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About psychopaths.
May 28, 2007 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Are these people qualitatively different from us? "I would think yes," says Hare. "Do they form a discrete taxon or category? I would say probably -- the evidence is suggesting that.
Psychopaths. They form about 1% of the population. They enjoy the excitement of power. Some choice bits from Hare's book. The obligatory Bush link, but, hey, it's got the test sections and the sad truth is that we do have some psychopaths in positions of power, though probably not the Presidency. [Gosh this is getting long] It turns out there's a biological basis for it. Here's the DSM description and some detailed analysis/description (gosh, I identify with some of those traits!) And here's some AskMe fodder, "Are You Involved With A Psychopath?" And because of that lust for power... well, it could well be your boss.
posted by five fresh fish (112 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite

 
What particularly caught my interest in psychopaths this past hour or so is that there are identifiable brain structure differences.

Hare's claim that they can be considered a new taxon of homo sapiens could be correct. This doesn't make them inhuman, of course, but it certainly distinguishes them as biologically difference from "the rest of us."

And it is on that basis I have to wonder if we shouldn't perhaps be a little smart about such things, and see if we can't start identifying these people when they come into contact with the law or assume positions of great power...
posted by five fresh fish at 4:11 PM on May 28, 2007


fff: Hare's claim that they can be considered a new taxon of homo sapiens could be correct.

What's that mean? People who are allergic to peanut butter are biologically different from those who aren't... why aren't those two groups considered different taxa of Homo sapiens? Does the phrase "taxon of Homo sapiens" have any sort of meaningful, standard use at all?
posted by painquale at 4:34 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Beats me. Does it?
posted by five fresh fish at 4:44 PM on May 28, 2007


I thought psychopath and sociopath weren't terms used by the docs anymore more, especially relating to the DSM.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:49 PM on May 28, 2007



No. And that way lies eugenic madness. For example, there is one gene that gives people who are abused an 85% chance of exhibiting at least some antisocial behavior. If they are not abused, they are no more likely than anyone else to be antisocial (ie, 1-3% or so, depending on definitions). Should such fetuses be aborted? What if that gene makes those who get a *good* upbringing have some especially positive trait?

And brain structure differences tell us nothing about causality-- if I practice violin enough, certain brain regions will show it. That doesn't mean I had a predisposition to violinism.
posted by Maias at 4:52 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yo, banana- the diagnosis is antisocial personality disorder, but sociopath and psychopath are on the extreme ends of that and are basically used synonymously.

Not all people with ASPD are sociopaths-- just the ones who meet a certain cutoff on the psychopathy checklist designed by Hare, in fact.
posted by Maias at 4:54 PM on May 28, 2007


Great link, though I find myself slightly depressed.
posted by pointilist at 4:54 PM on May 28, 2007


Is violinism a precursor to fiddliation?
posted by YoBananaBoy at 4:55 PM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


What I've always wondered (and considered posting an AskMe on, actually, if it wouldn't be too chatfilter-y) is if this kind of antisocial behaviour is biologically determined, can we really hold "psychopaths" morally culpable for their actions? Should these people be socialized? If so, how?

Are there any articles/studies addressing the topic? What's the prevailing wisdom?
posted by AV at 5:02 PM on May 28, 2007


Just an idea, psychopaths are generally referred to negatively, and they are generally assiociated with abusive, violent behavior. Couldn't there be people with the same set of abstact characteristics as those who we identify as pychopaths, but who are instead productive or even valuable members of society? We wouldn't have the same kind of clinical info on them, so they could be flying under the radar of psychologists.
posted by doctor_negative at 5:05 PM on May 28, 2007



Also, Hare is wrong to imply that all psychopathy is genetic-- while it's certainly true that not all psychopaths have been abused, the proportion who have suffered severe early abuse, trauma or neglect is significantly higher than the general population.

Although that may be especially true amongst the ones that come to legal attention as compared to those who don't get caught, it's pretty clear that one way to drastically reduce a person's compassion for others is to ignore a baby from age zero to three most of the time and then punish him for being alternately clingy and aggressive and let him hang out with other damaged kids.

The kind of "therapy" the author mentions where people yell at each other in order to induce emotional breakdowns is actually amongst the most dangerous to use on sociopaths: what they learn is how to better "break" people and many, in fact, open "treatment" programs based on this idea and thus accrue wealth and power to do what they enjoy with very little oversight. Unfortunately, this racket massively infests the drug treatment and "troubled teen" prorgram world.
posted by Maias at 5:05 PM on May 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


Couldn't there be people with the same set of abstract characteristics as those who we identify as psychopaths, but who are instead productive or even valuable members of society?

I think those are called martyrs. At least some of them. The selfless charity workers, f'rinstance.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:09 PM on May 28, 2007


Er, where does Hare suggest a "yelling" treatment? I missed that.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:11 PM on May 28, 2007



Av, from what I know on this, people who will happily argue that addiction is a disease for which people should be held morally blameless because there are visible brain differences and clear genetics run screaming from the same arguments on antisocial behavior based on the same evidence.

culturally, we cannot deal with the idea that bad guys may actually not be to blame-- and since it's clear that in the classic insanity defense formulation (a standard almost impossible to meet even by the actually mentally ill) they have some control over their behavior and some knowledge of right or wrong, it's unlikely to change any time soon.

Especially since it's also clear that such behavior *does* respond to certain carefully controlled rewards and punishments.
posted by Maias at 5:11 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hare doesn't suggest a "yelling" treatment-- that's in the lead by the author of the article.
posted by Maias at 5:12 PM on May 28, 2007


Like Schizophrenia, psychopathy is a heterogeneous disease. That means that there are multiple types of psychopathy but right now we know so little that we group them together. Initially, it was thought that there were only one general type of schizophrenia, but eventually they found that some types, but far from the majority had clear genetic markers. The symptom profile for schizophrenia is also quite wide, which was another indicator that they were grouping together relatively similar diseases into one category because they lacked the ability to properly differentiate them. At the moment, most of this stuff about neurological basis of psychopathy is in its infancy and thus a lot of it appears really muddled, or at least it does to me with my university study of cognitive neuroscience.

In the end, I expect there will be a few different general categories of psychopathy identified with a number of subtypes in some of those general categories with genetic tests available and proven.
posted by bhouston at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2007


Most people are biologically different from one another. There's one group of people with three toes, some groups are very short, and so on. They're all still Homo Sapiens Sapiens.

I seriously doubt this anything more then a Crank. Is he sure it's caused by neurological differences and not bumps on the head in certain places?
posted by delmoi at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2007


Here:

I'm watching a documentary about an American prison trying to rehabilitate teen murderers. They're using an emotionally intense kind of group therapy, and I can see, as plain as day, that one of the inmates is a psychopath. He tries, but he can't muster a convincing breakdown, can't fake any feeling for his dead victims. He's learned the words, as Bob Hare would put it, but not the music.

The incredible thing, the reason I'm yelling, is that no one in this documentary -- the therapists, the warden, the omniscient narrator -- seems to know the word "psychopath." It is never uttered, yet it changes everything. A psychopath can never be made to feel the horror of murder. Weeks of intense therapy, which are producing real breakthroughs in the other youths, will probably make a psychopath more likely to reoffend. Psychopaths are not like the rest of us, and everyone who studies them agrees they should not be treated as if they were.


-- Maia here: the "real" breakthroughs seen amongst the others are more likely to actually produce "breakdowns" than actual rehabilitation, but these programs make great TV and *look like* they produce insight (which is not actually linked with behavior change) so we keep at it.
posted by Maias at 5:15 PM on May 28, 2007


Amusing (?) observation on the Sopranos that talk therapy actually enables sociopaths.


I thought psychopath and sociopath weren't terms used by the docs anymore more, especially relating to the DSM.


I went looking for it in the DSM IV about ten years ago and couldn't find it.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:16 PM on May 28, 2007


I was planning to do a post on this.

Here's one of the links I was going to use from Robert Hare's website: Pyschopath Research.

I wanted to read a few of posts from the Discussion Forum before I posted, but...I guess I'll still do that.
posted by jaronson at 5:17 PM on May 28, 2007


. . . can we really hold "psychopaths" morally culpable for their actions?

Perhaps not, but does it matter? Laws are (ideally) shaped around a societal consensus on ethical standards of behavior. If psychopaths break these laws because they do not agree with that consensus, should they not be punished? It's one thing to argue against punishment because the actions of the lawbreaker are ethically just--thereby introducing a new set of ethical standards--but it's quite another when the lawbreaker is a simple egoist interested only in imposing their view of the world on the rest of society.
posted by schroedinger at 5:19 PM on May 28, 2007


Is he sure it's caused by neurological differences and not bumps on the head in certain places?

