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Psychopaths & Sociopaths

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Psychopaths & Sociopaths Empty Psychopaths & Sociopaths

Post Neon Knight on Sat 30 Dec - 23:49

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/the-difference-between-a-psychopath-and-a-sociopath-10422016.html

A quick psychopathy test: http://vistriai.com/psychopathtest/

Psychopath and sociopath are popular psychology terms to describe violent monsters born of our worst nightmares. Think Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs (1991), Norman Bates in Psycho (1960) and Annie Wilkes in Misery (1990). In making these characters famous, popular culture has also burned the words used to describe them into our collective consciousness.

Most of us, fortunately, will never meet a Hannibal Lecter, but psychopaths and sociopaths certainly do exist. And they hide among us. Sometimes as the most successful people in society because they’re often ruthless, callous and superficially charming, while having little or no regard for the feelings or needs of others. These are known as “successful” psychopaths, as they have a tendency to perform premeditated crimes with calculated risk. Or they may manipulate someone else into breaking the law, while keeping themselves safely at a distance. They’re master manipulators of other peoples’ feelings, but are unable to experience emotions themselves.

Sound like someone you know? Well, heads up. You do know one; at least one. Prevalence rates come in somewhere between 0.2% and 3.3% of the population.

If you’re worried about yourself, you can take a quiz to find out, but before you click on that link let me save you some time: you’re not a psychopath or sociopath. If you were, you probably wouldn’t be interested in taking that personality test. You just wouldn’t be that self-aware or concerned about your character flaws. That’s why both psychopathy and sociopathy are known as anti-social personality disorders, which are long-term mental health conditions.

What’s the difference?

Psychopaths and sociopaths share a number of characteristics, including a lack of remorse or empathy for others, a lack of guilt or ability to take responsibility for their actions, a disregard for laws or social conventions, and an inclination to violence. A core feature of both is a deceitful and manipulative nature. But how can we tell them apart?

Sociopaths are normally less emotionally stable and highly impulsive – their behaviour tends to be more erratic than psychopaths. When committing crimes – either violent or non-violent – sociopaths will act more on compulsion. And they will lack patience, giving in much more easily to impulsiveness and lacking detailed planning. Psychopaths, on the other hand, will plan their crimes down to the smallest detail, taking calculated risks to avoid detection. The smart ones will leave few clues that may lead to being caught. Psychopaths don’t get carried away in the moment and make fewer mistakes as a result.

Both act on a continuum of behaviours, and many psychologists still debate whether the two should be differentiated at all. But for those who do differentiate between the two, one thing is largely agreed upon: psychiatrists use the term psychopathy to illustrate that the cause of the anti-social personality disorder is hereditary. Sociopathy describes behaviours that are the result of a brain injury, or abuse and/or neglect in childhood. Psychopaths are born and sociopaths are made. In essence, their difference reflects the nature versus nurture debate.

There’s a particularly interesting link between serial killers and psychopaths or sociopaths – although, of course, not all psychopaths and sociopaths become serial killers. And not all serial killers are psychopaths or sociopaths.

But America’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has noted certain traits shared between known serial killers and these anti-social personality disorders. These include predatory behaviour (for instance, Ivan Milat, who hunted and murdered his seven victims); sensation-seeking (think hedonistic killers who murder for excitement or arousal, such as 21-year-old Thomas Hemming who, in 2014, murdered two people just to know what it felt like to kill); lack of remorse; impulsivity; and the need for control or power over others (such as Dennis Rader, an American serial killer who murdered ten people between 1974 and 1991, and became known as the “BTK (bind, torture, kill) killer”) . . .

In the end, does the distinction between a psychopath and sociopath matter? They can both be dangerous and even deadly, the worst wreaking havoc with people’s lives. Or they can spend their life among people who are none the wiser for it.






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Post Neon Knight on Sat 30 Dec - 23:51

What did you get on the test? Very Happy  I only got a 7. I feel a bit ashamed for scoring so low Neutral

Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance who fitted the description of psychopath or sociopath?

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Post Vendég on Sun 31 Dec - 10:45

@Neon Knight wrote:What did you get on the test? Very Happy  I only got a 7. I feel a bit ashamed for scoring so low Neutral

Have you ever had a friend or acquaintance who fitted the description of psychopath or sociopath?

I've got 10. Smile 1 Proud of myself.

I have one acquaintance who fits the description.

