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Thread: Sociopathy

  1. #31
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by riva View Post
    Isn't it lack of empathy; which may be a biological issue or caused by external factors?
    Lack of affective empathy, but they have plenty of theory of mind empathy which is necessary for ongoing manipulation.

    Sociopathy is a personality disorder which is still under study. There are a list of traits you can look up online which have been gathered from analyzing prison populations. It includes everything from lack of empathy, to glib, superficial charm, high risk taking, the inability feel guilt, etc. These lists don't necessary describe the population of individuals skilled enough at their self-interest games to avoid prison.

    1. There may be damage in the amygdala and frontal cortex since some research has shown this.
    James Fallon, psychologist, pro-social sociopath
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?featur...&v=I12H7khht7o

    2. There is also psychological theory that describes the anti-social personality disorders occurring during the infant/toddler process of moving from a concept of only Self to that of Self and Other. When infants are left isolated, neglected, and harmed, then they get stuck at a very early psychological age emotionally, but with the added abstract reasoning of an adult. If you can imagine the two-year-old rebellion of "MINE, MINE" "NO!" throws toys, screams, pulled mother's hair and kicks, then add pure, reasoned analysis and the ability to analyze and predict behavior and outcomes in other individuals, then you know what it is like to interact with someone with a personality disorder. I will add that some individual are sophisticated enough in their harm to not hit and scream, but rather use manipulation and passive aggression to cause harm and achieve their goals. Those are the ones who aren't in prison.

    There is an entire category of these disorders that are based on extreme investment in Self with obliviousness to Others. These include sociopathy, narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and psychopathy (which is a term that hasn't been used as much recently from what I understand).

    These are the two theories of this condition: one based on nature, and the other nurture. I suspect there is a lot of reciprocation between the two.
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  2. #32
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    One added note: Western culture has certain individualistic ideals that overlap with these disorders. We see these behavioral traits in many of our political and corporate leaders, and even have some "philosophical" underpinning to explain why we value these traits (with such writers as Ayn Rand).

    This leads impressionable young people to see these behaviors as worth emulating, regardless of how irrational and destructive the outcomes. It is a kind of false "Objectivism", a false reasoning and logic that dismisses the negative consequences of valuing individual desire above all else. We exist within a system and to distort self will over all else is quite literally like a cancer cell reproducing itself indiscriminately within a biological system. That one distortion can lead to the death of the whole system. It is the same with the individual valuing self-interest above all else. Their presence functions in society like a cancer, and the ones with the most power are causing the same outcomes as a cancer.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)
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  3. #33
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fia
    It is a kind of false "Objectivism", a false reasoning and logic that dismisses the negative consequences of valuing individual desire above all else.
    I had an interesting discussion with relatives at my family reunion about viruses. It was brought to me attention that the likelihood of a virus developing that could wipe out all of mankind (as many fear) is unlikely. The reason is that a virus that is extremely effective at killing off its host a tendency not to spread. The most successful viruses are usually nonlethal, like the common cold. The fact that they exist as a mere nuisance, and not something that kills their host, allows it to spread to other host organisms.

    Humans aren't viruses, obviously (the theories of Agent Smith notwithstanding). But I think similar principles apply. Organisms are ultimately embedded in a system with other organisms, and often depend on maintaining the health of those other organisms to insure survival. Ultimately, pure self-interest is an unhealthy strategy for an individual organism to pursue. Ironically, it ends up being self-destructive, or at least cause self-harm. Individuals who follow this in the way it is traditionally understood often seem to have a desperation about them; it's as though they're constantly reaching for something that is always eluding their grasp. And for what? At the end of it all, they'll die just like the rest of us.

    That being said, I do believe that focusing on human communities as systems and neglecting the health of the individual components of that system is a mistake. I worry that some people have moved the pendulum too far in the other direction, and that worries me. It reflects a profound ignorance of history (in many ways, this was the primary theme of the 20th century), or a faith that humankind has "evolved" more than it actually has. There are healthy and unhealthy groups just like there are healthy and unhealthy individuals. I don't think the solution is as simple as just making things more communal.

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  4. #34
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    That being said, I do believe that focusing on human communities as systems and neglecting the health of the individual components of that system is a mistake. I worry that some people have moved the pendulum too far in the other direction, and that worries me. It reflects a profound ignorance of history (in many ways, this was the primary theme of the 20th century), or a faith that humankind has "evolved" more than it actually has. There are healthy and unhealthy groups just like there are healthy and unhealthy individuals. I don't think the solution is as simple as just making things more communal.
    It can certainly go too far in the other direction of subverting the individual to the group, and in the 20th century that happened politically in many contexts. Interestingly enough, that group tended to be beholden to an individual tyrant.

    I think the healthy balance has to do with enlightenment over control. You can't force everyone to have empathy or it becomes the opposite. Individual will is not subverted by becoming aware and concerned about the needs of others. The most reasoned position can see the actual relationship between self and other which places value on both.

    What contexts do you see the pendulum swinging too far this other direction now? There is a great deal of conformity, but to me it typically looks like groups are beholden to self-interested individuals in positions of power.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)
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  5. #35
    Senior Member TheCheeseBurgerKing's Avatar
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    @Luke O

    Dude a person's belief system is a formula for everything that they say and do. I figure you were just trying to be condescending, but if you honestly believe that a person beliefs have nothing to do with their actions, you're a total Hufflepuff.
    Last edited by Showbread; 06-03-2015 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Insult removal.

  6. #36
    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCheeseBurgerKing View Post
    @Luke O

    Dude a person's belief system is a formula for everything that they say and do. I figure you were just trying to be condescending, but if you honestly believe that a person beliefs have nothing to do with their actions, you're a total Hufflepuff.
    Not always.

    BTW I forgive you for the earlier stuff in this thread.

  7. #37
    Senior Member Opal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheCheeseBurgerKing View Post
    if you honestly believe that a person beliefs have nothing to do with their actions, you're a total Hufflepuff.
    @Showbread, what are you implying about Hufflepuff?
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  8. #38
    climb on Showbread's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Opal View Post
    @Showbread, what are you implying about Hufflepuff?
    That they have a lot of faith in people to be good regardless of their actions at times? Just kidding. I have nothing against Hufflepuffs. *gestures to avatar* It was just the first silly sounding word that came to mind.
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  9. #39
    Super Ape Luke O's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Showbread View Post
    That they have a lot of faith in people to be good regardless of their actions at times? Just kidding. I have nothing against Hufflepuffs. *gestures to avatar* It was just the first silly sounding word that came to mind.
    I'm not offended btw *secretly panics about being in the wrong house*

  10. #40
    Senior Member alcea rosea's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty6226 View Post
    I think sociopathy is kind of like a spectrum.
    I read from somewhere that sociopaths are the end of the spectrum and narcissistic is in the middle of the same spectrum. So, narcissistic is less "bad" than sociopath according to this interpretation.

    Sosiopathy can also be traced when scanning the brain
    , so it is physical thing in the brain also (orbital cortex). I think it also had to do with the brain chemistry.

    People with autism or aspergers can also be misjudged of being sociopaths if you only look for peculiar behavior in social setting or not responding to people's emotions or not understanding your behavior on other people. The difference there is that a narcissistic or sociopathic person quite probably understand but don't care and a person with austism/aspergers doesn't understand but is totally capable of caring.

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