Did you not read the links to studies that indicated that yes, there are actual identifiable neurological differences?
posted by schroedinger at 5:22 PM on May 28, 2007



"caused by" is the problem... identifiable differences doesn't mean the differences caused the disorder, they could have resulted from repeated antisocial actions.

for example, you could imagine that if you repeatedly kill people, your "empathy" regions don't get much action and when a brain region doesn't get activity, it shrinks.
posted by Maias at 5:25 PM on May 28, 2007


Psychology is just an awful mess of a science, in my view. Obviously research into brain chemistry and composition is useful, but that might be called neurology or some other science. Things like the DSM-V and probably Hare's 40-point scale for psychopathy have pretty big problems, in that they don't seem to have much predictive value. Hare goes on to say he thinks being a psychopath is genetic, but to me it seems like it wouldn't be very difficult to drive what people call "humanity" out of a person via their environment. Solders in war kill people easily, and if these (most likely) normal people can be conditioned to do it, why couldn't a "normal" person lose their "humanity" as well? Especially if they're abused and conditioned in that way as children?

What evidence does Hare have that the different brain structure isn't caused by some environmental thing, rather then genetics?
posted by delmoi at 5:28 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


What is depressing is the fact that psychopaths make more successful CEOs and other executives than non-psychopaths. So there is a risk that many of the top executives and politicians are psychopaths.

This means that if some line of research shows promise in identifying psychopaths (by brain scan or whatever), I predict it will be suppressed by the powers that be.

Or it will be appropriated by corporations, so they can try and hire more psychopaths. Anything to get an edge over the competition.

Kurt Vonnegut vs. the !*!@
Is Your Boss a Psychopath?
posted by Nyrath at 5:30 PM on May 28, 2007


Phrenology for the 21st century.
posted by Sailormom at 5:30 PM on May 28, 2007


I look forward to the day major psychological differences having a biological (as in physical) basis is no longer news. I mean...DUH. Where did you think psychology comes from? The soul?
posted by DU at 5:30 PM on May 28, 2007 [3 favorites]


What is depressing is the fact that psychopaths make more successful CEOs and other executives than non-psychopaths.

Got a cite for that?
posted by jtron at 5:40 PM on May 28, 2007


delmoi, I don't get the impression you know enough about psychology to say that. To take the example you gave of the the DSM-IV, it is a catalog, based on decades of research and divison, of how (and to some extent why) people break. Similar psychological phenomena with similar causes respond to similar treatment. That's reproducibility- one of the hallmarks of science.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:54 PM on May 28, 2007


I love the War Prayer, and I am glad to see it posted here, but this is not a great implementation. I wish everyone in the country would read it every Memorial Day though.
posted by caddis at 5:55 PM on May 28, 2007


Wow, people are actually responding to my question -- thanks, folks.

schroedinger: I completely agree with you re: the social contract thing. Although my wording didn't make it clear, I'm more wondering about social implications, rather than legal ones. I haven't done any real academic reading on the subject, but the laypeople's articles I've read frequently use rather vitriolic terms to refer to psychopaths, and focus on advising people to avoid and defend against them rather than try to get them help (as one might for, say, an alcoholic). The reason I wonder is that I personally think that approach is more fitting if someone has made a conscious choice to act without regard to conscience, rather than having been stricken with a biological absence of one. In other words, what I should have asked was, are they deserving of condemnation and ostracization, or compassion and rehabilitation? (Are "they" even an identifiable group?)

Maias:

It's also clear that such behavior *does* respond to certain carefully controlled rewards and punishments.

That's something I wasn't sure of -- any suggestions for further reading on that topic? (And forgive me if there's something blatant in one of the FPP links, I've just skimmed them.)
posted by AV at 6:03 PM on May 28, 2007


What particularly caught my interest in homosexuals this past hour or so is that there are identifiable brain structure differences.

Hare's claim that they can be considered a new taxon of homo sapiens could be correct. This doesn't make them inhuman, of course, but it certainly distinguishes them as biologically difference from "the rest of us."

And it is on that basis I have to wonder if we shouldn't perhaps be a little smart about such things, and see if we can't start identifying these people when they come into contact with the law or assume positions of great power...


---------

Just thought i'd try a bit of word-substitution.
posted by empath at 6:09 PM on May 28, 2007


What I've always wondered (and considered posting an AskMe on, actually, if it wouldn't be too chatfilter-y) is if this kind of antisocial behaviour is biologically determined, can we really hold "psychopaths" morally culpable for their actions?

EVERYBODY'S actions are based on factors over which they have no control. You're a product of your genetics and upbringing. Bill Gates is no more 'responsible' for his incredible financial success than Jeffery Dahlmer was 'responsible' for his crimes. Given the circumstances, they could only do what they did.

Every society has to use the convenient fiction of 'free will', or it wouldn't last.
posted by empath at 6:15 PM on May 28, 2007


I'm sure Jim Watson would like this post.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:26 PM on May 28, 2007


delmoi, I don't get the impression you know enough about psychology to say that.

I have about 10 collage credits in psych.

To take the example you gave of the the DSM-IV, it is a catalog, based on decades of research and divison of how (and to some extent why) people break. Similar psychological phenomena with similar causes respond to similar treatment. That's reproducibility- one of the hallmarks of science.

DSM-IV's claimed reproducibility may be overblown.
But structured interviews don’t always have much in common with the conversations that take place in therapists’ offices, and since the publication of the DSM-III, in 1980, no major study has been able to demonstrate a substantive improvement in reliability in those less formal settings. During the production of the DSM-IV, the American Psychiatric Association received funding from the MacArthur Foundation to undertake a broad reliability study, and although the research phase of the project was completed, the findings were never published.
If DSM-IV diagnoses were reproducible, you could reproduce them. Simply declaring things reproducible isn't how science.
posted by delmoi at 6:29 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


er, isn't how science works.
posted by delmoi at 6:29 PM on May 28, 2007


empath:

You're a product of your genetics and upbringing

To a certain extent that's true, but I don't think we can unequivocally say that free will doesn't exist -- that's more of a philosophical position than a scientific one, no? (And in the interest of intercepting an 'existence of free will' thread-jack, I'll mention that I don't have an opinion one way or the other.)

That said, your word-substitution exercise makes the point I was trying to get at: that a lot commentary seems to single out people with psychopathic behaviour as inhuman, and it kind of rubs me the wrong way.
posted by AV at 6:30 PM on May 28, 2007


I have a master's degree in forensic psychology, and we talked about a lot of these issues in several classes. Basically, the state of the research existing today is that there is something fundamentally different about psychopaths, but we aren't sure just what that is. Psychopaths might be different in biological ways, or simply in behavioral ways, or there might be a totally different cause or, most likely, a combination of two or more causes.

In fact, the whole concept of psychopathy is in question, regardless of what Dr. Hare says on his site--he is, after all, the creator of the most popular instrument for the assessment of psychopathy, which puts him in a bit of a defensive position about these things. The main problem with the existing research on psychopathy is that almost all of it has been done with adult male prison inmates--people who, by virtue of being in prison in the first place (as opposed to being on probation or having been acquitted of the crimes they were accused of), are most likely significantly more antisocial than other offenders. This means that the researchers are more likely to find people who have many psychopathic traits (such people are rare in the general population), but they can't be sure whether they're really capturing the essence of psychopathy when they study these individuals. They aren't sure whether the criminal behaviors produce the psychopathic traits or whether the psychopathic traits produce the criminal behaviors. However, this problem has become more widely recognized, and researchers are starting to examine psychopathic traits in incarcerated women, nonincarcerated male and female offenders, and also in men and women who are in the general population. While this means researchers won't find as many people who are psychopaths, it also means that they'll gain a more accurate and more extensive knowledge of people who are sometimes called "successful psychopaths"--those who have psychopathic traits but either commit crimes and don't get caught or else don't commit crimes and use their unique traits to perform non-criminal antisocial behaviors or even prosocial behaviors.

Then there's the whole issue of psychopathy in youth--this one is very volatile. Most psychologists are extremely reluctant to apply a label of psychopathy to a juvenile because, by definition, a juvenile has not finished developing and thus most psychologists think they should not be subjected to the extreme burden of such a label--it would haunt them for the rest of their lives, even if they stopped their antisocial behaviors. They would be treated very differently by others, they might not receive behavioral treatment to help them stop those behaviors, and they might also come to believe the label's accuracy and behave even more dangerously. Others feel that juveniles who exhibit such behaviors and who display the traits associated with psychopathy should be segregated from others for the safety of themselves and others have a point, but who could draw the line accurately and clearly enough? No one could--there are a few juveniles out there who are extremely dangerous and should in fact be kept out of society for some length of time, but there are ways to do that without prematurely labeling them as psychopaths too.

Anyway, psychologists know that the existing knowledge of psychopathy is incomplete--as is, I'd like to point out, the knowledge of many other areas of science--but we are working hard to fill in these gaps. This is what science is for--to find out what we don't know and work to find out more about it. I recommend that those who want to know more about psychopathy find this book. I have the previous edition, but I'm sure this newer one is just as great. You might also want to read The Mask of Sanity by Harvey Cleckley, which is the book that really got the study of psychopathy started.

