A wild start planned for new Tauranga public lecture series

10 July 2017

Devon and hands on fence

The University of Waikato is hosting a new public lecture series in Tauranga, kicking off on 20 July with Professor of Psychology and Crime Science, Devon Polaschek, who will explore psychopathy in the wild and in prison.

This free lecture series will feature a different lecture each month and will cover thought provoking research from a range of guest speakers, including from the University of Waikato.

In her lecture ‘Mean, misunderstood, and mistreated: Psychopathy in the wild and in prison’, Professor Polaschek, a forensic clinical psychologist, will talk about the modern scientific understandings of psychopathy. Using her longstanding research programme on high-risk violent prisoners, she will consider how some people become psychopathic criminals, whether they can be released safely into the wilds of our communities again, and whether the psychological treatments made available to them are helping them change their psychopathy.

“Psychopathy is a widely misunderstood form of personality disorder. News media, films and television shows often depict sadists, criminal masterminds and evil dictators as suffering from psychopathy but these depictions bear little resemblance to most of the people identified as psychopathic by scientific methods,” says Professor Polaschek.

“The scientific literature on psychopathy is also confused – psychopathy is more complex, more interesting, and at the same time, more ordinary than it first appears,” she says.

Professor Polaschek works in the University of Waikato's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences and the newly established Institute of Security and Crime Science. She completed a Diploma in Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury and a PhD at Victoria University. Her research expertise includes criminal behaviour, violent offending, imprisonment parole, sexual offending, offender rehabilitation, offender reintegration, family violence perpetrators and what works with offenders.

Professor Polaschek’s lecture will be held at Trinity Wharf on Thursday, 20 July. The lecture series is free and open to the public, no registration is required. Doors open at 5.30pm and the lecture starts at 6.00pm. Light refreshments will be available.

Event: University of Waikato Tauranga Public Lecture Series - ‘Mean, misunderstood and mistreated: Psychopathy in the wild’, by Professor Devon Polaschek

Date & Time: 5.30pm, Thursday 20 July, 2017

Location: Trinity Wharf, 51 Dive Crescent, Tauranga

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