Psychopathy - the mask of sanity that psychopaths wear

Normal and abnormal

The term "psychopath" is frequently used in the popular press and even by professionals in the field of psychology. The term is very often used for sensational purposes, in the sense of the definition given by the Concise Oxford English Dictionary of a psychopath: "a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behaviour."

A.C. Grayling (in his 2001 book The Reason of Things) reminds us to be careful of such statement: "We have been taught (by Laing, Foucault and others) to be suspicious even of our best medical judgements about what is "normal" in the realm of mind, and we know that madness is not one thing but many."

The power that the image of the psychopath has over the popular imagination is captured well by Daniel Goleman in his great book Emotional Intelligence (Bloomsbury,1996), where he writes: "The cruelest of criminals, such as sadistic serial killers who delight in the suffering of their victims before they die, are the epitome of psychopathy."

Despite the power of the term to inflict fear and horror on people, it is not an uncontested concept and indeed, no longer even appears as a diagnosis in the DSM-III, the handbook of mental disorders published by the American Psychological Association (APA).

In the World Health Organisation's ICD-10 terms what was formerly known as psychopathy Dissocial (Antisocial) Personality Disorder.

However, many researchers disagree with these actions, most notably Robert D. Hare, whose Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is still widely used in the field.

The common image of a psychopath might be quite wrong. Image from http://www.pharmas.co.uk/blog/identifying-psychopaths-at-an-early-age
The common image of a psychopath might be quite wrong. Image from http://www.pharmas.co.uk/blog/identifying-psychopaths-at-an-early-age

Definitions and controversies

The term "psychopathy" was used until 1980 "for a personality disorder characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy combined with strongly amoral conduct but masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal." (Wikipedia article on Psychopathy accessed on 1 February 2011).

The tendency these days is to separate sociopathy from psychopathy, and to call those who lack empathy sociopaths.

The distinction between the two terms also seems to hinge on the origin of the psychopatholgy. Psychopathy seems to have a physiological basis while sociopathy seems to have more of an environmental basis.

The impllication of this is that psychopaths are usually born, not made, while sociopaths are made not born.

This would answer the question asked by Weblog about how to become a psychopath - one cannot become a psychopath, one is born that way.

Who's looney now? The problems of definition

Non teneas aururn totum quod splendet ut aururn (Do not hold as gold all that shines as gold)

In his seminal work on psychopathy, The Mask of Sanity (1941), Hervey M. Cleckley illustrated the difficulty of defining madness with this story:

A millionaire notable for his eccentricity had an older and better balanced brother who, on numerous fitting occasions, exercised strong persuasion to bring him under psychiatric care. On receiving word that this wiser brother had been deserted immediately after the nuptial night by a famous lady of the theatre (on whom he had just settled a large fortune) and that the bride, furthermore, had, during the brief pseudoconnubial episode, remained stubbornly encased in tights, the younger hastened to dispatch this succinct and unanswerable telegram: WHO'S LOONEY NOW?

The problem for society, and for the families of people displaying the behaviour often labelled "psychopathic" is that they are often able to function at quite high levels of competence.

There are warning signs, however, and various tests for a physician or psychologist to use to determining the presence or absence of the pathology in the client/patient.


Diagnostic signs

The tool most used by researchers into the syndrome is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - revised (PCL-R) in which uses two major factors and two minor traits. Each major factor is in turn broken down into other indicators. The following are the factors of the LCL-R (it is important to note that the presence of one or more of these indicators does not necessarily indicate that the person exhibiting them is a psychopath - a qualified person would have to assess a person to establish the presence or absence of psychopathy):
Factor 1 Aggressive narcissism

  1. Glibness/superficial charm

  2. Grandiose sense of self-worth

  3. Pathological lying

  4. Cunning/manipulative

  5. Lack of remorse or guilt

  6. Emotionally shallow

  7. Callous/lack of empathy

  8. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 2 Socially deviant lifestyle

  1. Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

  2. Parasitic lifestyle

  3. Poor behavioral control

  4. Promiscuous sexual behavior

  5. Lack of realistic, long-term goals

  6. Impulsiveness

  7. Irresponsibility

  8. Juvenile delinquency

  9. Early behavioral problems

  10. Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

  1. Many short-term marital relationships

  2. Criminal versatility

It would appear from research that psychopaths do not, contrary to the popular imagination, have an abnormal propensity to commit sexually-oriented murders.