Oh, and I must point out that it is really not recommended that anyone other than a psychologist or psychiatrist who has been specifically trained in the use of tests to assess psychopathy even attempt to diagnose the presence of psychopathy in a friend, neighbor, president, etc. There is one tool out there which has been developed by Hare that is in fact meant for doing that, but even it provides the disclaimer that it is not a diagnostic tool--it is meant for a very general and quick screening and should only be used to determine whether one might want to discuss one's concerns with a trained and qualified professional.
posted by Trinkers at 6:33 PM on May 28, 2007 [11 favorites]


To a certain extent that's true, but I don't think we can unequivocally say that free will doesn't exist -- that's more of a philosophical position than a scientific one, no?

Well, I was taking making the point that if you assume that psychopath's aren't culpable, then neither is anyone else.
posted by empath at 6:35 PM on May 28, 2007


I have about 10 collage credits in psych.

i have about 15 basket-weaving credits in psych.
posted by geos at 6:36 PM on May 28, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh, and it really isn't a good idea to put true psychopaths in intensive empathy training--they will just use what they've learned to further manipulate others. Typically, psychopaths are seen as non-treatable, but that's another upcoming subject of research, as some therapies have been shown to have some limited benefit. It's not much, but it is a start.

It's also true that the DSM-IV does not list psychopathy as a mental illness. The closest thing to it that is in the DSM-IV is Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is pretty vague, to the point that some psychologists/psychiatrists say it could be applied to anyone who commits criminal acts. The DSM-IV is a valuable tool, but the descriptions of the disorders are, by necessity, broad--no two people will present with exactly the same symptoms, even if they fall into the same diagnostic category. This makes it pretty easy for two different psychologists or psychiatrists to look at the same person and come up with two different diagnoses. This is especially true if the person has more than one mental illness, which is extremely common, especially among criminal offenders.
posted by Trinkers at 6:42 PM on May 28, 2007


Reprobate: One who is predestined to damnation, rejected by God and without hope of salvation.

Presumably they are an unavoidable by-product or God wanted to make them anyway for some reason.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:55 PM on May 28, 2007


Reach dubious conclusion.

Start Witch-hunt.

Profit!

As we know,
There are known knowns.
There are things we know we know.
We also know
There are known unknowns.
That is to say
We know there are some things
We do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns,
The ones we don't know
We don't know.

posted by HyperBlue at 7:06 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]



AV, regarding the response of behavior to rewards and punishments, I was thinking in particular of addiction (a category amongst which antisocial males are heavily overrepresented but not all antisocial males are addicts by any means and the majority of addicts are not antisocial [though many can appear so if you simply count use as antisocial behavior even when you don't count alcohol use as such].

Basically, addiction is defined as compulsive behavior *despite* negative consequences so it is relatively (but not completely) impervious to punishment.

As with anything else, if you use definite, short, and unpleasant as opposed to unbearable punishment, over time you can get a change in many addicts: for example, Mark Kleiman's research on simply drug-testing addicts and putting those who test positive in jail for *just a few days at most* reduces drug-positive tests over time.

Alternatively, sentencing to jail for years and years when the odds of getting caught are very variable and the odds of getting the huge sentence very variable = not especially effective and in fact counter-productive.

Rewards, however, are at least as effective as short, sure, punishments if not more so (I've not seen a direct comparison): give addicts vouchers for things like movies and other small rewards and you can watch as the number of clean urines goes up dramatically. Google "contingency management" and addiction and you can find some of this research. it is very controversial as people don't like to 'reward' people for avoiding 'bad behavior' that they should avoid anyway.

However, if you actually know anything about addiction it makes sense that rewards would be a more sensible strategy: the people who become addicted tend to have a shortage of pleasure, meaning and purpose in their lives. They don't tend to be happy people who got hooked while leading blissful, carefree lives-- they tend to be traumatized people who found something that made them feel better.

Not always, of course-- but the relationship between addiction and the number of traumatic events in a person's early life is linear: the more traumatic events, the greater the odds of addiction. But since addiction is complex and multifactorial, there are definitely some who don't fit this, too and have had no trauma.

With sociopaths, we know they respond to rewards like power and wealth and we know they try to avoid punishment-- but I don't know the specific data on therapies designed to try to take this into account.

I do know that for most people-- but not sociopaths-- the most powerful rewards are relational. So, we care about making others happy and disappointing them upsets us and we take great pleasure from love.

Sociopaths cannot feel love-- they think it's fake and that really people are just lying to get sex or power, like they do. So regular therapy-- which relies heavily on relational rewards-- is useless, as is that which tries to produce guilt and shame.

Of course, therapy which tries to produce guilt and shame is widely used with addicts: yet no one has ever found a subgroup for whom it is more effective than a positive, empathetic approach and there is definitely a subgroup for whom such therapy makes things worse. Given that it has no advantage for any particular group and makes some worse, it's rather amazing how persistent it is, but such is the addictions world-- driven by ideology, not data.
posted by Maias at 7:30 PM on May 28, 2007 [2 favorites]


identifiable differences doesn't mean the differences caused the disorder, they could have resulted from repeated antisocial actions [and similar posts]

Eh? What difference does it make whether or not it's a cause or a consequence: what the heck does one do with a psychopath once s/he's been identified?

You can't just let them go walking around killing people because, hey, it's just the way their brain is wired.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:34 PM on May 28, 2007


empath

if you assume that psychopath's aren't culpable, then neither is anyone else.

Yeah, the whole "culpability" thing was poor wording on my part. In the sense that they ought to be expected to follow the same laws the rest of us do, then yes, I think that's true. What's more at the base of my question is, in the case of the law-abiding yet antisocial "psychopath," should we really be so quick to judge them as inherently bad people, given the social consequences of that judgment? That, to me, seems hasty, and I was wondering what evidence there is on which to base such a position. I know that wasn't clear from my original comment; I'm having a rather inarticulate day for some reason. Bleh.

Trinkers, your comments were incredibly informative -- thanks!
posted by AV at 7:41 PM on May 28, 2007


Maias: interesting, thanks for elaborating.
posted by AV at 7:46 PM on May 28, 2007


You can't just let them go walking around killing people because, hey, it's just the way their brain is wired.

I don't think anyone here is suggesting that we should do this. The discussion among researchers is not so much about whether we should set the incarcerated psychopaths free...it is more about how to handle these people once we have identified them.

Incarceration in and of itself is a huge political, philosophical, and social issue, and I don't want to hijack the discussion here, but I will say that I personally think it does more harm than good for many people. It's a very bad idea to make a classification for a group of people, decide that there's one specific way society should deal with that group of people, and then deal with all of the individuals in that group in that same way. Individuals are just that--individuals--and should be dealt with accordingly. There are some psychopaths (and non-psychopaths) who should be locked up for the rest of their lives, and there are some people who are on the borders of the criteria for the label of psychopathy and very likely are not psychopaths, but are instead just people who have messed up in some way or another and should be rehabilitated and then released into society. We should also keep in mind that there are some therapies that show some promise for the treatment of psychopathy, and they should be tried when appropriate--incarceration is not the only option.
posted by Trinkers at 8:03 PM on May 28, 2007


AV: in the case of the law-abiding yet antisocial "psychopath," should we really be so quick to judge them as inherently bad people, given the social consequences of that judgment?

Doesn't it follow from being a psychopath that they wouldn't care?
posted by bjrubble at 8:45 PM on May 28, 2007 [1 favorite]


Note that's psychopath, not psychotic. Media such as tabloids, TV "documentaries" and paperback thrillers often confuse the two although they're very different. (For extra credit, "How many personalities does a schizophrenic have?")
posted by davy at 10:24 PM on May 28, 2007


Doesn't it follow from being a psychopath that they wouldn't care?

This definitely doesn't follow, assuming we're talking about a psychopath who is capable of forming goals which require interaction with other people to achieve. Being judged as an inherently bad person is a hell of a nuisance. It causes all kinds of irritating interference in one's life.

It is interesting that a psychopath, at least the popular image of one, is thought capable of feeling hate, but not love. If these emotional states have different biological mechanisms driving them, perhaps like blue and red vision, or like sense of balance and a sense of touch, then it might follow that there are persons who can't really feel hate as you or I might, but can feel love. Or can feel neither. Or feel one, or both, or some other emotion such as curiosity, much more or much less intensely than you or I do. Perhaps these could all be classifeid as emotionally affective disorders?

As with many, many things, understanding the cause of the psychological condition may reveal the possibility for a spectrum of affliction.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 10:39 PM on May 28, 2007


I believe the overall theme of the articles I linked is that psychopaths don't understand emotion. It's a foreign language to them.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 PM on May 28, 2007


So if psychopaths "don't understand emotion" and lack empathy how is psychopathy different from autism? (I think it is, in my semi-informed layperson's opinion, I'm just not sure how.)
posted by davy at 12:19 AM on May 29, 2007


five fresh fish, Am excited to see your excellent post here about psychopaths. It's a subject I've been studying and researching for the last decade. The internet has brought together a lot of information in the last 7 years, which previously was very scattered and hard to find.

Psychopaths and all those in the Axis II Cluster B group of destructive personality disorders (NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD) are capable of many emotions. I call the emotions people in this group can feel, the hyena emotions. Emotions such as rage, seductiveness, pride, exhileration, predatorial interest, fear, bitterness, shame, disgust, anxiety, loss, triumph, gloating, envy, jealousy, lust, boredom, malice, sadism, hilarity, contempt, cunning...

