Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Psychopath Inside by James Fallon

You have to wonder about what motivates some of the early contestants you see on American Idol or other game shows who have no talent, then become borderline violent or abusive when they are told to leave.  And what about televangelists, politicians, and the CEOs of investment banks? THE PSYCHOPATH TEST and the newer THE NARCISSIST NEXT DOOR are perfect companions to THE SOCIOPATH NEXT DOOR, which has the premise that one in 25 among us have serious social disorders in which they could blow you away and then walk away to sleep like a baby. (Much like Tony Soprano.) Not that they would, just that they could, given the right set of circumstances. The symptoms of psychopathy include: lack of a conscience or sense of guilt, lack of empathy, egocentricity, pathological lying, repeated violations of social norms, disregard for the law, shallow emotions, and a history of victimizing others. The symptoms of a sociopath? Harder to detect, but a lack of empathy is disguised by charm. They know what buttons to push, what to say, what to do to win against you. If caught after an atrocity, they will sit in court unfazed by the proceedings, unrepentant and unremorseful. While people scream "why?" they will think "why not?"  Also listen to THE PSYCHOPATH INSIDE by James Fallon, subtitled "A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain, read by Walter Dixon.

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