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View Poll Results: Would you choose to be a psychopath? l

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  • Yes

    6 18.75%
  • No

    26 81.25%
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  1. #121
    royal member Rasofy's Avatar
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    I'm quite sure that by becoming a sociopath I would automatically increase my chances of ending up in jail, so no.

    Having a 'conscience' is an effective tool to prevent us from acting out to satisfy immediate desires. Sociopaths still feel anger, and without a developed superego they have much less control over it.
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  2. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post

    Psychopaths have no problem with theory of mind - which is what makes them such successful manipulators. If they did not have this cognitive aspect of empathy, they would not be able to charm and ingratiate. They are the definition of Machiavellian. Where they have a deficit is in pairing that cognition with what we regard as appropriate affect - concern for the other person or even themselves. They are therefore able to be both fearless and merciless. Even if they understand that they will be punished for something, a feature of the condition is that they are unable to learn to fear punishment - that other "brake" on reckless behaviour. This actually constitutes a learning disability. Evolution gave us emotion for a reason. It's useful. As already mentioned, the amygdala controls fear response and tends to be damaged in the sociopath (along with other brain regions collectively termed "the empathy circuit"). A feature of autism is excessive fearfulness and anxiety, (for example, around change of routine/novelty) which also indicates a role for the amygdala, but again implies over-sensitivity rather than under-sensitivity .
    After reading this, I'm reconsidering my position.

  3. #123
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Psychopathic criminals have empathy switch

    Not sure if anyone has posted this, since it is recent.

    A psychopath's empathy, by default, is "turned off"

    The study did a brain scan of criminals, and found that the ones who didn't feel anything for others misfortunes were able to feel something when asked to feel something.

    Psychopaths can turn on their empathy at will when asked, but whether it is empathy or not is debatable.

    I don't know how you guys are willing to define the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath though.

  4. #124
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Apparently the most dependable way to detect a sociopath is to monitor their stress responses (heart rate, perspiration, etc..) inflict pain on them in some manner (electric shock was the standard), then tell them you will do the same thing again but worse on the count of 10. Do the count and inflict the pain on them even worse as promised. If at no point in between did they show signs of increased stress, there's a strong chance you have a sociopath.
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  5. #125
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    Apparently the most dependable way to detect a sociopath is to monitor their stress responses (heart rate, perspiration, etc..) inflict pain on them in some manner (electric shock was the standard), then tell them you will do the same thing again but worse on the count of 10. Do the count and inflict the pain on them even worse as promised. If at no point in between did they show signs of increased stress, there's a strong chance you have a sociopath.
    I can confirm that the results of this study have been well documented, it also reinforces additional findings that psychopaths often experience a decreased stress-level when entering dangerous situations. For example, psychopathic firefighters experience this when racing into a burning building as do bomb-squad members when disarming an explosive device.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  6. #126
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SolitaryWalker View Post
    I can confirm that the results of this study have been well documented, it also reinforces additional findings that psychopaths often experience a decreased stress-level when entering dangerous situations. For example, psychopathic firefighters experience this when racing into a burning building as do bomb-squad members when disarming an explosive device.
    I wonder -

    I remember I would visit the psychiatric unit of Prince Henry Hospital. And when I entered the unit and sat and talked with the psychiatric patients, I become uber calm.

    Not everyone had the same response. My sister became distressed and vomited afterwards.

    The psychiatric unit was a high stress unit with patients suffering from florid psychoses. And yet it was the most peaceful place for me.

  7. #127
    Analytical Dreamer Coriolis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    You think?
    The woman is utterly delusional. She states that she is "generally free from irrational emotions" right after describing a "megalomaniacal fantasy" in which she strangles a jobsworth. The extent of her murderous rage is utterly irrational. In fact, she is ensnared by irrational emotions - all the more so because of her lack of self-insight. Lack of self-awareness/self-knowledge is a side effect of empathy deficit. We come to understand ourselves by coming to understand others, not the other way around. So she is not just interpersonally impaired, but intrapersonally impaired. Stalking the guy through the mall only to impotently decide to do nothing at all is kinda lame. In what way is that perfect, to you? What did she actually accomplish?
    She definitely has irrational something going on - I'm not sure it's emotions. What I meant by the escalator incident is how she is totally unfazed by the security person, criticising her for something petty and inconsequential. Those people are often on power trips. which are fed by the reflexive deference and even fear of ordinary folks. This woman's attitude of "this is not important and I am not about to be bothered by it" would serve the rest of us well in many cases.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    As for how successful she is, yes, sociopaths can do well, especially in Law (it's easier to float to the top in certain professions if you untether yourself from any kind of moral constraints - you're still only on top of a pile of shit), but they are consummate liars. We can't take anything this woman says on faith. And from the situations she cites as "successes", she presents quite a pathetic figure, in my view. They are broken people, more pitiable than enviable.
    Well, church involvements aside, I consider this woman's accomplishments quite admirable. Her methods, obviously, are more controversial. I find myself identifying with much but not all of the perspectives she shares, which is why I am not a psychopath, just someone who might share some of their qualities. The big difference is that I do have a conscience, and deliberately cause harm to others only for a very good reason. (Some find even this morally objectionable, which all comes down to values.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    There are two dimensions to psychopathy, as measured by the PPI: fearless-dominance and impulsive-antisociality. It is the latter dimension that is linked to sadism/cruelty and criminality. Psychopaths who manage to stay out of the criminal justice system are likely lower on this dimension.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2819310/
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...8/#!po=83.3333

