The purpose of this paper is to present a critique of Ethan A. Gorenstein's (1991) article which describes and defends a cognitive model of antisocial personality disorder. The critique is presented in three parts. First, the article is summarized. Second, the weaknesses and strengths of the article are delineated and discussed. Third, possible solutions are formulated regarding the problematic aspects of the article cited in the section describing its weaknesses.
Gorenstein's (1998) lengthy and extremely comprehensive article begins with a simple delineation of the psychobehavioral symptoms associated with antipersonality disorder. It needs to be noted here that the delineated symptoms are in accord with existing research (see: Sands, 1997). The reason that it is important to provide a supportive article regarding the symptoms is because Gorenstein provides absolutely no references in his beginning description and discussion of those symptoms that describe antisocial personality disorder as it begins to manifest itself in childhood.
Following this review of symptoms, Gorenstein (1991) then goes on to provide a brief review of certain theoretical terms and concepts used to explain the condition (e.g., the concepts of "socialization," and "unsocialized delinquency."). It is noted that some but not all concepts are associated with typical measurements used to diagnose the condition in both children and adults.
Approximately 10 studies of antisocial individuals are examined in an effort to determine their etiological relevance. On the basis of the reviewed studies, it is concluded that people with antisocial personality disorder are capable of avoidance learning; it is further, concluded that in avoidance learning situations, those with antisocial personality disorder evidence normal autonomic arousal. These findings, according to Gorenstein (1991), conflict with standard explanative concepts arguing that the condition ar...