But not love, sincere kindness, tenderness, altruism, authentic well-wishing. There can be warmth but their true self is too weak or incomplete to sustain warmth for long. The closer anyone gets to a person with a destructive personality disorder, the more likely one will be savaged.

A few thoughts that come to mind to include in this thread:

THE PSYCHOPATH - The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley

Tim Field's great site, BullyOnline, the socialised psychopath

The CrimeLibrary's essay What makes Psychopaths Tick?

The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout

Violent Attachments by J. Reid Meloy

Malignant Self Love by Sam Vaknin

sadistic empathy, the partial psychopath

From the forums of/for people who have survived enmeshments with psychopaths or malignant narcissists:
20 traits of malignant narcissism

Characteristics of a Psychopath A 'DIRTY DOZEN'

Psychopathy/Narcissism
posted by nickyskye at 12:50 AM on May 29, 2007 [15 favorites]


davy, how is psychopathy different from autism?

Psychopaths' disorder is in part a type of autism, in that they do not connect with others emotionally. However their disorder is shame based as well as neurological. They discharge their internalised shame onto others in the form of rage. Shame-->blame--rage.

Psychopaths have an incomplete or badly integrated true self. As a result they lie very convincingly about themselves and have what could be called a slippery inner narrative, not a solid sense of who they are. They are extraordinary shapeshipters and this typically reflects in the many looks they have in different photographs. They are pathological liars.

Autists on the high functioning level, Aspergers Syndrome, are usually very considerate of others, exacting about the truth and well wishing.
posted by nickyskye at 1:05 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


nickyskye: Psychopaths and all those in the Axis II Cluster B group of destructive personality disorders (NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD) are capable of many emotions. I call the emotions people in this group can feel, the hyena emotions. Emotions such as rage, seductiveness, pride, exhileration, predatorial interest, fear, bitterness, shame, disgust, anxiety, loss, triumph, gloating, envy, jealousy, lust, boredom, malice, sadism, hilarity, contempt, cunning...

But not love, sincere kindness, tenderness, altruism, authentic well-wishing. There can be warmth but their true self is too weak or incomplete to sustain warmth for long. The closer anyone gets to a person with a destructive personality disorder, the more likely one will be savaged.


I have to wonder why you've chosen the word "destructive", since when I put this phrase into Google, I got only 15 results, only 8 of which were actually referring to personality disorders, and 2 of the relevant ones were written by yourself. Hardly a commonly accepted term - nor particularly useful, since the whole purpose of diagnosis is treatment, and if you're insulting your patients straight off the bat they're hardly likely to want to stick around. Especially since the DSM itself doesn't contain the word at all, and the ICD classification only mentions it in terms of self-destructive behaviour in borderline cases only.

I also have to wonder why you've chosen such perjorative a word as "hyena" in your description of the range of emotions you've decided that personality disorders are limited to feeling. Like "destructive", it's inaccurate and highly insulting.

For the record, I can assure you that "love, sincere kindness, tenderness, altruism, authentic well-wishing" are all amply felt and expressed amongst the (clinically diagnosed) personality disordered people I have the pleasure of spending time with on a regular basis.
posted by talitha_kumi at 3:10 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


At first, I thought, "hey, I should probably be upset, according to this I'm a psychopath." And then I thought, "why should I care how these little people choose to categorize me?"
posted by ill3 at 4:04 AM on May 29, 2007


I'm late to this party, and Trinkers and Maias have written everything I would of and much, much more, but I couldn't pass this up:

Psychology is just an awful mess of a science, in my view.

Psychology is a young science in a complicated field in which every layman believes he or she is an expert. That it is an awful mess is hardly surprising, but progress is slowly being made, one generation at a time.
posted by moonbiter at 4:47 AM on May 29, 2007 [3 favorites]


I believe the overall theme of the articles I linked is that psychopaths don't understand emotion. It's a foreign language to them.

If they didn't feel emotion, they wouldn't be motivated to kill anyone or do anything with a risk of inconveniencing them.

The "overall theme" here is a bunch of journalistic fear-mongering. Wanting to put psychopaths in a different "taxon" a ticket to the nut-bar express in my view. How many psychological conditions are caused by neurological structure differences? Tons. Should we put schizophrenics in a new taxon, and homosexuals and people with ADD on and on?

Psychology is a young science in a complicated field in which every layman believes he or she is an expert.

I don't think the problem is laymen here.
posted by delmoi at 5:58 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm a little surprised nobody's called out the comments to one of the OP's links:
I (anonymous) am the mother of a teenager who exhibits this behavior: constant lying, no conscience, egocentric to the point that others do not exist for him, hair-trigger violent, breaking all the rules just because they can, it goes on and on.

And there does not appear to be any therapy. Lower class kids tend to end up in prison. Upper class kids end up selling shady financial schemes or used cars, or become politicians, I read somewhere.

The hard part is making people understang that it is NOT YOUR FAULT that your child lies, etc. It lies like it breathes, and cannot control it. You have to verify every word they say, even if they are charming and confincing.

Drives the parents insane, too.
As difficult as it may be, I will try to write this with some civility. I suggest to you that psychopaths are not the maniacs that the media projects. Perhaps these select few pocess a gift, not a curse. If the whole world consisted only of psychopaths it could be a better world. Sure it would be a heartless, cold world, but it would be an efficient one. A world free of the calousness of love and most importantly, free of regret. It could be a cool efficient world, to bad that these individuals are outcast for their freedom from the ability to feel. But, I am undeniably biased as I am a psychopath myself, but my opinion still has merit, I say that I and all others like me are not maniacs, we are the only ones who are free.
While I have not been diagnosed nor seen anyone for this disorder I do beleive I am a psychopath. Like you I am not a maniac or some crazed killer but someone that is attempting to lead a normal life.
I have only just begun to realize that I fit the profile of a psychopath and it has been very disturbing but conforting realization for me.
I am interested in knowing what it is about you that makes you say, "we are the only ones who are free."
posted by scalefree at 6:58 AM on May 29, 2007


It occurs to me that there's almost a guarantee that one or two psychopaths have been reading and contributing to this thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:10 AM on May 29, 2007


talitha_kumi, the whole purpose of diagnosis is treatment

The purpose of the DSM diagnoses is largely the allocation of funds from insurance companies to pay for treatment or to use in court. It's also used by pharmaceutical companies and policy makers.

The list of 10 personality disorders defined in the DSM, grouped into three clusters.

-------------------------

Cluster A (odd or eccentric disorders)

Paranoid personality disorder
Schizoid personality disorder
Schizotypal personality disorder

Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic disorders)

Antisocial personality disorder
Borderline personality disorder
Histrionic personality disorder
Narcissistic personality disorder

Cluster C (anxious or fearful disorders)

Avoidant personality disorder
Dependent personality disorder (not the same as Dysthymia)
Obsessive-compulsive personality disorder (not the same as Obsessive-compulsive disorder)

-------------------------

I have to wonder why you've chosen the word "destructive"

People with NPD, HPD, BPD and ASPD are typically destructive to those who attempt or do get close to them (their boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, children, employees, neighbors). They can also be destructive to strangers or relative strangers they choose to stalk, rape, murder, sexually molest, bully.

However, people with destructive personality disorders are often talented, articulate, gifted strategists, usually of exceptional intelligence (while also often being or behaving in ways that are obviously stupid). All personality disorders are on a continuum, from mild to extreme, as well as often co-morbid with other issues, such as addiction or other disorders).

The people with AXIS II personality disorders in the Cluster A and C may experience sincere "love, sincere kindness, tenderness, altruism, authentic well-wishing". That is not true for the peole with NPD, HPD, BPD and ASPD.

People with NPD, HPD, BPD may be successfully treated for their depression, bi-polar issues, ADHD, anxiety and they may achieve successful, although unpredictable, behavior modification.

People with ASPD (sociopaths/psychopaths) are a whole other category though. Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD/ASPD) is practically synonymous with criminal behavior. Attempting to treat psychopaths has been clinically shown to make them even more malicious and devious, not helpful.

You said, " the (clinically diagnosed) personality disordered people I have the pleasure of spending time with on a regular basis."

Delighted you enjoy your job. Those who aren't amply remunerated for this may feel very differently.
posted by nickyskye at 8:46 AM on May 29, 2007


I don't think the problem is laymen here.

Heh. You apparently didn't look at nickyskye's links. There's more than one laymen in that bunch.

But you're right. The problem is not laymen per se, it's that it's a complicated subject that's only been rigorously studied for a hundred years or so. The laymen just help stir things up.
posted by moonbiter at 8:57 AM on May 29, 2007


talitha_kumi, since when I put this phrase [destructive personality disorder] into Google, I got only 15 results, only 8 of which were actually referring to personality disorders, and 2 of the relevant ones were written by yourself

Putting the term "destructive personality disorder" into Google gets 521 results, including Robert Hare, discussing psychopaths, another on a battered wives forum. Two of the results were mine both times discussing this topic in MetaFilter.

