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In conjunction with situational and circumstantial factors, personality is a common influence contributing to the tipping point at which an offence occurs. People without these traits in similar circumstances are better able to eschew risky situations. The ultimate cause of ostensibly antagonistic traits is in evolved behavioural mechanisms which continue to be useful in harsher socioecological niches. Antagonistic traits often function alongside more positive co-operative and empathic traits, both having contributed to human survival over millennia. A huge body of psychometric and multivariate work with offenders involving large samples and longitudinal samples indicates five-factor, HEXACO, Dark Triad and other trait description schemes corroborate one-another regarding the key trait influences on offending. These models map onto DSM and ICD-10 personality disorder models, suggesting personality disorders have a foundation in trait dispositions. Work is needed to identify better behavioural measures of these dispositions, and how they integrate into cognitive and desistance processes.
Objectives: We describe a new evidence-based method for screening and evaluating emerging medical technologies. Washington State agencies, under legislative direction, have granted authority to its agency Medical Directors and policy leaders to make coverage decisions on medical technologies using a “dossier” process. The dossier process is employed when technology advocates or manufacturers request Washington State healthcare purchasers to pay for new and emerging technologies. This offers the advocate an opportunity to submit scientific evidence and information classically associated with a more formal health technology assessment.
Methods: The submitted information is independently reviewed and summarized for Washington State's public healthcare purchasers allowing a more standardized coverage decision for all public purchasers in Washington State.
Results: This process has allowed Washington State to make twelve evidence-based coverage decisions at a fraction of the cost of classic technology assessment. To date, of twelve reviews over 6 years, one health technology was approved for coverage, ten were not covered and one did not require a coverage decision.
Conclusions: This evidence-based dossier process has yielded high-value coverage decisions of new and emerging medical technologies for public healthcare purchasers in Washington State.
This chapter addresses the link between personality and criminal behaviour. Such a linkage implies a causal connection and this leads to strong views being exchanged, notably between those advocating a biosocial, personality-centred explanation for crime and those adopting a more sociological position. Among the few theoretical models that link personality to criminal behaviour, the most influential has been that of Hans Eysenck. Eysenck identifies three major personality traits: Extraversion (E), Neuroticism (N) and Psychoticism (P). A great advantage of the Eysenckian approach is that it provides testable hypotheses with which to support or disconfirm the basic model. Another theoretical model is offered in Gray's Reinforcement Sensitivity Theory. One of the most important caveats in the study of personality and crime is the fact that criminals do not constitute a single homogeneous group. Measures of personality traits demonstrate that the variance of offender samples is equivalent to that of nonoffenders.
Within forensic psychology research, MDS has had its most notable impact on offender profiling. This chapter provides an introduction to multidimensional scaling (MDS), and describes its use and utility within forensic psychology research. It also provides some examples of the application of MDS, one of which is its usage to the multivariate nature of sexual assault behaviour. A form of MDS known as partial order scalogram analysis with coordinates (POSAC) has been used to establish that the shape of criminal networks can vary greatly, and identify that the strictness of hierarchy within a network is related to aspects of group communication. MDS techniques have also been used to examine psychometric test structure. Researchers have explored the latent structure of psychopathy as appraised via the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), in which an underlying facet structure is observed that is consistent with theory. However, the full utility of MDS approach remains underappreciated.
There is evidence that offenders consume diets lacking in essential nutrients and this could adversely affect their behaviour.
To test empirically if physiologically adequate intakes of vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids cause a reduction in antisocial behaviour.
Experimental, double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomised trial of nutritional supplements on 231 young adult prisoners, comparing disciplinary offences before and during supplementation.
Compared with placebos, those receiving the active capsules committed an average of 26.3% (95% CI 8.3-44.33%) fewer offences (P=0.03, two-tailed). Compared to baseline, the effect on those taking active supplements for a minimum of 2 weeks (n=172) was an average 35.1% (95% CI 16.3-53.9%) reduction of offences (P < 0.001, two-tailed), whereas placebos remained within standard error.
Antisocial behaviour in prisons, including violence, are reduced by vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids with similar implications for those eating poor diets in the community.
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