Identification With a Violent and Sadistic Aggressor: A Rorschach Study of Criminal Debt Collectors

This study examined personality functioning in a group of 27 incarcerated criminal debt collectors as assessed by the Rorschach Inkblot Method (RIM; Rorschach, 1921/1942) and the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL–R; Hare, 200339. Hare, R. D. (2003).


To explore whether these individuals represent a distinct subgroup within the violent offender population, we compared them to a group of incarcerated homicide offenders (n = 23) without a previous history of significant violence and a group who had committed less serious violent crimes (n = 21). Results revealed significantly more Rorschach indicators of past trauma (Trauma Content Index), aggressive urges (Aggressive Potential) and identification (Aggressive Content) among the debt collectors than the 2 other groups. In addition, debt collectors displayed significantly more interpersonal interest (Sum Human content), and significantly higher scores on the PCL–R. Our findings suggest that the debt collector might be viewed as a hostile variant of psychopathy.

Journal of Personality Assessment, 2015, DOI:10.1080/00223891.2015.1063502


Published Aug. 31, 2015 7:15 AM