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The 9 subtypes of Psychopathy according to Theodore Millon

The 9 subtypes of Psychopathy according to Theodore Millon

December 5, 2021

Theodore Millon, a prestigious psychologist from the Florida school who researched the human personality. Among the many contributions of Millon, today we will focus on his study of psychopathy.

The 9 subtypes of psychopath

Millon published in 1998 a specific chapter in which described the subtypes of psychopathy ("Subtypes of psychopathy", in "Psychopathy", edited by Millon, Th. And others, Guilford Press) composed of 9 subtypes: the unprincipled, the sneaky, the risk taker, the greedy, the weak, the explosive, the rough, the malicious and the tyrannical. Millon stresses that none of these categories is mutually exclusive, since one can have a profile composed of several subtypes.


Next we will describe in detail the different subtypes, as well as the most important features that allow us to distinguish them.

1. Psychopath lacking in principles

It is usually associated with subjects with narcissistic-based personality traits. They tend to stay successfully outside the limits of the legal, showing egotistical and disloyal feelings, indifferent to the welfare of others and with fraudulent social styles, accustomed to exploiting others.

They are not usually able to link to a treatment and They are very good at creating fantasies and expansive lies to achieve their goals . They totally lack feelings of guilt and social conscience, feel superior to the rest and also enjoy the process of deceiving others. The relationship with this type of psychopath will last the time in which he considers that he has something to obtain from the person, after that period he will simply finish it. They tend to show a cold image, with reckless, vengeful and cruel attitudes.


2. Sneaky psychopath

It would be characterized mainly by falsehood. His behavior is apparently friendly and sociable, but inside conceals a great impulsivity, resentment and lack of confidence to the rest . It can have a broad social life, where it presents a persistent search for attention abnormally through seduction, but its relationships are mostly superficial and fluctuating.

Normally they will exhibit short-term enthusiasms, so they will be irresponsible and impulsive, constantly looking for new sensations. They tend to be insincere and calculating, they will not admit weaknesses to others, they will always exhibit a facet of false success; always seems that everything is going well, they are shown as winners. Although sometimes this subtype of psychopaths tries to convince that their intentions are good, they only try to obtain from others what is convenient for them through manipulations, they do not seek the good of others.


3. Malevolent psychopath

Most serial killers and / or common killers fit into this profile. They are very hostile and vengeful and their impulses are discharged with malignant and destructive purpose . They enjoy a cold cruelty and constant desire for revenge for betrayals and punishments allegedly suffered or suffered.

The psychopathic characteristics are very similar to that of the sadists because they reflect a deep depravity, desire for compensatory retribution and hostility, as already commented in the article about the "sadistic serial killers". They could be described as spiteful, vicious, evil and scathing. Judicial sanctions would further increase their desire for retribution and revenge. Although they rationally understand what guilt, remorse, ethical concepts, morality ... they do not experience inside. He does not lose self-awareness of his actions and does not end until his goals of destructiveness and retribution have come to an end.

4. Tyrannical Psychopath

Together with the Malevolent, this subtype is one of the most cruel and dangerous . Both are intimidating, overwhelming and destructive. Unlike the previous one, it seems to be stimulated by resistance or weakness, which increases the attack instead of softening or stopping it. He gets a special pleasure in forcing the victim to cower.

5. Risk taker

Is involved in situations of risk to feel alive, they are impulsive and unthinking people . They are individuals who are reckless and insensitive in situations that any normal person would feel afraid of. They are capable of imposing self-discipline and routine habits of life, they will always want changes. This subtype would be a mix of antisocial and histrionic-based personality. He does not worry about the consequences of his actions on third parties, only his need for stimulation prevails.

6. Greedy

His great motivation in life is to magnify himself, to have rewards.They feel that "life has not given them what they deserve", so through criminal acts they would compensate the emptiness of their lives and compensate the "injustice" that they have lived . They rationalize their actions through the idea that they restore an altered balance. It satisfies them to be above others and harm them in life (in whatever field), feeling that they are their pawns.

They also have few or no feelings of guilt for what they do to others, they never consider it enough. In addition, they are tremendously envious, greedy, aggressive, jealous ... they feel good with the pain of others and enrabia the successes of others. Successful entrepreneurs could fit into this profile, considering objects to others to satisfy their desires. The worst thing is that they never achieve a state of complete satisfaction, they always crave more.

7. Weak psychopath

This subtype would have an avoidant and dependent behavior base . It shows others an image of false security and self-confidence that actually hides the opposite. Their aggressions are usually to demonstrate their lack of fear and to adopt the role of aggressor and never victim. They tend to be caricatures of small tyrants, they maintain an intimidating attitude, showing the world that "it is dangerous to mess with them".

8. Explosive psychopath

In this case, there would be many components of intermittent explosive disorder (impulse control, code F63.8 according to DSM-IV-TR). Its main characteristic is the Sudden and sudden outcry of extreme hostility . Their behavior "explodes", so it does not lead to contention time. These fury attacks are characterized by uncontrollable anger towards others, which usually leads to submission and passivity in the victim.

9. Rough psychopath

This subtype shows his rejection of others passively and indirectly . They often have discord incessantly with others, magnifying even the smallest action to be entangled in bitter and constant disputes with the people around him.

They have few remorse or feelings of guilt about the discomfort they cause in others. They tend to be bitter and ironic, sharing personality traits with negativist and paranoid personality disorders. They always believe they are right in everything and others are always wrong and it is especially pleasing to contradict others. They are less satisfied with the logic and legitimacy of their arguments than with the use they are given to frustrate and humiliate the other person.

As a closing ...

Theodore Millon found diverse subtypes of psychopathy, which we can find in different scenarios: murders, big companies, robberies, politics ... or even in more everyday situations of life.

In the study he did, he found that the most common profiles are the "psychopath lacking in principles", the "risk taking psychopath" and the "malevolent psychopath", although they are not exclusive of others, you can have a profile characterized by various subtypes. He also found that there is comorbidity with disorders of sexual inclination (paraphilias) and impulse control disorders.


Personality disorders | Behavior | MCAT | Khan Academy (December 2021).


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