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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Abstract thinking in criminal psychopaths Gillstrom, Brenda Jean


This thesis tests the hypothesis that psychopaths have problems with abstract thinking. 45 male inmates, who were divided into psychopaths and nonpsychopaths based on their score on the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare, 1991), completed a battery of abstraction tasks. Psychopaths did significantly poorer than did nonpsychopaths on one of the abstraction measures, the Proverbs Test (Gorham, 1956). The results are discussed in relation to thought disorder, symbolic thinking, the "abstract attitude", schizophrenia, and frontal lobe dysfunction.

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