Week 11
Antisocial Personality Disorder

Personality disorders involve enduring, inflexible behavior patterns that impair social functioning. These are usually first identified in adolescence and 10-20% of the population has one type of personality disorder.

The DSM-IV classifies three clusters of personality disorder: Cluster 1 includes paranoid personality disorder (mistrust of others) and schizoid personality disorder (indifference toward or lack of interpersonal relationships). Cluster 2 includes narcissistic personality disorder (overexaggeration of self-importance and love of one's self), histrionic personality disorder (blows things out of proportion and overreacts to situations) and the focus of this week's story, antisocial personality disorder (one exercises his or her own needs or wants over the feelings of others and with no emotional reaction to others' suffering). Cluster 3 includes dependent personality disorder (one overly dependent on others due to low self-esteem and lack of confidence) and avoidant personality disorder (avoids relationships because of an exaggerated fear of rejection).

The antisocial personality is commonly called a psychopath or sociopath. Most of the famous mass murderers such as Ted Bundy or David Burkowitz (Son of Sam) are psychopaths. The main character is this week's selection, Confessions of Felix Krull, Confidence Man, displays one form of the antisocial personality, that of the imposter.

Our story deals with an individual suffering from a form of antisocial personality. The DSM-IV outlines the following symptoms for the antisocial personality:
  • a pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others
  • failure to conform to the respected lawful behaviors
  • deceitfulness (repeated lying, use of aliases or conning others)
  • impulsiveness and failure to plan ahead
  • repeated physical fights or assaults
  • reckless disregard for the safety of one's self or others
  • consistent irresponsibility
  • being indifferent or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated or stolen from someone else

OPTIONAL: Listen to a case study that involves a case of antisocial personality disorder. Read through all the following instructions before proceeding to the taped case study.

Next, we get to our reading passage.

    1. What does the author feel is the cause of his "extraordinary gift and passion for sleep?" What games did Felix like to play as a child? How did his godfather Schimmelpreester react to these games?
    2. Describe the characteristics of the eighteen-year-old prince Karl.
    3. Describe Felix's physical characteristics. How does this affect his ability to become an imposter?
    4. What was Felix's first "introspective practice?" How does Felix answer his own question, "Which is better, to see the world small or to see it big?" Explain why he feels this way.
    5. Why do you think Felix states the rejection by one of his peers based on the fact that Felix's family was not respectable pained him and made him covet an association that otherwise he should not have cared for?"
    6. What did Felix pretend when he arrived home after a daily concert?
    7. What happened to Felix after he was set down on the ground after performing a Hungarian dance with his fiddle and bow? How did this affect his future behavior as an imposter?
    8. To what extent does Felix Krull meet the criteria of the antisocial personality as described in the DSM-IV?

    When you've finished paste your work into an e-mail titled "Week 11 Homework." Then e-mail your work to me at aeaptl@gmail.com.

Week 11 homework is to be completed by 3:00 pm
Monday, May 11
for full credit. It will accepted after that date for half credit.

When e-mailing your work, be sure to paste your work INTO your e-mail.
Do NOT include your work as an attachment.

Copyright ©2009 Clay Sisman