Dr Robert Hare, the researcher who devised the PCL-R, has spent his whole professional life studying people labelled "psychopath" and has concluded that around 1% of the popoulation is clinically psychopathic, though only a small proportion of them actually become criminal. The vast majority of them naver commit any crime, and walk among us undetected.

Nevertheless they can, although not criminal, cause a great deal of hurt and psychological damage.

In his book Without Conscience (Simon and Schuster, 1993) Hare wrote:"Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised."

The Columbine killers on Time Magazine cover. One was a psychopath, the other not. Can you tell which one?
The Columbine killers on Time Magazine cover. One was a psychopath, the other not. Can you tell which one?

He stood a stranger in this breathing world: Psychopaths all around us

There was in him a vital scorn of all:
As if the worst had fall'n which could befall,
He stood a stranger in this breathing world,
An erring spirit from another hurled;
A thing of dark imaginings, that shaped
By choice the perils he by chance escaped;

- from "Lara" by Lord Byron.

There is in the popular imagination a horror, not unfounded, of the psychopath. The psychopath seems to lack understanding of others, indeed has a "vital scorn of all", which leads to unmentionable, unimaginable crimes.

The other source of the horror is that there appears to be no remedy, no rehabilitation possible for such people.

They feel no remorse, feel no empathy, and therefor thee is no logic to appealing to their "better natures" - they don't appear to have "better natures". No amount of talk therapy will ever bring them around - indeed, it seems only to make the condition worse as they learn to manipulate and confound their therapists.

When asked if there would ever be a cure for psychopathy, said:"The psychopath will say 'A cure for what?' I don't feel comfortable calling it a disease. Much of their behaviour, even the neurobiological patterns we observe, could be because they're using different strategies to get around the world. These strategies don't have to involve faulty wiring, just different wiring."

Perhaps the most scary thing about a psychopath is that he or she goes among us wearing "The Mask of Sanity."


Copyright Notice

The text and all images on this page, unless otherwise indicated, are by Tony McGregor who hereby asserts his copyright on the material. Should you wish to use any of the text or images feel free to do so with proper attribution and, if possible, a link back to this page. Thank you.

© Tony McGregor 2011

More by this Author


Comments 69 comments

Mentalist acer profile image

Mentalist acer 5 years ago from A Voice in your Mind!

I've come across a notable amount of psycopathic traits in drug dealers in my past,often mixed with paranoia,which may be a hidden trait of psycopathy,almost as a quiet and partial driving force of the psycopath.;)


Mr. Happy profile image

Mr. Happy 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

I think I would quicker trust a palm reader than a psychiatrist. There is no cure for mental diseases as they call them. Thus, they just pump people with drugs until you can't even twitch anymore.

Psychiatrists are scum, just like most other doctors! They make money off people's health. Why would they want to cure anyone - they'd be out of a job ... (just my opinion.)


Robwrite profile image

Robwrite 5 years ago from Bay Ridge Brooklyn NY

Very interesting Hub. I read the book "Emotional Intelligence" and found it fascinating. Being a highly empathic person, I find it hard to understand anyone who lacks any feelings of compassion or guilt.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Nice hub, Tony. This is an area where labels substitute for understanding, so any discussion that sows seeds of doubt is a useful contribution.


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

When it comes to labeling someone as "normal" or not, I think that whatever is reality to them is normality. Two people will think two different things, but neither one is "normal", the two thoughts are simply different.

