kNOWledge is the poWEr

Changing World

Psychopaths Study

                                                     “The mind is everything. What you think you become”  –   Buddha

Study material (WP.PL source)
The biggest number of psychopaths can be found among governing board members,  journalists, lawyers, cops, culinary chefs, clergy, finally administrative staff… – says social psychologist Kevin Dutton.
Q; If given that professional success is based on degree of “psychopathic mind”, what conclusions, supported by science, are presented?
Normally people associate psychopaths with someone who is like Hannibal Lecter or Ted Bundy, but it is quite deceptive perspective. There is specific set of characteristics, describing psychopaths: ruthlessness, lack of fear, high immunity to stress, goal oriented, high intelligence, personal charm and practically luck of empathy. In spite of many perceptions that psychopaths don’t have any feelings, there is actually a mechanism, which allows individual of this type “turn off” or “turn back on” specific feelings, according to circumstances.
There is a “madness scale” which describes in detail who we would perceive as psychopath. On this scale every each one of us has spot.
Q: …so when we have extremely high psychopathic personality versus just slight psychopathic behavior, how can we tell the difference?
There is no obvious, clear line between these two. If we treat psychopath as typically regulated mechanism, depending on which “knobs” we turn on or off, we could result in creating high-profile murderer versus high-profile brilliant surgeon, with amazingly precise skills in his field. It is very thin line, we need to remember about. Surgeon can not pour tears over his patient situation and feeling empathy for his pain, rather he needs to perform surgery, which can save patients life.
There are many occupations, which ‘quiet down’ psychopathic characteristics like: accountants, artists, general practitioners, teachers, social workers, medical staff like nurses etc.
Winston Churchill used to say: “Hardly ever we see in one man greatness and goodness at the same time”
Q. Scott Lilienfeld from Emory University in Georgia has performed experiment on American presidents which showed that most of them appeared as psychopaths with extremely strong characteristics. So are we governed by psychopaths?
Regardless of level of the power, which can be national or local, every each one of them has to present some sort of psychopathic characteristics….
Especially political world is characterized by luring potential voters into undeniable charming prospects of their candidates. Politicians often have to pretend empathy, especially in time of crisis. They usually also prepare themselves to be ruthless in times of competition.
Q. In present societies, do we have more psychopaths, then? One of the good examples would be recently aired TV series about “Borgia Family”.
For best reflection of what is happening in media, to support idea of more frequent psychopaths cases presence, is the fact that when we move across the board of different national media programs in selected countries we can see lots of shows like “X Factor” “Fear Factor”etc. These sort of programs show how to award “the best and strongest” and ridicule or abase weaker persons.
20-30 yrs ago there was hardly ever anything like it shown in mass media.
We also need to remember that there is differentiation between being psychopath and possibly using force, brutality and violence. One of the good examples is recent experiment with college students in US, where although not related to any acts of aggression, same people had more narcissism, simultaneously feeling less empathy.
This example shows exact direction our society is heading for.
Another aspect is who in present times appear to be a role model. In the past these were usually our parents, priests, scientists, teachers. Nowadays young people follow patterns of media celebrities, pop stars, feat athletes, models, social media creators….
Best illustration? Steve Jobs, creator of Apple. Charm, skill of extreme concentration, unscrupulousness. Three basic foundations of psychopathic personality.
Finally another factor? Our life has speed up, we are overflown with enormous amount of information, stimulated in many different ways. There are measured statistics showing, that just during 24 hrs ,we are exposed to as much information as equivalent of  whole life amount of it in middle ages time (!). Conclusion? People analyze quicker, don’t take time to dig specific information, skip through data to withdraw from emotional engagement in this process. Everything is short-lived, which is most exposed in human relationships. This favors amoral and non-sensitive approach to reality.
Q. So, is it good guess, that we will have more and more psychopaths among us and that it is a sign of social adaptation?
There was never a moment when suddenly first psychopath appeared. This process was formed throughout ages. Humans have tendencies to look up to people who can be extremely decisive, take matter in their hands without scruples and with risk dosage, tell good lies. Apart from clinical cases of psychopaths, some jailed and some walking free, we have army of those, who like James Bond appear to be extremely attractive to many people. Same type has also tendency to have on average more sexual partners, which provides opportunity of passing specific set of psychopathic genes.
Q. Why majority of psychopaths are men?
There is no clear scientific explanation why. We already know that there may be few aspects deciding about it. Boys are usually thought from early age how to be more aggressive and competitive. Little girls instead are usually thought how to develop social and language skills, which proves point why women in general can solve conflicts without going into fight firsthand. Another theory is that man and woman brains react differently to negative stimulation. As example, men exposed to noise become more aggressive, while women tend to become restless and depressed. There could be number of other elements which are still under research.
Q. Are we becoming less conscious and responsive to the fact there are more and more psychopaths among us?
Analogy with animal world would be best choice here. Psychopaths are like sharks. Only few types of sharks in nature will attack human being and only in certain conditioning. We also know about these events, as they are usually very traumatic, appearing right off in headlines of every news channel. Many more psychopaths we can find among spies, sappers, special forces or firemen. They are like supermen to us, always courageous and extremely immune to any type of trauma.
Q. How can we recognize them, then?
Someone who studies psychopaths for years, can easily recognize them, once they enter room, without even speaking to them. There is no obvious signal, but there is always impression of evil and dangerous aura around these sort of people. They are cold as ice.
If you would visit penitentiary, you would instantly feel air temperature lowered by few degrees and have feeling of slow motion. These people see you through, they have already planned action. If you meet high-profile psychopath, you may expect anything unpredictable.

2 comments on “Psychopaths Study

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This entry was posted on December 6, 2014 by in politics and tagged , , , , .

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