Sample Psychology Paper on Antisocial Personality Disorder

 An antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) is a chronic mental health condition, informally called sociopathy that is characterized by a pervasive and constant disregard of morals, law, order, social norms, as well as the rights and feelings of others. People suffering from this disorder are willing to apply deception and manipulation in their pursuit of what they want including power and money. Mostly they bear no shame in exploiting others in harmful ways to satisfy their pleasures. Mostly, people with ASPD possess a façade of superficial charm that makes it challenging to establish lies from the truth. On several occasions where the superficial appeal fails, individuals may resort to intimidation and violence. 

 The most prominent symptom among individuals who have antisocial personality disorder includes struggling with irresponsibility. Individuals may struggle in maintaining employment and fulfilling financial and social responsibilities. These individuals often lead to criminal, parasitic, and exploitative lifestyles. Common in those with an antisocial personality disorder is recklessness and impulsive behavior. Persons may repeatedly indulge in activities that disregard their safety as well as that of other persons. Dysregulated temper, violence, and hostility are common among sociopaths on slight provocation. Individuals with this condition are at high risk of indulging in substance abuse, addiction, and abuse of psychoactive substances — this much disregard of law and wild behavior puts many in conflict with the law. Most people who have antisocial personality disorders have a history of criminal infractions and antisocial behavior even before adulthood.

            Under popular culture, there is a common myth that sociopaths tend to be successful people, charismatic people, and people of influence. Sociopaths may possess desirable traits like persuasiveness and overall charm. However, most people with this disorder struggle with irresponsibility and are less likely to benefit from employment. It would be wrong to conclude that all people who meet the diagnostic criteria of antisocial personality disorder are murderers. Proponents argue an array of mental disorders may compel one to develop suicidal or homicidal thoughts.

            Psychoanalysis research into genetic relation with antisocial personality suggests that there is a strong genetic origin. Moreover, there is a high prevalence of antisocial personality disorder in people related to someone affected by the condition. Jim Fallon suggests that the particular gene of interest is the gene that encodes for serotonin transporter identifies that lowers serotonin activity results in highly impulsive behavior and emotional dysregulation. Higher serotonin activity is responsible for predatory aggression and affective disturbance. Fallon suggests that some parents unknowingly cultivate antisocial behavior in children by rewarding aggressive behavior. By such actions, parents gradually teach children to be stubborn and to be violent.

            Treating antisocial personality disorder remains a big challenge. Treatment for ADP is complicated following the complexities around diagnostics criteria, difficulty in measuring the outcome associated with the treatment of incarcerated prisoners as opposed to those dwelling in the community. Low remorse capacity among ASPD patients may lower the motivation for seeking treatment. While psychotherapy has shown promising signs in alleviating this condition, not many people are willing to seek professional help. While the epigenetic effect is associated with an antisocial personality disorder, it is unlikely that government and non-governmental agencies would resolve such antics to eliminate murderers in society. 

            An antisocial personality disorder falls under disinhibition and psychoticism dimensions under the DSM-5 model. Psychoticism is a pattern of personality that is characterized by aggressiveness and interpersonal hostility. These characteristics are common among sociopaths making it appropriate to classify ASPD under the psychoticism dimension. Additionally, we can organize antisocial personality disorder under the disinhibition dimension that is characterized by irresponsibility, impulsivity and risk-taking behavior. In this dimension, individuals have a high disregard for law and others, failure to honor obligations, and engagement in potentially harmful conduct in such a thoughtless way.