    http://www.sltinfo.com/autism-and-theory-of-mind.html
    Autists (paradoxically, given the derivation of the word) also have a defective sense of self. They are unable to properly distinguish between self and other. This probably exacerbates the problem, because to be able to offer assistance (empathic response) one must be able to effectively suppress one's own distress.

    Psychopaths have no problem with theory of mind - which is what makes them such successful manipulators. If they did not have this cognitive aspect of empathy, they would not be able to charm and ingratiate. They are the definition of Machiavellian. Where they have a deficit is in pairing that cognition with what we regard as appropriate affect - concern for the other person or even themselves.
    The first one seems rather inconclusive, with psychopaths' reactions similar to those of the control in some respects, and showing unexpected sensitivity to pain situations in others, contradicting earlier studies. In any case, the sample size is very small. The abstract conclusion "These preliminary findings suggest that youth with aggressive CD exhibit an atypical pattern of neural response to viewing others in pain that should be explored in further studies." about sums it up. The ability to map brain functions through fMRI should lead to more studies like this, and hopefully more understanding of the underlying physiology.

    The second article is interesting in linking hyperactivity of the dopamine reward system with the psychopathic quality of impulsive, risk-taking behavior. This contradicts, however, the stereotype of a psychopath carefully plotting whatever action he/she is going to take, with great patience and control (like the woman setting up the romantic trio). Is the stereotype wrong, or just applicable to a small set of psychopaths, perhaps those with "high IQ"?

    The one on autism was especially interesting, and suggests my estimation of empathy was backwards, with affective empathy being stronger than cognitive. I know only one autistic person and see her only infrequently, so I'm not surprised I had it wrong. The doll test is clever. I would not have considered autistic people and psychopaths to be similar, though, with that ability to manipulate being a significant discriminator.

    Quote Originally Posted by Salomé View Post
    I don't see how anyone can describe a psychopath's life as fulfilling. The condition entails blunted affect which necessarily entails a blunted feeling of fulfilment, even if their relationship issues did not.
    Interesting. Something drives psychopaths to do what they do, though. Even the woman in the article you linked. She got something out of stalking the man in the mall, or setting up the romantic trio, otherwise she would not have put the effort into it. What was that?
    I've been called a criminal, a terrorist, and a threat to the known universe. But everything you were told is a lie. The truth is, they've taken our freedom, our home, and our future. The time has come for all humanity to take a stand...

  8. #128
    Wake, See, Sing, Dance Cellmold's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post

    And we only have to read the posts on Central to see that good emotions are suppressed.
    I know, this post is suppressing my good emotions right now.
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  9. #129
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mole View Post
    I wonder -

    I remember I would visit the psychiatric unit of Prince Henry Hospital. And when I entered the unit and sat and talked with the psychiatric patients, I become uber calm.

    Not everyone had the same response. My sister became distressed and vomited afterwards.

    The psychiatric unit was a high stress unit with patients suffering from florid psychoses. And yet it was the most peaceful place for me.
    Perhaps you felt a sense of belonging?
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

  10. #130
    meh Salomé's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rail Tracer View Post
    Psychopathic criminals have empathy switch

    Not sure if anyone has posted this, since it is recent.

    A psychopath's empathy, by default, is "turned off"

    The study did a brain scan of criminals, and found that the ones who didn't feel anything for others misfortunes were able to feel something when asked to feel something.

    Psychopaths can turn on their empathy at will when asked, but whether it is empathy or not is debatable.
    That's interesting, though:
    "It's dangerous to look at brain activation and say that it means they're empathising. They are able to generate a typical neural response, but that doesn't mean they have the same empathetic experience," Prof Viding told BBC News.

    "We know they can generate the same response but they do that in an active and effortful way. Under free-viewing conditions they don't seem to. Just because they can emphasise, doesn't mean they will.
    I would say empathy is only effective because it's involuntary.
    Why would anyone *choose* to suffer someone else's pain (while it's happening)? We are programmed to avoid pain. That's how empathy works. By avoiding the pain caused within ourselves when we hurt someone else, we learn as young animals how to behave in pro-social ways.

    It also leads to questions about the "brain damage" associated with psychopathy. Cause? Or effect? Although the isolation of genetic markers indicates that one is born with this propensity, the brain also atrophies through lack of use.

    We also know how easy it is to become desensitised to pain through experience.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ivy View Post
    Gosh, the world looks so small from up here on my high horse of menstruation.

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