Theodore Millon, a prestigious school psychologist from Florida who has studied the human personality. Among Millon’s many contributions, today we will focus on his study of psychopathy.
The 9 psychopathic subtypes
Millon published in 1998 a specific chapter in which describes the subtypes of psychopathy (“Subtypes of Psychopathy”, in “Psychopathy”, edited by Millon, Th. Et al., Guilford Press) composed of 9 subtypes: lack of principle, overlap, risk taker, greedy, weak, explosive, harsh, malicious and tyrannical. Millon emphasizes that none of these categories are mutually exclusive, because one can have a profile made up of several subtypes.
Below, we’ll describe the different subtypes in detail, along with the most important features that set them apart.
1. Psychopath without principles
It is usually associated with subjects exhibiting basic narcissistic personality traits. They tend to be successful in staying outside the bounds of legality by exhibiting selfish and disloyal feelings, indifferent to the welfare of others and with fraudulent social styles, accustomed to exploiting others.
They are usually not able to relate to treatment and they are very good at creating whimsical and expansive lies to achieve their goals. They don’t have a total sense of guilt and social conscience, they feel superior to others, and they also enjoy the process of cheating on others. The relationship with this type of psychopath will last as long as he considers that he has something to get from the person, after this period he will simply end it. They tend to show a cold image, with reckless, vengeful and cruel attitudes.
2. Overlapping psychopath
He would be characterized mainly by falsehood. Their demeanor is apparently friendly and sociable, however inside it hides great impulsiveness, resentment and a lack of confidence in the rest. He may have a broad social life, where he exhibits an unusually seductive persistent search for attention, but his relationships are mostly superficial and fluctuating.
They will usually show short-lived enthusiasm, so they will be irresponsible and impulsive, constantly seeking new sensations. They are generally insincere and calculating, they will not admit weaknesses in others, they will always show a facet of false success; it always seems like everything is going well for them, they come across as winners. Although sometimes this subtype of psychopath tries to convince them that their intentions are good, they only try to obtain from others what is convenient for them through manipulations, without seeking the good of others.
3. Malicious psychopath
Most serial killers and / or regular killers fit this profile. they are a lot hostile and vengeful and their impulses are discharged for an evil and destructive purpose. They enjoy cold cruelty and a constant desire for revenge for allegedly suffered betrayals and punishments or for suffering.
The psychopathic characteristics are very similar to those of sadists in that they reflect deep depravity, a desire for compensatory retribution and hostility, as already discussed in the article on “Sadistic Serial Killers”. They could be described as spiteful, vicious, mean and biting. Judicial sanctions would further increase their desire for retaliation and revenge. Although they rationally understand what guilt is, remorse, ethical concepts, morality … they do not experience it on the inside. He does not lose consciousness of his actions and does not stop until his goals of destructiveness and retribution are completed.
4. Tyrannical psychopath
With the Malévolo, this subtype is one of the most cruel and dangerous. Both are intimidating, overwhelming, and destructive. Unlike the previous one, this one seems to be stimulated by resistance or weakness, which increases the attack instead of smoothing it out or stopping it. He takes particular pleasure in forcing the victim to be intimidated.
5. Risk taker
Get involved in risky situations to feel alive, they are impulsive and thoughtless people. They are reckless and insensitive individuals in situations that any normal person would be afraid of. They are able to impose self-discipline and routine lifestyle habits, they will always want changes. This subtype would be a mixture of basic personality of antisocial and histrionic type. He does not worry about the consequences of his actions on third parties, only his need for stimulation wins out.
His great motivation in life is to enlarge, to have rewards. They feel that “life has not given them what they deserve”, so by criminal acts, they would compensate for the emptiness of their life and would compensate for the “injustice” they suffered.. They rationalize their actions by the idea that they are re-establishing an altered balance. It satisfies them to be above others and to hurt them in life (in whatever area), feeling their pawns.
They also have little or no feeling of guilt for what other people do, they never consider it enough. In addition, they are terribly jealous, greedy, aggressive, jealous … they feel good about the pain of others and are irritated by the success of others. Successful entrepreneurs could fit into this profile, considering objects to others to satisfy their desires. The worst part is that they never reach a state of total satisfaction, they always strive for more.
7. Weak psychopath
this subtype it would have a basis of driving of preventive and dependent type. It shows others an image of false security and self-confidence that in fact hides the opposite. Their attacks generally consist in demonstrating their lack of fear and in assuming the role of aggressor and never of victim. They tend to be caricatures of petty bullies, they maintain an intimidating attitude, showing the world “that it is dangerous to disturb them”.
8. Explosive psychopath
In this case, there would be many components of the intermittent explosive disorder (i.e. pulse control, code F63.8 according to DSM-IV-TR). Its main feature is the sudden, sudden outburst of extreme hostility. His behavior “explodes”, so it does not cause detention time. These attacks of fury are characterized by uncontrollable anger towards others, which often leads to the victim’s submission and passivity.
9. Brutal psychopath
this subtype he shows his rejection of others passively and indirectly. They tend to have incessant disagreements with others, amplifying even the smallest action to become entangled in bitter and constant quarrels with the people around them.
They have little remorse or feelings of guilt about the inconvenience they cause to others. They are often bitter and ironic, sharing personality traits with negativistic and paranoid personality disorders. They always believe that they are right about everything and that others are always wrong and it is especially nice to contradict others. They are less satisfied with the logic and legitimacy of their arguments than with their use to frustrate and humiliate the other person.
As a closing …
Théodore Millon found several subtypes of psychopathy, which can be found in different scenarios: murder, big business, theft, politics … or even in more everyday life situations.
In the study he conducted, he found that the most common profiles are the “unprincipled psychopath”, the “risk psychopath” and the “malicious psychopath”, although they are not exclusive of others. , we can have a profile characterized by several subtypes. He also found that there is comorbidity with disorders of sexual inclination (paraphilias) and impulse control disorders.