The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities

Carl B. Gacono, J. Reid Meloy

This book provides a definitive empirical study of antisocial character pathology and its assessment through the use of the Rorschach. Drawing upon a decade of research with nearly 400 individuals in various hospitals and prisons, the authors paint an extraordinary intrapsychic picture of the personality structure and psychodynamics of these troublesome patients. “Looking beneath Cleckley’s Mask of Sanity, Gacono and Meloy present the richest and most comprehensive account to date of the inner workings of the aggressive and psychopathic personalities.

Culminating a decade of systematic clinical research, the authors use Rorschach findings to map out the interior lives of these unloving and unlovable individuals by providing a fascinating overview of their structural, developmental, and dynamic features. More than an in-depth study of character pathology, the book insightfully and significantly broadens our understanding of raw aggression, mindless violence, and psychopathy. While satisfying the researcher’s need for solid data, the inclusion of bone-chilling case vignettes breathes life and lucidity into the text for the clinician. From the classroom to the courtroom, from a private office to a prison, regardless of profession, readers will find the volume scholarly, informative, understandable, and useful.

As a textbook, reference, or practical guide, it merits a place in one’s library.” Paul M. Lerner, Ed.D., ABPP, Past President, Society for Personality Assessment “This is an extraordinary book by two authors and clinicians with extraordinary experience. It is a truly original contribution to an integrated understanding of very complex, sometimes dangerous, and enigmatic people.” William H. Reid, M.D., M.P.H., Medical Director, Texas Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation “…we could all learn from this volume….notable for its scope and comprehensiveness. It represents a major contribution to the literature on psychopathy, aggressive behavior, and also the Rorschach. Many people with diverse concerns will find it enlightening and thought-provoking. For example, those interested in psychoanalytic developmental theory, management of schizophrenic behavior problems, object relation deviations, sexual violence, and Rorschach research should all read it.” Donald J. Viglione, Ph.D., California School of Professional Psychology


Carl B. Gacono, J. Reid Meloy. (1994). The Rorschach Assessment of Aggressive and Psychopathic Personalities. Psychology Press.

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ISBN-10: 0805809805

ISBN-13: 978-0805809800