Thursday, December 6, 2007

Psychopathy

Something to make you say hmmmmmmmmmm

Charming but Callous
First described systematically by Medical College of Georgia psychiatrist Hervey M. Cleckley in 1941, psychopathy consists of a specific set of personality traits and behaviors. 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.

Not surprisingly, psychopaths are overrepresented in prisons; studies indicate that about 25 percent of inmates meet diagnostic criteria for psychopathy. Nevertheless, research also suggests that a sizable number of psychopaths may be walking among us in everyday life. Some investigators have even speculated that “successful psychopaths”—those who attain prominent positions in society—may be overrepresented in certain occupations, such as politics, business and entertainment. Yet the scientific evidence for this intriguing conjecture is preliminary.

3 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I can see where that post was leading (LOL).

I have a post at my blog about Iran.

Anok said...

Yeah I'd have to say when reading the symptoms and tell tale signs I couldn't help but make a mental check list of our current administrative employees. *Cough*Bush*Cheney *Sputter*Choke*

RickB said...

Scroll down for the Psychopathy checklist

The SA sarticle was a bit optimistic, currently there is no effective treament for psychopaths/sociopaths... other than voting them out!
It is also worth noting many of the models upon which free market capitalism is based/justified with, rely on people acting psychopathically. The euphemism is often 'enlightened self interest' it really means- fuck you buddy-(literally, one experiment is actually called that). There is a gender bias towards men being more reliably competitive and callous.
Obsessions with game theory are never a good sign either.