimes to measure their psychopathic tendencies.

Evidence showed that the murderers had lower levels of psychopathy and sadism compared to other convicts. This was especially true when the murderers were compared with the violent non-murderers. There was no difference in the levels of Machiavellianism.

Additionally, the murderers scored lower on two psychopathic characteristics—lifestyle and antisocial behavior. They also had less of a history of engaging in criminal activity.

Caltili – – illustrative purposes only

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