Friday, April 18, 2014

The Psychopath Whisperer

One of the biggest differences is that psychopaths are way more common than people believe. About one in 150 people will meet the stringent clinical criteria for the disorder. That means hundreds of thousands of them are out and about in the population. The majority of them don’t commit violent crimes, but they lead this sort of disorganized, nomadic life, and they tend to eventually end up in some sort of trouble. Hollywood hasn’t done a good job of portraying the average psychopath. For the most part, they’ve taken the extreme view, with the Hannibal Lecters and more sensationalized people like that. It’s actually far more common and banal.

With psychopathy the main features are lack of empathy, guilt, and remorse — and impulsivity. Psychosis is a fragmentation of the mind where you have hallucinations and delusions. It’s a very different disorder. You almost never find someone who has psychotic delusions and even moderate levels of psychopathic traits

- Interview with Kent Kiehl, author of The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience  

In two decades Kent had only come across a handful of people who scored 40 out of 40 on the psychopathy checklist (30 is commonly used as the psychopath cutoff. Regular folks tend to score around 4 or 5).

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