10 Interesting Facts About Psychopaths
The first thing that comes to mind when we talk about Psychopaths is personality disorder. The dictionary defines a psychopath as a person with mental disorder, where he or she manifests antisocial behavior and the lack of ability to love or establish meaningful relationships. These are the individuals who do not have any empathy or remorse on the things they do. On a recent study conducted, it shows that psychopaths comprise one percent of the human race’s population. They live among us, we wouldn’t really know since they blend well with the rest. Their dynamic and peculiar behavior inspired scientists, psychologist and other group of researchers to further conduct studies on a psychopath’s lifestyle. Here are some of interesting facts and information that they have gathered:
10. Psychopaths do not recognise fear
We all know that a regular person, when frightened unleashes a certain reaction. This reaction may be in the form of screaming or shouting covers the eyes or have a distinct facial reaction (rising of the eyebrows or eyes wide open). These are general reactions if a person is afraid or frightened.
Psychopaths are different; they do not show any signs of fear. Not that they are not afraid or do not want to show they are afraid, but they do not recognize the presence of fear. This means that in any terrified situation their response maybe a confused reaction.
According to a study, the part a psychopath’s brain that controls the fear response is not functioning properly. This is the reason why Psychopaths cannot properly interpret an expression that is associated with being scared or frightened. Another interesting fact is that, though they do not understand fear, they know other emotions like sadness or being happy.
Lastly, since psychopaths have no idea on what fear is and how a normal person looks like when they are afraid, this makes them non reactive when they kill their victims.
9. Psychopaths need for Dopamine is high
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that stimulates the reward centers of our brain; this is the main reason why we fall in love, our craving to eat chocolates or even use drugs. A psychopath’s brain produces more dopamine than a normal person’s brain and it also overvalues neurotransmitter. This is the main reason why psychopaths do what they like to do at any cost, even if it means killing someone.
8. Psychopaths may have an empathy switch
It is a known fact that psychopaths do not show or know the concept of empathy. They consider or see human beings as their toy that they can use for their own amusement. In a study conducted in 2012, scientists observed how psychopathic criminals would react given different scenarios.
These psychopathic criminals were shown movie clips where victims’ bodies were dismembered and all gruesome acts were done to them. As the scientists observed these psychopaths they did not show any sense of excitement on what they were watching – to put it in simpler terms, the psychopaths were somehow not impressed on what they were watching.
On the other hand, when the scientists then asked the criminals to show understanding and empathy, things became more interesting. When the criminals saw another movie clip where a victim was being tortured the criminals reacted and showed that they were feeling what the victim was feeling at the time of torture. They were more compassionate and empathetic. This only shows that psychopaths can be rehabilitated and that if they were taught or educated on what should be the proper behavior, they can be saved. However, if these criminals remained unsupervised and not rehabilitated, they can become worst in time.
7. Psychopaths receive the worst or ultimate criminal sentences
One of the famous debates done in court hearings was if a Psychopathic Criminal be given longer years in jail or get a harsher punishment. Based on a study done in the University of Utah, the scientists presented a fictional character and an illusory case. The judges were told how gruesome the acts of killing were. The judges were told that the criminal was a psychopath, but not all were given a scientific explanation on what the disorder was.
The judges were then asked how they would sentence a criminal without any psychological disorder to which the judges replied about nine to 10 years. The researches then asked the judges how they would sentence a psychopathic criminal. All of the judges gave the fictional character more than ten years of imprisonment. This shows that the disorder did not matter from a defense or prosecution standpoint.
6. Businesses are filled with Psychopaths
Based on a research conducted by Kevin Dutton in 2012, there were certain professions where Psychopaths are most attracted or interested in. It was noted on the research that some psychopaths are doctors, lawyers or being in the police force. What is interesting to know is that the top job that psychopaths wanted to pursue in is being a CEO.
This was substantiated by a study conducted in 2010 by Paul Babiak where he interviewed soon to become top level executives using Robert Hare’s influential psychopathic checklist. The study of Babiak showed that out of 25 respondents, one was considered a full-fledged psychopath. This is some scary news, huh!
This explains the concept of psychopaths being a manipulative person. Psychopaths are considered horrible or appalling leaders. If they cannot use their charm to move up then they use brute force to go up their way.
5. Internet trolls are psychopaths
Psychologists from different Canadian Universities conducted a research and study about internet users. In their research they asked web users’ questions like, how many hours they spend in the internet, do they leave comments on videos they watch in social media channels, do they troll people in the internet and do they play as villains in an internet game. The outcome of the research was interestingly forbidding!
Based on the results, the researchers made a conclusion that internet trolls have exhibited the characteristics of Dark Tetrad. This is the meeting point of sadism, narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopath – these are all horrid or horrible personality traits. This means that a person with this type of personalities enjoy hurting other people, no signs of regret if they do bad things.
4. The Pro – Social Psychopath
Jason Fallon a well known neuroscientist is connected or related to several famous criminals. As he wanted to understand his seemingly odd family tree, he studied and analyzed the brain components of his relatives. The study came back as normal however it was his brain that has an off and disturbing activity.
Since he wanted to understand more, he studied his DNA tests and found out that he has a genetic psychopath’s line. Though the tests show that he is a true blue psychopath, Fallon describes himself as the pro – social psychopath or the behaved psychopath. He acts and behaves in accordance to the norms of the society. He is thankful that he grew up with a supportive and loving family with a positive environment. This shows that the disorder can be cured.
3. Psychopaths have a poor sense of smell
According to a research done in Macquarie University in Sydney, psychopaths have difficulty or have a poor sense of smell. This is because the lower level functions of a psychopath’s orbital cortices affects their sense of smell.
This was indeed a breakthrough in identifying and understanding a psychopath because psychopaths can influence a psychiatric or evaluation since they have the ability to intentionally provide inconsistent answers, but not with the smell test.
2. Presidents and psychopaths have a lot in common
In the efforts to gather further understanding about a psychopath’s behavior, psychologist conducted an interesting study, this time they were trying to determine if some of the US Presidents have psychopathic tendencies.
They used a book called Personality, Character and Leadership in the White House, which helped them analyze each president’s personality and behavior. The results showed that no president fits a psychopath’s behavior (at least not perfectly), but some showed a distinct and prominent Psychopathic trait named FD or Fearless Dominance. This trait means that they do not elope or escape from a dangerous situation and they lack fear.
The Fearless Dominance on a positive note can be a worthwhile trait especially if you are a leader; this only shows that there is a great possibility that psychopaths and great leaders may have interesting similarities.
1. Psychopaths have distinct speech patterns
With the power of analytics, scientists or researchers from Cornell University under the leadership of Jeffrey Hancock, they found out that psychopaths have distinctive speech patterns. Based on the results of the study, a psychopath’s train of thought has always been set to the past. This is because of the way they try to detach their selves from the crime they have committed.
The research noted down several patterns like how a psychopath stutters at times and tries to compose his trail of thought; they also make use verbal fillers such as “ahs and uhms,” which is more frequent from that of a non – psychopathic criminal. It was also evident that psychopaths use a cause and effect type of statements or sentences.
The next time someone talks to you and you have this gut feel that there is something wrong analyze the pattern, who knows you might have talked to a psychopath.