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The association between deceptive motivations and personality disorders in male offenders Spidel, Alicia


The detection of deception is an integral part of any forensic assessment. Unfortunately, the motives underlying the use of deceptive strategies by offenders and how these may differ between different types of personality-disordered offenders are not well established. The aim of the present study was to identify different deception-related motivations in a sample of offenders and to examine the relationship between these motivations and personality pathology. Archived file and videotaped information for 103 Canadian federal offenders were reviewed in order to identify personality disorder pathology, as well as patterns of deceptive motivations (compulsive, secretive, avoiding punishment, avoiding negative evaluation, protective, to obtain a reward, to heighten self-presentation, altruistic, and careless). In general, as expected within a forensic context, offenders lied to avoid punishment. With respect to the other motivational categories investigated, personality pathology was found to significantly mediate the motivational patterns leading to offender-perpetrated deception. The relevance of these findings to credibility assessment and personality pathology is discussed.

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