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July 8, 1968


JAMA. 1968;205(2):106. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140280060019

The personality dynamics and the sociological characteristics of females who commit murder was the subject of a recent study by Cole et al.1 The personality styles or operational behavior patterns of 112 murderesses were studied with use of a wide variety of psychiatric, social, and legal source material. Variables of race, intelligence, age, the act of killing, use of alcohol and drugs, type of victim, prior criminal record, and brain dysfunction were all found to be differentially associated with these different behavior pattern styles.

The six personality behavior styles described are the masochist, the overtly hostile violent, the covertly hostile violent, the inadequate, the psychotic, and the amoral. The largest group, the overtly hostile violent, were characterized by a history of emotional instability, impulsiveness, aggressiveness, and activity. Their aggressivity was undercontrolled, and they manifested little remorse and no depression. This group was predominantly Negro; the IQ was significantly lower