The relationship between psychopathy and crime-related amnesia

M.J. Cima-Knijff, K. van Oorsouw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


The objective of this study was to investigate whether levels of psychopathy predicted claims of crime-related amnesia. Different characteristics of psychopathy were based on the factor structure of the self-report questionnaire Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI). Crime-related amnesia claims were scored from inmates (N = 31) criminal file records. Results demonstrated that claims of crime-related amnesia were more frequently reported by individuals scoring high on impulsive antisocial psychopathy traits. Furthermore, offenders who claimed crime-related amnesia reported lower levels of instrumental/proactive aggression. There was no relationship between fearless–callous psychopathy traits or the use of reactive violence, and claims of crime-related amnesia. Within offenders who claimed amnesia for their crime, the majority demonstrated elevated levels of deception, suggesting that claims of amnesia might serve a strategic purpose. In addition, they more often reported having had a previous experience with memory loss, which may have formed the basis of simulation.
Keywords: Crime-related amnesia, Psychopathy, Impulsivity, Antisocial, Fearlessness, Callousness
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-29
JournalInternational Journal of Law and Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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