Few psychological terms carry such negative implications as the diagnosis of “psychopath.” We know, for example, that adults with psychopathy often leave a path of interpersonal destruction and emotional devastation behind them. We also know that that criminal psychopaths tend to offend far more often – and commit more serious crimes – than their antisocial peers.
But what causes someone to become a psychopath? How early does it start and what can we do about it? In this episode of Thread of Evidence, Dr. Joni Johnston talks with Georgetown University professor and researcher Dr. Abby Marsh about the controversy surrounding childhood psychopathy and what the implications are for parents and the criminal justice system.
Abigail Marsh is a Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Cognitive Science at Georgetown. She received her Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted her post-doctoral research at the National Institute of Mental Health. She is the author of over 70 publications in journals that include Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Nature Human Behavior, American Journal of Psychiatry, and JAMA Psychiatry, as well as an award-winning trade book about her research on the brain basis of empathy and compassion called THE FEAR FACTOR.