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Post Sary on Sun 31 Dec - 19:09

I got a 9,I was a little surprised of the questions pertaining to ones teenage years. I guess that if you were a psychopath when you were young,it counts against you for life? Sad that there is not a lot of room for redemption.

My job sometimes requires me to be in close contact with psychopaths/sociopaths. Prisoners of the Department of Corrections,on the receiving end of health care. A guard is always present and they are handcuffed. I try not to chit chat too much,but many of them are very friend and engaging,seemingly nice normal people.

I don't have any friends that fit the bill of psychopath...that I know of anyway!
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Post Neon Knight on Sun 31 Dec - 22:42

There were some questions in the test I was unsure about so I did it again and got a 10. Either way, it's safe to say I'm not a psycho, whatever my other faults.

There was a schoolmate and 'friend' of mine who, although not really a psycho was definitely leaning that way. He was very self-centred - a terrible loser at games. He tried to manipulate me sometimes but I was clever enough to see through it, and he could treat his 'friends' callously when it suited him. He became a bully and tried to work his way up the hierarchy of tough guys. Then one summer he had a fight with his cousin (a much more decent boy) and very quickly got soundly beaten. It seemed to teach him a lesson because he dropped the bullying act after that.

One thing I really resent is people trying to manipulate me and use me as a pawn in their social games. Even if it's not very serious.

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Between the velvet lies, there's a truth that's hard as steel
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Post Sary on Wed 3 Jan - 1:09

I was a bit of a wild child when I was a teenager,times were very different back in the 70s/80s The counterculture was in full swing.
I did some pretty stupid crazy things when I was young,and had a lot of fun. All in all I think that I have turned out ok. I was lucky. Having children was definitely a wake up call.

Some of my old acquaintances were not so lucky,many of the guys that I use to hang out with are dead,either from drugs and alcohol or motor vehicle accidents,suicide. It is sad that they could not grow old and experience every stage of life....they will be forever young.

People can change. I truely believe that we can learn and grow from our mistakes,especially young people,maybe a sound beating is just the remedy to wake a person up.

NK,you do not seem to me,to be an easily manipulated person. That is a good trait.
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Post Neon Knight on Wed 3 Jan - 21:35

Do you think people identified as psychopaths/sociopaths at a young age should be removed from society?

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Post Sary on Thu 4 Jan - 22:56

@Neon Knight wrote:Do you think people identified as psychopaths/sociopaths at a young age should be removed from society?

I am not sure what you mean by removed from society.....like forever? Well they say that when young people display early warning signs of being a psychopath/sociopath,exposure to peers "the wrong crowd " and doing drugs will make the problem worse.
Maybe it would be a good idea,like the wilderness camps they have for juvenile delinquents. It sounds like it would be a very expensive solution,trying to fix a problem that will probably Work its self out. Teenagers tend to be rebellious.
I think most will naturally mature and a little deviance does not make someone a bad person. Probably labeling them as such,would make matters worse.

Unless the deviance is violent,then that is a different story and some kind of intervention would be necessary.
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Post Neon Knight on Thu 4 Jan - 23:34

@Sary wrote:
@Neon Knight wrote:Do you think people identified as psychopaths/sociopaths at a young age should be removed from society?

I am not sure what you mean by removed from society.....like forever?.. Unless the deviance is violent, then that is a different story and some kind of intervention would be necessary.
I imagine there being an accurate future test for psychopathy, probably via brain-scanning. I was going to suggest psychos/socios should have to live in separate communities away from normal people. Not in harsh conditions, but just confined in their own community. Or perhaps they should be sterilised. Anyway, I just read a guess on Quora that only 10% of single murderers are paths, so maybe my solutions are not really necessary. I found something else of interest as well:

https://www.alternet.org/culture/10-careers-most-psychopaths

Just 1% of the overall population qualifies as psychopaths; in prison, that number skyrockets to 25%. Robert Hare developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist in the 1980s, and it’s since become a tool widely used for assessing and diagnosing the condition. Contrary to popular notions, lots of psychopaths aren’t raging lunatics or violent criminals; in fact, most of them get along perfectly well in society. As Scientific American explains:

"Superficially charming, psychopaths tend to make a good first impression on others and often strike observers as remarkably normal. Yet they are self-centered, dishonest and undependable, and at times they engage in irresponsible behavior for no apparent reason other than the sheer fun of it. Largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love, they have casual and callous interpersonal and romantic relationships. Psychopaths routinely offer excuses for their reckless and often outrageous actions, placing blame on others instead. They rarely learn from their mistakes or benefit from negative feedback, and they have difficulty inhibiting their impulses."