Some years ago, I was speaking on the phone with a Canadian psychiatrist, one of the heads of a large psychiatric hospital, who had been stalked by a fellow employee. She was in a support group I was in, she used the term "destructive personality disorder" for the AXIS II Cluster B group (NPD, HPD, BPD, ASPD). It seemed like a useful term and I've used it since.
posted by nickyskye at 9:18 AM on May 29, 2007


nickyskye: it's not my job. I'm not paid to be with them. I'm one of them. I have several diagnosed personality disorders, in clusters B and C.

You mention "Cluster B (dramatic, emotional, or erratic disorders)". Please explain to me where in this sentence you find the word "destructive"? In particular, I'd love for you to be able to explain to me why, as someone with diagnosed borderline personality disorder, I am incapable of feeling "sincere love, sincere kindness, tenderness, altruism, authentic well-wishing."

Neither I nor anyone else in the care of the treatment service (who were set up a few years ago to treat the most severe cases of personality disorder in this county) have stalked, raped, murdered, sexually molested or bullied anyone. On the contrary - many of the other patients have been (and are currently) on the receiving end of such behaviour from so-called normal people. You might find it difficult to understand from where you're coming from, but people who are mentally ill (including the personality disordered) are no more likely than "normal" people to be dangerous to anyone other than themselves, and are far more likely to be the victims of dangerous behaviour from "normal" people.
posted by talitha_kumi at 9:35 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


talitha kumi, The same pyschiatrist who used the term "destructive personality disorders" for the Cluster B group, also said she thought the BPD term was, in certain circumstances, considered "a wastepaper diagnosis" for women who had survived trauma and were exhibiting ptsd traits that were treatable, many of which were included in the BPD diagnosis, such as volatile mood swings, substances addictions, promiscuity, self-mutilation and suicidal ideation.

However, there is BPD that is very destructive for the people who come in contact with the BPDed person.

The Cluster C group is usually very treatable with meds and therapy.

As I've said, people with Cluster B personality disorders are destructive to those who come close, or attempt to come close to them.

people who are mentally ill (including the personality disordered)

The people in the Cluster B group are, imo, not mentally ill but emotionally ill.

Wishing you well in your recovery process.
posted by nickyskye at 10:13 AM on May 29, 2007


To a certain extent that's true, but I don't think we can unequivocally say that free will doesn't exist -- that's more of a philosophical position than a scientific one, no? (And in the interest of intercepting an 'existence of free will' thread-jack, I'll mention that I don't have an opinion one way or the other.)

I think the question of free will is philisophical and scientific. In either case it's highly relevant to the discussion of psychopathy. See naturalism.org for arguments. Or this link specific to free will and mental illness.
posted by stiggywigget at 10:15 AM on May 29, 2007


"The purpose of the DSM diagnoses is largely the allocation of funds from insurance companies to pay for treatment."

That's what the psychologists and psychiatrists who've seen me have been telling me since I became an adult.

I'm still waiting for a diagnosis of Get Off My Lawn Personality Disorder, Hipsters Today subtype.
posted by davy at 10:31 AM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


delmoi said: If they didn't feel emotion, they wouldn't be motivated to kill anyone or do anything with a risk of inconveniencing them."

Not necessarily. I don't hate or get angry at cockroaches when I stomp or spray them, and I'm not a psychopath -- it's just that they're only bugs. One off-the-cuff description of psychopathic behavior I just came up with is "treating people as if they're bugs."

But yeah, whether this particular "disease" really exists or not the purpose of such articles is fear-- it's just that they're only bugs. One off-the-cuff description of psychopathic behavior I just came up with is "treating people as if they're bugs."

But yeah, whether this particular "disease" really exists or not the purpose of such articles is fear-mongering. And then there's diversion: when you're busily scampering around applying individuals to diagnostic checklists you're not changing the socio-economic-political circumstances that favor some personality types over others.
posted by davy at 10:47 AM on May 29, 2007


The people in the Cluster B group are, imo, not mentally ill but emotionally ill.

Oh man, another thing I can't pass up: What does the above even mean?

Does that mean that iyo, mental illness is limited to information-processing disabilities (logic errors or wrong conclusions or behaviors based on stimuli, or imagining stimuli where there isn't any), while emotional illness is ... something else?

Or is the difference in how the illness affects the subject's aquaintences and friends (where mental illness = low impact, emotional illness = high impact)?

Really, what exactly are the criteria here?
posted by moonbiter at 12:20 PM on May 29, 2007


"Really, what exactly are the criteria here?"

Whatever the pill-making industry and the MainStream Media want them to be, with an extra bonus if it has hysteria-generating and locking-people-up applications. Making sense is not the issue, but making money.

Keep in mind that the goal of any industry is to make profits for the stockholders, the goal of the MSM is to sell ad space, and the goal of "The System" is to maintain the "right" people in power. Helping people cannot be a major concern in capitalism; it's up to The Invisible Hand to do that.
posted by davy at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2007


I don't think the problem is laymen here.

I'm with delmoi here. part of the problem is the taxonomy itself. This previous FPP links to this New Yorker article that describes Robert Spitzer and the process by which he and few associates pulled these diagnoses from their own asses. The article also mentions the reliability problems associated with the DSM.

An Axis II diagnosis is pretty much the end of any hope for a "normal" life, since afterwards you're never going to get health or life insurance, and many, if not most, mental health professionals won't treat people with personality disorders.

The casual, dismissive contempt that nickyskye displays (Axis II = hyena) is pretty common among mental health professionals, among themselves, not in public, and certainly not to their clients / patients.
posted by RussHy at 2:01 PM on May 29, 2007


my dad was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. he never got any meaningful treatment though. all his life, he literally seemed to be unable to keep himself from exploiting the people with whom he had close relationships in some way (mostly financially), whether family, friends, romantic interests, whatever. when thwarted, he often become verbally or physically abusive. to protect myself and my own family, i no longer maintain any contact with him. he doesn't even know he has a 9-month old grandson. maybe i have some psychopathic tendencies as well (although i really do try to act as responsibly, honestly, and compassionately as i can in my daily life), because i don't feel the slightest trace of remorse for cutting my father off.
posted by saulgoodman at 2:20 PM on May 29, 2007


Anyway, great links five_fresh_fish. I loved the Bush thing.
posted by RussHy at 2:26 PM on May 29, 2007


Something felt terribly wrong about this article. Perhaps Dr. Hare is a psychopath by his own definition?

I think the term psychopath is a refusal to understand a that person. Is Dr. Hare saying there are people who are completely irrational? If so, what is the basis in their minds for their decision making?

It sounds to me like a lot of psychology: invent a word to loosely group a concept and then assume that it is a word that can be somehow defined scientifically.

I think "he is like a psychopath!" is totally acceptable use ... but to try to make "psychopath" into more than an archetype may be going too far.
posted by niccolo at 2:28 PM on May 29, 2007


Do you like Phil Collins? I've been a big Genesis fan ever since the release of their 1980 album, Duke. Before that, I really didn't understand any of their work. Too artsy, too intellectual. It was on Duke where Phil Collins' presence became more apparent. I think Invisible Touch was the group's undisputed masterpiece. It's an epic meditation on intangibility. At the same time, it deepens and enriches the meaning of the preceding three albums. (Christy, take off your robe.) Listen to the brilliant ensemble playing of Banks, Collins and Rutherford. You can practically hear every nuance of every instrument. (Sabrina, remove your dress.) In terms of lyrical craftsmanship, the sheer songwriting, this album hits a new peak of professionalism. (Sabrina, why don't you, uh, dance a little.) Take the lyrics to Land of Confusion. In this song, Phil Collins addresses the problems of abusive political authority. In Too Deep is the most moving pop song of the 1980s, about monogamy and commitment. The song is extremely uplifting. Their lyrics are as positive and affirmative as anything I've heard in rock. (Christy, get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole.) Phil Collins' solo career seems to be more commercial and therefore more satisfying, in a narrower way. Especially songs like In the Air Tonight and Against All Odds. (Sabrina, don't just stare at it, eat it.) But I also think Phil Collins works best within the confines of the group, than as a solo artist, and I stress the word artist.

This is Sussudio, a great, great song, and a personal favorite.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:30 PM on May 29, 2007 [2 favorites]


part of the problem is the taxonomy itself. This previous FPP links to this New Yorker article that describes Robert Spitzer and the process by which he and few associates pulled these diagnoses from their own asses.

This is true RussHy, and I do not deny it. The taxonomy sucks; it has a phrenological flavor to it and experimentally-discredited theories still have too much weight in the literature. One of the reasons I never finished my MS in Psych was my disillusionment with the state of the things, and the amount of pseudoscience that got taken seriously (that, and the realization that physiological treatment was where the future lay in actually doing something about disorders, and I was too squeamish to actually get an MD).

Still, I maintain that many of the problems in the field have to do with both it's relative youth (compared to, say, biology or physics) and it's complexity (biology and physics are also complex, but their theories are much easier to test experimentally). And the folks who publish pop-psych stuff both in print and on the web without really knowing what they are talking about certainly don't help matters.

