Serial killer – someone who commits a series of murders, often with a period of time between murders and committed upon unknown victims
Severe mental illness – a mental disorder characterized by serious impairment that interferes with multiple life domains; examples may include schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders or severe forms of other mental disorders
Forensic psychology – the intersection between psychology and the law; the practice of applying the science of professional psychology to matters of the legal system
Incompetent to Stand Trial – refers to the state of mind of the defendant during criminal proceedings (not at the time of the crime); when a defendant is unable to understand the charges brought against them or coordinate with their attorney to establish a defense
Insanity – legal finding (not a psychological term or diagnosis)
Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity – a legal defense made when a defendant was either unable to understand what they were doing at the time of a crime or unable to differentiate between right and wrong at the time of the crime
Psychopathy – personality traits that are consistent across time and settings characterized by deficits in interpersonal and emotional facets of life and antisocial behavior
Glib – superficially charming
Grandiose sense of self – unrealistic feeling a sense of superiority
“Successful psychopath” – an individual who has psychopathic traits and is able to avoid antisocial or criminal behavior
“Fledgling psychopaths” – a term used to describe a child with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and behavior problems that are hypothesized to predict psychopathic traits
Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) – one of the gold standard measures used to assess psychopathy
Motivational interviewing – a counseling approach centered on eliciting behavior change by addressing ambivalence and insecurity
Looking for more information on the serial killers that inspired the characters in The Silence of the Lambs? We recommend Last Podcast on the Left!
Read more about what defines and drives a serial killer here
Our guest, Dr. Adam Coffey, shared some great resources on today’s episode! He recommends this resource to learn more about what psychopathy is and where it comes from
Dr. Adam also referenced “Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work” by Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert Hare.
And be sure to check out Dr. Adam’s research on the relationship between psychopathy and rule violating behaviors in a community sample!