Kevin Dutton, an Oxford psychologist and the author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, believes that psychopathy can actually be advantageous in some careers. Using (not the most scientific) survey, he compiled a list of careers in which psychopaths are overrepresented. Mostly, they’re fields where the hallmarks of psychopathy allow people not just to get by but to thrive and succeed. (It’s been suggested more than once, for example, that corporate psychopaths caused the most recent financial crisis.)

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (television/radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist

7. Police Officer
. . . I was fascinated  to learn about Diane Wetendorf’s Police Domestic Violence: Handbook for Victims, which finds that “women suffer domestic abuse in at least 40 percent of police officer families.” Compare that with the already troubling national average of 25 percent for American women in general. What’s more, “police families are two to four times more likely than the general population to experience domestic violence,” according to the Advocates for Human Rights.

8. Clergy
9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

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Post Sary on Fri 5 Jan - 0:01

What is a normal person?
Society tells us how we are supposed to act. Maybe it is abnormal trying to suppress our natural traits,good or bad.
I am not surprised that a high percentage of successful people are labeled as paths.
Perhaps these traits give an individual an edge and are part of survival of the fittest.
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Post Neon Knight on Fri 5 Jan - 0:27

@Sary wrote:What is a normal person?
Society tells us how we are supposed to act. Maybe it is abnormal trying to suppress our natural traits,good or bad.
Normal in this context is being at least fairly empathetic - perhaps the most important personality trait of all. We are all unusual in some ways but paths are the people I would least like to meet.

I am not surprised that a high percentage of successful people are labeled as paths. Perhaps these traits give an individual an edge and are part of survival of the fittest.
Probably true. They've always been with us and some of our historical heroes were obviously ruthless with their opponents. Psychopathic behaviour amongst leaders seems to have been accepted as normal in ancient and medieval times.

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Post Neon Knight on Wed 19 Dec - 23:29

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6508899/How-spot-psychopath-EYES.html Quoting:

How to spot a psychopath? It’s all in their EYES: People whose pupils don’t dilate when looking at horrific scenes are more likely to have the condition

* A psychopath's pupils do not dilate when they look at distressing or sad scenes
* This is the exact opposite behaviour as is expected for a non-psychopath
* Most people experience some empathy and their pupils dilate as a response
* Researchers say this shows psychopathy is not associated with an overall difficulty in responding to emotion, but insensitivity to threatening information

A person's eyes can reveal if they are a psychopath or not, scientists have found. Experts discovered that people who suffer from the personality disorder have a unique reaction to horrific scenes - their pupils do not widen. Pupils of non-psychopaths dilate when they see upsetting or distressing images as part of a natural response.

Researchers at Cardiff and Swansea Universities examined the effect of nasty images on offenders who are psychopathic and offenders who aren't and saw a marked difference in their eyes. Lead author, Dr Dan Burley, from Cardiff University's School of Psychology, said: 'Our findings provide physical evidence of an emotional deficit common to psychopathic offenders. The pupil has long been known to be an indicator of a person's arousal. Card sharks have learnt to look carefully at the eyes of their opponents to gauge if they have a great hand, and many an astute salesperson knows to up their price if your eyes reveal your excitement at their product. Likewise, the pupil usually dilates when an image shocks or scares us. The fact that this normal physiological response to threat is reduced in psychopathic offenders provides us with an obvious physical marker for this condition.'

While the eyes of a psychopath behaved abnormally when looking at distressing scenes, the researchers were amazed when they saw their eyes behaved normally when looking at positive pictures. They say this shows that psychopathy is not associated with an overall difficulty in responding to emotion, but rather a specific insensitivity to threatening information.

Professor Nicola Gray, a clinical and forensic psychologist from Swansea University, who provided clinical supervision for the project, added: 'This is one of the first times we have objective, physiological, evidence of an emotional deficit underpinning the offending behaviour of psychopathic offenders that does not depend on invasive methods or expensive equipment. We hope to be able to develop this methodology to assist with clinical assessment and intervention in offender populations.'

Professor Robert Snowden from Cardiff University said that many psychopathic offenders appear to be bold, confident, and can act in cold-blooded manner. He added: 'It's much easier to act bold if you have no feelings of fear, and to be cold-blooded if there is no emotion to get in the way of the act.'

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