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High IQ In psychopaths tied to more serious crimes

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A 2005 study by Peter Johansson and Margaret Kerr indicated that high IQ in psychopathic offenders tends to correlate with more serious crimes. According to the report:

"The key finding in this study is that psychopathic and non-psychopathic criminals, although not different in overall levels of intelligence, did differ in how high intelligence was related to the seriousness of misbehavior. For non-psychopaths, higher intelligence, particularly verbal intelligence, meant a later start in violent crime. For those diagnosed as psychopaths, however, high intelligence meant an early start in violent offending and more problematic behavior in and outside of institutions."

370 men, 40 of whom had been convicted for some form of either murder or attempted murder, were sent to an assessment center for violent offenders in Sweden. The psychopaths were not found to have higher IQs than other groups, but, as noted before, those whose IQ was higher, tended to be guiltier of more serious crimes. Why this correlation exists, however, is unclear. The researchers suggest that : "an explanation lies in the experience of having high intellectual abilities together with characteristics such as impulsivity and irresponsibility that do not allow one to succeed in the ways that people with high intellectual abilities normally do."

"Psychopathy and intelligence: a second look," Peter Johansson and Margaret Kerr, Journal of Personality Disorders, Vol. 19, No. 4, 2005, 357-69. Address: Peter Johansson, Center for Developmental Research, Department of Behavioral, Social and Legal Sciences, Örebro University, SE-701 82 Örebro, Sweden, Retrieved from:



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