Criminal offenders (CO) are characterized by antisocial and impulsive lifestyles and reduced empathy competence. According to Zaki and Ochsner, empathy is a process that can be divided into three components: mentalizing, emotional sharing and prosocial concern. The aim of our study was to evaluate these competences in 74 criminal subjects compared to 65 controls. The CO group demonstrated a lower ability in measures of mentalizing and sharing, especially in recognizing the mental and emotional states of other people by observing their eyes and sharing other people’s emotions. Conversely, CO subjects showed better abilities in prosocial concern measures, such as judging and predicting the emotions and behavior of other people, but they were not able to evaluate the gravity of violations of social rules as well as the control group. In addition, logistic regression results show that the higher the deficits in the mentalizing component are, the higher the probability of committing a crime against another person. Taken together, our results suggest that criminal subjects are able to judge and recognize other people’s behavior as right or wrong in a social context, but they are not able to recognize and share the suffering of other people.
|Titolo:||Understanding criminal behavior: Empathic impairment in criminal offenders|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|