As far as an Axis II diagnosis is concerned re: insurance and the rest, I'll have to take your word that that is the normal state of things since I have no recent firsthand experience (my sister has been diagnosed Borderline, but I don't know the state of her health or life insurance policies). The same with your assurance of the private beliefs of the common mental health professional, although the thought appalls me.
posted by moonbiter at 2:49 PM on May 29, 2007


People with ASPD (sociopaths/psychopaths) are a whole other category though. Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD/ASPD) is practically synonymous with criminal behavior. Attempting to treat psychopaths has been clinically shown to make them even more malicious and devious, not helpful.

ASPD does not equal sociopathy or psychopathy. Despite what seems to be a common belief, neither sociopathy nor psychopathy constitute diagnoses.

Psychopaths' disorder is in part a type of autism, in that they do not connect with others emotionally. However their disorder is shame based as well as neurological. They discharge their internalised shame onto others in the form of rage. Shame-->blame--rage.

Psychopaths have an incomplete or badly integrated true self. As a result they lie very convincingly about themselves and have what could be called a slippery inner narrative, not a solid sense of who they are. They are extraordinary shapeshipters and this typically reflects in the many looks they have in different photographs. They are pathological liars.


Psychopathy is not in any way related to autism. Yes, they are similar in that both groups have difficulty in experiencing and understanding emotions, but the similarities stop there.

Psychopathy is not shame-based. I challenge you to find a single true psychopath who experiences genuine shame in any way, shape, or form. Part of the very concept of psychopathy is that they feel no shame, remorse, or regret over their actions, although they may be capable of convincingly faking such emotions because they understand that it is socially desirable to do so.

Again, psychopathy is a term commonly used in research, in general use, and in the media, but it is not a diagnosable disorder. As someone who claims to have been researching psychopathy for the past 10 years, you should know this.

Also, I'm not sure why you're talking about "inner selves." That term belongs to pop psychology, not research-based psychology.

And They are extraordinary shapeshipters and this typically reflects in the many looks they have in different photographs.? I'm flabbergasted. How do you come up with this stuff?
posted by Trinkers at 4:07 PM on May 29, 2007 [1 favorite]


So if psychopaths "don't understand emotion" and lack empathy how is psychopathy different from autism?

Psychopaths are very machiavellian, and autistic people are said to lack "machiavellian intelligence". Autistic people are often known to be incapable of lying, for example.

As for not connecting with others emotionally: Psychopaths might be good at reading emotions and social cues, and might have good social skills in general - but they don't care how other people feel, beyond how those emotions might be advantageous to the psychopath (if my understanding of psychopathy is correct). In contrast, autistic people do care, but they just aren't very good at figuring out what other people are feeling.

I remember reading an article somewhere about how part of the autistic brain is like the polar opposite of that part of the brain of a compulsive liar. I'm curious about how they they would compare to the brain of a psychopath.
posted by Stove at 4:17 PM on May 29, 2007


talitha kumi, have you ever considered that the label they've given you might be inaccurate or incorrect? Maybe it's just easier to get you the therapies and support you need by giving it a higher-value name.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:48 PM on May 29, 2007


Question: what is it that makes us human? Do emotions factor into it?
posted by five fresh fish at 5:49 PM on May 29, 2007


I feel like people aren't understanding what psychopathy means. It does not mean uncontrollable rage or a desire to kill people. It does not mean someone who hates everything. It does not a diagnosis of "evil", and it does not mean we simply don't understand the psychopath's motivations.

The psychopath is very easy to understand. They simply Do. Not. Empathize. Like any human being they have goals and desires and wants. Unlike other human beings, they do not factor the goals and desires and wants of others into how they get what they want. Other humans are simply unimportant. They are tools. They are not necessarily sadistic in the pain they cause others, it's just that pain is a side-effect of their destructive actions because inevitably the shortest path to getting their needs met will involve hurting others. They imitate the emotions of non-psychopaths because they find those emotions interesting and understand they need to imitate those emotions occasionally in order to get people to do what they want.

You might say that psychopaths are supremely rational. Emotion and concern for the welfare of others plays absolutely no role in their decisions.

Treatment would not involve attempting to understand them or empathizing with them as human beings because it would be useless to do so. As stated in one of the links (and this makes sense given the current understanding of psychopaths), treatment involves convincing them that acting in an ethical manner is in their best self-interest.
posted by schroedinger at 6:15 PM on May 29, 2007 [4 favorites]


Another brain article.

Summary: altruism is hardwired into our (not-psychopathic) (human) brains.

Choice quote: "Morality... is not 'handed down' by philosophers and clergy, but 'handed up,' an outgrowth of the brain's basic propensities."

Psychopaths lack the altruism wiring. If they are behaving in a way that considers the consequences of their behaviour on others, it is only because they have learned that the outcome will cause harm to their own selves. They are the ultimate egoist.

Some of them learn rather more quickly than others. The ones we must especially fear are those who use violence as a means to an end.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:43 PM on May 29, 2007


As stated in one of the links (and this makes sense given the current understanding of psychopaths), treatment involves convincing them that acting in an ethical manner is in their best self-interest.

Which, conveniently, also happens to be true. Turns out, it's always in one's best long-term interests to behave as ethically as possible. I constructed an air-tight logical proof of this conclusion a while back, as a matter of fact. Unfortunately, I can no longer locate a copy of that proof, and I don't really have the time to reproduce it right now, but believe me: It was iron-clad.

Plus this: Boo-yah.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:46 PM on May 29, 2007


It does not mean uncontrollable rage or a desire to kill people”

Cool. I’m not a psychopath then.

“I constructed an air-tight logical proof of this conclusion a while back, as a matter of fact. Unfortunately, I can no longer locate a copy of that proof, and I don't really have the time to reproduce it right now, but believe me: It was iron-clad.”

I believe you (prisoner’s dilemma - trust tends to return greater long term yields)
posted by Smedleyman at 7:25 PM on May 29, 2007


Question: what is it that makes us human? Do emotions factor into it?

Of course, otherwise we'll have to give human rights to droids (and/or our robot overlords)!
posted by moonbiter at 12:52 AM on May 30, 2007


Just got in from work and was eager to see this thread.

not mentally ill but emotionally ill

moonbiter: Oh man, another thing I can't pass up: What does the above even mean?


The Axis II Cluster B PDs (personality disorders) are often intellectually astute, they may be successful politicians, CEOs, composed public speakers, keenly perceptive of the world around them, very often in positions of power and social respect, sometimes gifted performers, successful publishers, they may be phenomenal business people, military strategists. Or just a family man shoe salesman, who was a prominent and respected member of the community.

Most often they are not only considered sane by the general public but highly esteemed, for a while or at a distance or by those who are unfamiliar with their dark side.

Whever gets close to them experiences their bouts of rage, pathological envy, Jr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde changes, their pathological deceit, stalking, obsessiveness, manipulation, exploitativeness, con games, exaggerated self-importance, malice, rapid shifts from playing poor little victim to seducer to enraged oppressor. Their illness is unlike the delusional illness of schizophrenia. It isn’t noticeable as a kind of mental deficiency in the way people think that a mentally ill person may be socially fragile, navigating with great difficulty through life.

Mentally they may be formidable but emotionally they are damaged and damaging.

saulgoodman, my dad was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder.

Sincerely sorry you had to cope with that. In case you have any inclination for a support group for adult children of BPDs and are not already familiar with these:

Helen's World of BPD Resources

BPD411

BPD Central

And an excellent support group "for the NonBP offspring of parents with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)."

maybe i have some psychopathic tendencies as well (although i really do try to act as responsibly, honestly, and compassionately as i can in my daily life)

Acting responsibly, honestly, and compassionately would seem to negate the likelihood you are a psychopath.

because i don't feel the slightest trace of remorse for cutting my father off.

Adult children of BPDs may need, for survival purposes, to detach from their biological parent. You may have literally saved your life, that’s nothing to be remorseful about.

RussHy, (Axis II = hyena)

That is not what I said. What I did say was, “all those in the Axis II Cluster B group of destructive personality disorders (NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD) are capable of many emotions. I call the emotions people in this group can feel, "the hyena emotions, emotions such as rage, seductiveness, pride, exhileration, predatorial interest, fear, bitterness, shame, disgust, anxiety, loss, triumph, gloating, envy, jealousy, lust, boredom, malice, sadism, hilarity, contempt, cunning...”

A core issue with the Axis II Cluster B group is that they are predatorial in their approach to relationships, because of their inability to connect with loving good will. I use the term "hyena emotions" to depict a primitive emotional state in them that is not benevolent, as a way of protecting oneself from the damage they are very capable of committing.

The intent of using such a term is not so much to denigrate the people with Cluster B PDs, it is to educate those who have had a run in with them, survived an enmeshment, been stalked, conned...or married to one and now in deep pain. It's a way for the survivors of enmeshments with Cluster B PDs, who may have been previously blinded by the superficial charisma of their spouse, to work on detaching, healing from the damage done and moving forward.

A number of accomplished scientists, politicians, actresses and artists could be speculated by their behavior/statements to be NPD. I would not call them hyenas by any means. But if one were their wife, husband or child, one would likely have experienced that emotional predation. It’s one of the reasons people who have had run-ins with the Cluster Bs usually call them *emotional* vampires, not mental vampires, emotional vampires.