Why do we label people? For some sort of reference point? It's a habit we should be able to break, but I doubt that the habit will change any time soon.

Good hub, though!


lightning john profile image

lightning john 5 years ago from Florida

Hi Tony, great writing!

For my comment here I must be very meticulous. I think that persons that harm others for their own pleasure certainly fit the label here. Especially when they think that the abuse is benefitial to the victim.

I have actually met a woman, that when in a confidential discussion, admitted to me that she felt her having sex with young girls of age 10 or 12 years of age, would actually help them to grow into strong young ladies.

Lj


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

Very interesting and informative - thanks + a very good read, too.

Other than what you've written, one of the more clever things said about sanity was by Colin Wilson in one of his earlier, more thoughtful books; he said something to the effect that sanity was merely the ability to persuade others that you were. I should add that I'm finding it increasing difficult to pull off.

As ever,

Sem


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Bryan - indeed you have a point there. Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Mr Happy - well indeed, that's your opinion. I have been helped through some pretty difficult times by medical doctors and psychologists, so my opinion of them is not quite like yours.

At the same time I have to say that the medical industry is often as ruthless, exploitative and unconcerned about human well-being as any other that is dominated by the profit motive, which is why a degree of state intervention in the provision of health care is important. The profit motive and care do not belong in the same sentence.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Rob - it is difficult to understand. Goleman's book was a great read and I often refer back to it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Dave - thanks for the comment. I agree with you completely - labels are often employed to avoid the work of understanding. We tend to stick a label on a person and then interact with the label instead of with the person. So sad, really.

Glad you liked the Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

We have two political parties in America. The republican party is ruled by psychopaths. The democratic party is ruled by sociopaths. The highest office must be held by a psychopath or sociopath born within the borders of the United States of America.


Baileybear 5 years ago

So which one of the teens on the Time magazine cover was a psychopath? The one on the right doesn't look sincere with his smile, but otherwise, they both look 'normal.'

I've met some weird people over the years, including some narcissists, I think. One was definitely a psychopath - was very creepy. He murdered his wife & neighbour, raped their corpses & buried them under the house. Had no remorse


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Micky Dee, you have a point there, LOL!


amillar profile image

amillar 5 years ago from Scotland, UK

Hi Tony,

I wondered while I was reading this if sociopaths or psychopaths mellow, and become more empathetic as they age and mature - as most of us do. However, we shouldn’t judge; take people as we find them, and speak softly and carry a big stick.

I enjoyed reading BTW - another gem.


Ingenira profile image

Ingenira 5 years ago

The sad thing I have read here is : there is no cure for psychopath. Nevertheless, another interesting article, Tony. I've learnt a few important things here.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I think there is validity in "labeling" as it refers to medical conditions. Even our court systems rely on medical diagnosis, paricularly in the mental health realm, in determining it's viability in causative factors relating to pleas and circumstances and in the sentencing to jail or a mental institution for the guilty. Labels are necessary to protect the public from crimes, such as pedophilia. Our system includes a sexual offender registry that includes the address of the convicted with stipulations regarding proximities to schools. I give no creedance to the casual label from the general public, as in, "He/she is psycho!" Thank you, Tony, for an interesting, intellectual read on a complicated issue.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

An interesting, informative hub, Tony. Having taught for so many years, I am sure I must have had a few psychopaths in my classes, but I tried not to label. The only times I called out for help, though, were with "Andrew" and a guy who almost hit me in the face.

Thank you, btw, for sending me the title of the movie "Gifted Hands." I added a link to YouTube, and I ordered it from Netflix.


Earth Angel profile image

Earth Angel 5 years ago

GREAT Hub Tony!

Sooooooooooooo glad you shared this enlightened perspective! Thank you!

I agree; there are many people who wear the 'mask of sanity!' It is easy to do in a society that cherishs individuality and being unique! I cherish those qualities as well so I had to become more astute at some of their underlying motivations!

