One Measure Does Not a Construct Make: Directions Toward Reinvigorating Psychopathy Research— Reply to Hare and Neumann (2010)

In our article (J. L. Skeem & D. J. Cooke, 2010), we outlined the dangers inherent in conflating the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL–R; R. Hare, 1991) with psychopathy itself. In their response, R. Hare and C. Neumann (2010) seemed to agree with key points that the PCL–R should not be confused with psychopathy and that criminal behavior is not central to psychopathy; at the same time, they said we provided no clear directions for theory or research. In this rejoinder, we clarify our argument that progress in understanding the unobservable construct of psychopathy hinges upon setting aside procrustean dependence on a monofocal PCL–R lens to test (a) actual theories of psychopathy against articulated validation hierarchies and (b) the relation between psychopathy and crime. In specifying these conceptual and applied directions, we hope to promote constructive dialogue, further insights, and a new generation of research that better distinguishes between personality deviation and social deviance.