Trinkers, Yes, they [psychopaths and autists] are similar in that both groups have difficulty in experiencing and understanding emotions, but the similarities stop there

Exactly the point I made.

ASPD does not equal sociopathy or psychopathy...neither sociopathy nor psychopathy constitute diagnoses... psychopathy is a term commonly used in research, in general use, and in the media, but it is not a diagnosable disorder.

Incorrect all three times, ASPD most definitely does equal sociopathy.

Phillip W. Long, M.D, "The psychological diagnosis of "Psychopath" overlaps with the psychiatric diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder."

Validation here as well.

In criminal justice, as taught by Dr. Tom O'Connor.

A Harvard paper discussing possibilities of treating psychopaths.

Psychopathy is not shame-based.

Incorrect. Feeling shame and a personality disorder being shame-based are two different things. The aggression the sociopath acts out of narcissistic rage is shame-based, as discussed by Elsa F. Ronningstam here.

Theory and Treatment of Shame-Based Syndromes, Second Edition Author: Gershen Kaufman, PhD, see where it says sociopathic?

The default condition of the Cluster Bs is pathological narcissism, which is a shame-based illness. All of the Cluster B PDs are pathologically narcissistic. It doesn’t mean that the adult with a Cluster B necessarily *feels* shame, but that the core of their illness was created in childhood shame. Although psychopathy is thought to be in part genetic, it is considered mostly to be a result of childhood abuse or trauma. All the people with Cluster Bs were typically victimised and/or traumatised as children. Usually they are former victims who then became victimisers.

Shame-based rage is typically violently explosive.

People with Cluster B PDs may in fact feel guilt (and awareness of wrongdoing) of a momentary sort but not respond in an emotionally healthy or socially responsible way about that guilt.

Shame might be defined as “ a painful feeling about oneself as a person”

As someone who claims to have been researching psychopathy for the past 10 years, you should know this.

7 ½ years of my researching this is online for anyone to see. Prior to learning the computer in 1999 I studied in libraries.

Also, I'm not sure why you're talking about "inner selves." That term belongs to pop psychology, not research-based psychology.

Never referred to “inner selves”. What I did refer to was a true self, as contrasted with persona.

And They are extraordinary shapeshipters and this typically reflects in the many looks they have in different photographs.? I'm flabbergasted. How do you come up with this stuff?

From what is said by forensic psychologists, professors of criminal justice and psychiatrists. Iinformation about the chameleon-like/shapeshifting aspect of psychopaths:

Andrew Cunanan, serial murderer: "A chameleon, he changed faces and figures with a pair of stylish glasses or a trim of his sideburns, or through the transformation from a suited Clark Kent to a T-shirt wearing Superman. Even though he was Personality A on Friday night, he could be Personality B at the same spot on Saturday and get away with it. Those who spent hours with him at the bar one night would not recognize him the next."

Susan Smith, murderer: "To many people in Union, it appeared that during Susan’s 23 years she had developed a dual personality, she presented one side of her personality to some and the other side of her personality to others. One side of Susan’s personality was described as manipulative and deceitful and capable of ending her children’s lives in order to improve her own."

Myra Hindley, murderer: " In character she is essentially a chameleon, adopting whatever camouflage will suit and voicing whatever she believes the individual wishes to hear. This subliminal soft sell lured the innocent and naive."

"Harold Adrian Russell Philby, known as "Kim" after the character in Kipling's jungle story has been described as both debonair and unkempt, as both unfriendly and ingratiatingly smooth. He was in fact a chameleon who could be whatever the occasion demanded. Philby was so intelligent as a spy..."


Arthur Shawcross, the Genessee River serial killer: "He was like a chameleon, delivering to each person who questioned him what he sensed they wanted him to say."

Visual example: Scott Peterson, 1, 2, 3, 4.

schroedinger, It does not a diagnosis of "evil"

The Depravity Scale Poster by Michael Welner, M.D., defining evil behavior for the courts.

"A "depravity rating" that measures evil and will help courts decide whether convicted murderers should face execution or just imprisonment has been drawn up by American psychiatrists."
posted by nickyskye at 1:32 AM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Mentally they may be formidable but emotionally they are damaged and damaging.

So you are drawing a distinction between information processing ability and social interaction ability? I kind of see where you are going with that, but I don't think it's an effective distinction in clinical terms. At it's root, both are caused by irregularities in the brain, and I'm not sure that saying one is an x illness while the other is an y is helpful.

It's true that subjects with Axis II disorders often cause problems for the people around them. But classifying them as an entirely different category of illness (i.e. emotional rather than mental) seems misguided.
posted by moonbiter at 2:17 AM on May 30, 2007


moonbiter, information processing ability and social interaction ability

No, not talking about the Axis II's including A and C. Only the Cluster B group (NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD) are often gifted with highly strategic social skills, are social chessplayers, while still scapegoating and experiencing rage. On the Stalin end of the continnum, millions die.

Not, not about their intellect or social skills, but their emotions.

They cannot handle emotional closeness for any duration of time. I think of them as "limbically challenged". They can seduce but coming close to them they become enraged. Jeffrey Dahmer would be a classic example of this. In his case, get close and you get devoured, literally.
posted by nickyskye at 6:02 AM on May 30, 2007


Didn't read the article or thread, just checkin' in.
posted by MapGuy at 6:29 AM on May 30, 2007


Nickyskye, I'd like to respond to your most recent posts, but I regret that I am unable to address any of the 'points' you raise with any kind of civility. I regret that I will be unable to continue this discussion, because it is difficult to leave such callous, uncaring and manipulative claptrap unchallenged. However, I suspect that nothing I may or may not say is likely to change your mind, so I'm choosing to stay out of something which is likely to only have the effect of me getting hurt and upset.
posted by talitha_kumi at 6:33 AM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ok, I read the thread. Whoahh, what's with all this crazy talk?
A study I just conducted shows that MeFi's are substantially more likely to suffer from Avoidant Personality Disorder than a Farker, Digger, or even a Leaker. I know what you are going to say, “Not Me! Feh!”
posted by MapGuy at 7:14 AM on May 30, 2007


talitha_kumi
It's probably best that way, some people are just speciesist bastards, hyena can't catch a break...

nickyskye
How do you respond to Marsha Linehan's remark that Borderlines are not manipulative, they really don't have the people skills to manipulate, they are just so dysfunctional socially that they manage to push whatever buttons a person may have? What do you think of DBT as a therapy for hyenas people with Borderline Personality Disorder?
posted by RussHy at 7:48 AM on May 30, 2007


My dad was diagnosed (the first time, it turns out, before he met my mother) with Paranoid Schizophrenia, which NOW actually sounds better than being the child of someone called BPD. On the other hand, young women with the more dramatic kinds of "Axis II disorders" (think Amis' Nicola Six) are often lots of hot fun -- as long as you don't trust them farther than you can spit (which I learned the hard way when I was young enough to care).
posted by davy at 8:57 AM on May 30, 2007


"Morality... is not 'handed down' by philosophers and clergy, but 'handed up,' an outgrowth of the brain's basic propensities."

I have difficulties with what is implied. It assumes altruism is the only basis for morality, and, to an extent, psychopaths are incapable of morality or philosophical thought (instead of simply having a moral compass that is very much different from most folks). At an extreme, I'll take cold, self-serving rationality over the histronics that define some folks feel-good morality.

Not to mention, the discriptions given to psychopaths reek of a Reefer Madness style exploitivness. People who aren't psychopaths commit horrific crimes as well. It just seems to be a further sub-division so people can distance themselves from the full weight of what it means to be human, and project demons on a suitable scapegoat.
posted by quintessencesluglord at 7:01 PM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


quintessencesluglord:
Well said! "Nothing human is alien"
posted by RussHy at 7:08 PM on May 30, 2007


It never did occur to me that making this FPP might cause a psychopath to snap.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on May 30, 2007


"It never did occur to me that making this FPP might cause a psychopath to snap."

But how could I hunt you down and kill you unless you tell me your real name? And your address? And send me a plane ticket, directions to your residence, and $100,000 (U.S.) for my trouble? You might also leave your house key under the mat out front, and a loaded Luger on a small table just inside the front door.

This is a joke. This is only a joke. No actual threats were made in the production of this joke. All sales are final. Offer void where prohibited by law.
posted by davy at 8:22 PM on May 30, 2007


davy,

Oh sure, it's always "just a joke" with you guys. It's a well known fact that most of you psychos exhibit what I call "hyena humor," hence the term "laughing hyena.
posted by RussHy at 8:45 PM on May 30, 2007


talitha_kumi

I'm with you. I've tried to be civil and to bring the light of research to this thread, but certain others are completely immune to the appeals of rational discussion. I'll save my efforts for my own research, where I can actually make a difference.
posted by Trinkers at 9:41 PM on May 30, 2007


You're on, davy! I'll mail you the contract post-haste; the courier shall have it your hands by breakfast tomorrow morning. However, I shall have to beg your charity; indeed, my inheritor will be assuming a debt well in excess of the payment. I can not apologize enough for this inconvenience.

yrs, fffish.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:49 PM on May 30, 2007


Only the Cluster B group (NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD) are often gifted with highly strategic social skills, are social chessplayers, while still scapegoating and experiencing rage.