I call it the "false wall of integrity!" People who have gone to elaborate lengths to give a false impression to others of who they really are!

I am dealing with two separate situations in business right now where each person is definitely Aggressively Narcissitic! There is no reasoning with either of them; in the face of solid evidence of their illegal behavior - and having admitted to the severe damage they have caused - it doesn't matter at all to either of them!

It's the oddest situation to be in - trying to communicate with rationale and logic to people whose brains are wired so differently! It's like living in two separate Universes!

Thanks again for the sanity-reminder! I wouldn't trade my brain for theirs in a million years!

Blessings to you and yours! EarthAngel!


MartieCoetser profile image

MartieCoetser 5 years ago from South Africa

Thanks for an alarming, thought-provoking, well researched and informative hub. If I have not met a psychopath in person, I would not have understood this hub of yours by heart. I wonder if conn-artists are psychopaths or sociopaths. I would say they are perhaps both... or where do one draw the line? Unfortunately we will never be able to identify them on sight. We’ve got to live with them, evaluate their actions and activities to eventually realize what/who they really are. Thanks, Tony! May this hub of yours be a guideline for many.


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

I like how you bring up the fact that it is not a disease. I think we are much too fast to label inappropriate behaviors as stemming from such which creates a certain level of detachment or lack of ownership for the individual exhibiting said behavior.

I found this hub to be most interesting, full of good information and well done. Thank you!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

How frightening this is. Even 1% in six billion people on this planet equates to sixty million people without any conscience!!!

It would be nice to hear more about 'the brief pseudoconnubial episode' though ... ;-)


Storytellersrus profile image

Storytellersrus 5 years ago from Stepping past clutter

What does one call a person who over empathizes with others? Perhaps it is obvious but I cannot think what. Is such a person abnormal, too? Just wondered.

Is there nothing to be done once a person is recognized as a psychopath, possibly harmful to others? Could nothing have been done with Harris?

"Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised."

Having read this, I wonder; is there no opportunity to change the direction of this choice? Were his parents completely helpless? I live in Colorado where Columbine occurred. I continue to wonder. I suppose I always will. It was a horrific time.

Thanks for another fascinating hub, tonymac. (How did you pick this topic, anyway? I am always curious.)

Hugs.


GarnetBird profile image

GarnetBird 5 years ago from Northern California

Very informative and well-researched Hub-!


stars439 profile image

stars439 5 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

Very interesting material. When I was a deputy I saw two young men in a maximum security cell. It was hard for me to wrap my mind around the crimes they committed because they were so awful. I thank God I have a conscience because those two men did not. They were convicted and sentenced to life behind bars without parole. God Bless You.


lionel1 profile image

lionel1 5 years ago

I really enjoy your hubs they are so educational and interesting to read. Thank you very much.


viking305 profile image

viking305 5 years ago from Ireland

This hub on psychopaths was a fascinating read. Yes indeed what is normal. If you had 100 insane people left on the earth with another 10 sane people then the insane people would be classed as normal the way our society works.

I am not normal according to society’s rules. I do not think and act like the majority of people in the world.

I am different I have Aspergers Syndrome. The doctors say I am emotionally challenged because I do not act normal. I am very happy to be different and have AS. It is who I am.

Great hub


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Lela - thanks for stopping by. I agree that labelling is a habit which very often we develop so we don't have to deal with the person behind the label.

Of course it is also a necessary tool sometimes - we need to be able to categorise in order to generalise, though I think we should always be very alert to the dangers involved in doing so.

Thanks again for the comment.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

John - thanks for stopping by and I agree with you. That woman's comment is the very opposite of empathy and caring.

Thanks again for the comment.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Sem - thanks for a great comment. I love the Colin Wilson quote - do have the reference?

Thanks again

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Micky my Brotherman! Thanks so much for that very interesting comment. I agree with Austinstar - you have a good point there!

