Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASP) is characterized by a pattern of socially irresponsible, exploitative, and guiltless behavior that begins in early childhood or early adolescence. Typical behaviors include criminality and failure to conform to the law, failure to sustain consistent employment, manipulation of others for personal gain, frequent deception of others, and a lack of empathy for others.
Antisocial behavior has been described throughout recorded history, yet formal descriptions date only to the early nineteenth century. Philippe Pinel, founding father of modern psychiatry, used the term manie sans delire to describe persons who were not insane but had irrational outbursts of rage and violence. In the late nineteenth century, German psychiatrists coined the term psychopathy to describe a broad range of deviant behaviors and eccentricities. The term was later popularized by the American psychiatrist Hervey Cleckley in the now-classic Mask of Sanity, originally published in 1941 (1941/1976). The term sociopathic personality disturbance was introduced in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I), published in 1952, and was replaced by Antisocial Personality Disorder in 1968 in the second edition of the DSM, a term whose use has continued to the present in the fourth edition of the DSM. The term antisocial implies that the disturbance is directed against society.
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