I'm sorry, but this is clearly not true in the case of BPD, nor is it true in general. But I don't want to get sidetracked here.

nickyskye, you've not really answered my core question: what is the benefit of classifying emotional disorders differently than mental disorders? From a clinical standpoint, as far as I can tell, there isn't any.
posted by moonbiter at 10:13 PM on May 30, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not to mention, the discriptions given to psychopaths reek of a Reefer Madness style exploitivness.

I'll grant that. Please use spellcheck next time. :tag:notatroll sincereadvice:

People who aren't psychopaths commit horrific crimes as well.

People who are psychopaths commit horrific crimes as well. And... ? I fail to grasp your point.

It just seems to be a further sub-division so people can distance themselves from the full weight of what it means to be human, and project demons on a suitable scapegoat.

I should thing the full weight of being human is what grants us humanity, while mere DNA defines us as just human.

Regardless that debate, the fact of inability to overcome their disability is proven through the evidence of their violence is a mighty important factor in the decision to withhold a violent psychotic from the public sphere.

I regret that this view might make me an asshole of astounding dimension, but so be it.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:15 PM on May 30, 2007


Five Fresh Fish-

The point is there seems to be an attempt to dehumanize a segment of the population based on little more than they do not have a similar emotional response as other folks. I can take the same statistical evidence and apply it towards blacks as well (responsible for the largest portion of violent crimes). Does that suppose there needs to be a DSM IV notation for being black? A diagnostic checklist? Is there a pill I can take?

People commit violent crimes for a multitude of reasons. Citing a nebulous definition from an immature science strikes me as posturing and sensationalistic (not to mention reducing the horror and splendor of humanity into a monochrome unreal). Other criteria may apply just as much as a label of psychopath in determining causes for violent crime.

I should thing [please be less anal about spellcheck when you yourself fail the test: tag: notatroll sincereadvice] the full weight of being human is what grants us humanity, while mere DNA defines us as just human.
Summary: altruism is hardwired into our (not-psychopathic) (human) brains.


Can you rectify these two statements while explaining how DNA is not the mechanism for hardwiring altruism (and all other expressions of humanity) into our brains? My suspicions of tagging psychopaths (and by extension, anyone who has any trait that is not seen in the majority of the population) as inhuman are growing.

How about we remove any violent offender from the public sphere, and withhold the conjecture about disability and what it means to be human from the proceedings? Lest we start the discussion towards removing assholes from the public sphere ;)
posted by quintessencesluglord at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sorry, computer has been down, will go to an internet cafe and answer from there.
posted by nickyskye at 3:38 PM on May 31, 2007


RussHy, Responding to your comment and question:

"Marsha Linehan's remark that Borderlines are not manipulative, they really don't have the people skills to manipulate, they are just so dysfunctional socially that they manage to push whatever buttons a person may have? What do you think of DBT as a therapy for hyenas people with Borderline Personality Disorder?"

BPD is on a continuum, like all the Cluster B personality disorders (NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD). "Linehan's DBT module has been adapted to assist in the treatment of clinical depression, anxiety, anger, impulsivity, and periods of cognitive disfunction as well as suicide, areas of impulse control such as substance abuse, eating disorders, problem gambling, and over spending. " Those improvements of behavior would or could radically improve the life of anyone and particularly a person with BPD.

If the BPDed person has simply traits of the disorder, due to trauma, such as being sexually abused in childhood, I think there may be remarkable improvement.

However, on the darker end of the continuum, there may be some behavior modification but the core narcissism and violence inherent in the dramatic mood swings cannot be healed to ensure that person is not a danger to those who get close to them. Dark end BPDs: Eileen Wuornos. Karla Homolka.

BPDs at any stage of the continuum typically have enmeshments with pathological Narcissists and people with Antisocial Personality Disorder. Unfortunately, this feeds the issues of those with BPD and makes their illness worse over time, as the NPDed person triggers the BPDed person's abandonment issues.

A personality disorder is rigid and all pervasive. It is not merely a trait or traits that can go away. Until some kind of new medication or therapy comes along, it's a lifelong condition.

"Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is one of the most controversial diagnoses in psychology today. Since it was first introduced in the DSM, psychologists and psychiatrists have been trying to give the somewhat amorphous concepts behind BPD a concrete form. Kernberg's explication of what he calls Borderline Personality Organization is the most general, while Gunderson, though a psychoanalyst, is considered by many to have taken the most scientific approach to defining BPD. The Diagnostic Interview for Borderlines and the DIB-Revised were developed from research done by Gunderson, Kolb, and Zanarini. Finally, there is the "official" DSM-IV definition."

The DSM IV list of traits for a person with BPD are:

1 Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. [Not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5]

2 A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.

3 Identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.

4 Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, promiscuous sex, eating disorders, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating). [Again, not including suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5]

5 Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-mutilating behavior.

6 Affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g., intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

7 Chronic feelings of emptiness.

8 Inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights).

9 Transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms.

---------------------

My field of knowledge is specifically informing and supporting the survivors of enmeshments or run-ins with the Cluster B group, NPD, BPD, HPD and ASPD. I do not know how to treat people with Cluster B personality disorders. That is not my interest, nor am I qualified to do so. I feel compassion for them. I am truly sorry they have a Cluster B personality disorder.

My bias and knowledge is about helping/informing those people who are ex-spouses, business owners, co-workers and adult children of pathological Narcissists/ASPDs.
posted by nickyskye at 5:39 PM on May 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


quintessencesluglord , It just seems to be a further sub-division so people can distance themselves from the full weight of what it means to be human, and project demons on a suitable scapegoat.

All human beings are capable of hurting others. Abusers do so in a *pattern*.

Some persons who commit abuse (lie, cheat, are violent, manipulative, cruel, exploitative, selfish) may change their behavior with understanding, if they choose to do so.

Psychopaths commit abuse of others as a matter of course, sadism is part of their disorder. The term is not a random scapegoating, it has evolved over the last 100 years both in court and to help understand why certain people commit serial murder, kidnap kids and sexually abuse them in a home made dungeon, mass murder, commit genocide, torture others etc.
posted by nickyskye at 5:49 PM on May 31, 2007


moonbiter, what is the benefit of classifying emotional disorders differently than mental disorders

Emotional means it is not safe to have an emotional relationship with a person who has a Cluster B personality disorder (NPD, BPD, HPD, ASPD). ie they cause serious emotional pain and damage to their children and non-personality disordered spouses.

However, a Cluster Bed person may may a great lawyer, stock broker, a fantastic surgeon, soldier. They are not delusional about non-emotional things. They can be gifted intellects.
posted by nickyskye at 5:58 PM on May 31, 2007


I should thing [please be less anal about spellcheck when you yourself fail the test: tag: notatroll sincereadvice]

LOL. Typo, yes, but at least is was spelled correctly! :)

How about we remove any violent offender from the public sphere, and withhold the conjecture about disability and what it means to be human from the proceedings?

Wholly agreed.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:58 PM on May 31, 2007


So, psychopaths, especially Axis II Cluster B, are violent, soulless criminals who can't change or be changed. Should we build camps and fire up the ovens?
posted by RussHy at 3:05 AM on June 1, 2007


After they've done violence, sure.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:21 AM on June 1, 2007


So, psychopaths, especially Axis II Cluster B, are violent, soulless criminals who can't change or be changed. Should we build camps and fire up the ovens?

a) Of the four types of personality disorder in the AXIS II Cluster B group, there is one, named AntiSocial Personality Disorder, abbreviated as ASPD or APD, from which the term Sociopath comes. Sociopath = "One who is affected with a personality disorder marked by antisocial behavior."

b) A psychopath = "A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse."

The traits of a sociopath, as listed in the DSM IV are:

"failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest

deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure

impulsivity or failure to plan ahead

irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults

reckless disregard for safety of self or others

consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain steady work or honor financial obligations

lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another"

A sociopath or a psychopath may or may not be violent. For example they may 'just' be pedophiles. Or they may 'just' rip people off of their life savings or run a business like Enron. Or have others do their killing for them.

An Axis II, Cluster B personality disorder cannot be cured. Some traits may be successfully treated. Behavio modification can be achieved. But a sustained true self and becoming healthily empathetic is not possible.

Sociopaths and psychopaths do not have healthy empathy.

Soulessness depends on whether you believe in a soul.

But sociopaths and psychopaths may be highly successful business people or military leaders, among other socially esteemed roles.

Knowing about sociopaths/psychoaths, their empathy-impairment and their potential for endangering others means that society can be forewarned and not become -or attempt not becoming- blindly victimised.

Knowing that unhealthy parenting is a large part of what goes into creating psychopaths and sociopaths, that may put a greater emphasis on the importance and social value of healthy, loving parenting.
posted by nickyskye at 5:10 PM on June 5, 2007


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