Thanks for dropping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Bailey - yes, they both look "normal" and that is partly the point. A psychopath not only looks normal but is in almost every respect "normal". The guy on the left is Dylan Klebold and the one on the right is Eric Harris. The non-psychopathic one is depressive. Which one looks depressed?

There is definitely a link between extreme narcissism and psychopathy, as in one of the indicators called by Hare "Grandiose sense of self-worth". Psychopaths want their actions to be the "best", "greatest" etc.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Wow this was very interesting and scary. Sometimes i wonder if i might know some of these people, Strange behavior to say the least. Thank you Tony. Great hub.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Amillar - I doubt that psychpaths would mellow as it seems their condition is physiological. It is a disconnect between parts of the brain whjich causes their lack of empathy. Their brains are just wired differently from the brains of the majority of us. Sociopathy, it seems on the other hand, is developed through other factors and therefore potentially could be "cured" and there could be some hope that they would "mellow" as you say.

I agree that we should not judge and should take people as they are. The vast majority of both psychopaths and sociopaths (and some researchers say there is really no difference) never do anything to cause them to be singled out so we never can know who they are.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Ingenira - thanks for stopping by and for the kind words. I appreciate it very much.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Amy - I agree that some labelling is both valid and necessary. The issue is as you say, that the public very often uses labels unnecessarily and to bad effect. Even some "experts" are guilty of doing so. There needs to be a very healthy scepticism around label, which is difficult to foster since labels often make thinking unnecessary!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment, I apprecite it.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Mysterylady - thanks for the visit and the comment. I remember reading about "Andrew". It is a shocking story.

Glad you found this Hub useful.

Love and peace,

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Earth Angel - thank you so much for such an interesting comment. Those two people you mention sound like more than a handful to deal with, indeed! So glad you found my Hub useful.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Martie - so goed om van jou weer to hoor! Dankie baie vir die besoek.

It was an interesting assignment to write this one, I must say.

Thanks for the comment, I appreciate it.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Poetvix - thanks for the very kind words which I truly appreciate. I think we often are too quicxk to label, indeed.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Dimitris - that would be nice, now, wouldn't it? Unfortunately that is all of the story that I have found! The numbers are truly scary, though I suppose we an always find numbers to scare ourselves with! The think is the vast majority of these people never act out the morvioloent feelings they might have, so we never get to know them.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Barbara - thanks for the thoughtful comment and sorry I'm responding so late! As for those who over-empathise, it is similar to what is termed "emotional contagion" and is not "abnormal". It becomes a problem when the person showing the empathy is not being genuine about it, or is play acting empathy.

Like many psychological factors empathy can be faked and then it tends to be destgructive. Saying "I feel your pain" when you clearly can't or don't is not genuine empathy. I think though it should not be considered "abnormal" - just not very helpful.

Changing the choices that are made by psychopaths is not simple - they have many excellent rationales for doing what they are doing and the logic they use is seemingly hard-wired into the brain. In the Columbine case Klebold might have been helped by caring and supportive therapy, but Harris probably not. The thing is to try to pick up the cues early and then try to channel the person's activities - not easy to do. But talk therapy will definitely not help. It is a depressing scenario, no doubt about that. Sorry not to be able to give a more positive answer. Perhaps a deeper reading of Hare's literature might provide some clues.

As for how I chose this subject - I answered a question asked by a fellow-hubber, Weblog.

Hugs to you, my dear friend!

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Garnet - thanks for stopping by. Appreciate your comment very much.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Stars - such men must hav been frightening and disconcerting. Thanks for the interesting comment.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Lionel - thanks for stopping by and leaving such a cool comment.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Viking - thanks for the interesting comment. Indeed the question of what constitutes normality is very pertinent.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Ruby - it is scary indeed. I'm sure we all know people who technically are psychopathic. Of course there are degrees of it too.

Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


Aladin*Sane 5 years ago

This is a lovely piece of writing, i do like to read on thing such as this.

although i do not think that a normal person can be branded a psychopath because i only believe that unless you have a patterned illness such as a serious disorder like bipolar or maybe even schizophrenia, but you could just mean a general pscho not a clinically insane person. The mind is a wonderful thing and its full of depth and can do miraculous things but we are to quick to bannish what is new or weird and brand it wrong and try to make a new name for it and put it in a box and call it insane. just my opinion sorry for babbling.

Great hub though, it was really interesting i even read it twice, i will be reading others of yours.

Laura


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Thanks for that wonderful comment, Laura. I really appreciate it very much. The mind is indeed a marvel!

Love and peace

Tony


Baileybear 5 years ago

I heard a radio clip by an expert in pyschopaths - they said pyschopaths are created - it's a mix of nature and nurture. Their in-born temperament can either make them a brilliant businessman or a hardened criminal, and their early environment helps determine whether they fail to ever take responsibility. We knew a kid with an evil glint in his eye, and he loved doing mean things - his mother let him get away with the most awful things. A psychopath in the making, in my opinion. She refused to do anything about her child or help him see what he was doing was wrong. I told her therefore he was not playing anymore with my child, as he kept deliberately hurting him.


Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

Wesman Todd Shaw 5 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

Always an interesting subject!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Bailey - there is little scientific consensus on this. It seems from what I've read that the sociopath has more environmental influence and the psychopath is more physiological. This is why in the DSM-IV the two conditions are subsumed under "Antisocial Personality Disorder" and the WHO calls it "Dissocial (Antisocial) Personality Disorder". Hare on the other hand strongly supports the concept of psychopathy with a physiological origin.

According to one study psychopaths (at least those who score highly on the PCL-R) "appear to have significantly reduced microstructural integrity in their uncinate fasciculus" which connects the amygdala to the orbitofrontal cortex. This seems to lead to an inability to recognise or act on learning and also affects negatively the ability to empathise.

I guess I followed the Hare model in this Hub.

The child you refer to is possibly, in these terms, a sociopath in the making, unless he already has the abnormality in the connection between his amygdala and orbitofrontal cortex.

Hope this helps and thanks for coming back again with such an interesting comment.

Love and peace

Tony


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 5 years ago from Texas

I think your article makes some good points on the subject such as the behavior of the psycopath appearing realtively normal until they act on their mindset. Ted Bundy must have certainly come across as rather normal to the women he killed...at least in the beginning. There are those like Charles Manson who can almost convince you that they are rationale in their thinking if you listen to them long enough. The alarming part is to know that a percentage of the population has all the traits in place yet never cross the line criminally. It is like they have fantasies and never act on them or are the triggers that would prompt them to act out never pulled? Thanks for sharing a quite interesting subject. WB


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Wesman - thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you found it interesting.

Love and peace

Tony


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Wayne - thanks for stopping by and leaving such an interesting comment. I really appreciate it.

The diagnosis of Manson is as far as I can tell quite problematic. There is a tendency to call any brutal killer a "psychopath" but this can be quite misleading.

It is also important to note that there are both legal and psychological definitions of psychopathy which can be different.

Thanks again for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

This was so interesting and informative. WOW....


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Mrs. J.B. - thanks for stopping by and I'm glad you enjoyed the read.

Love and peace

Tony


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

...well this is why there is only one TONY MAC and why you have 15 million followers - you put so much effort into all of your hubs and I for one always appreciate you for doing so!

And a hub like this one in particular gives the epigramman lots of splendid ideas - lol lol lol - because he really loves this kind of stuff (in his own work too - poetically speaking of course - lol lol) - and I know it's a cliché and people use this saying a lot - but when it comes to you my friend - "TONY MAC - you're da man!!!!!!"


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

15 million followers my epigrammatic friend?! Wowow, if only! I'd be on the next plane to wherever you are to pay a friendly call!

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a cool comment - it is very, very much appreciated.

Love and peace

Tony


toknowinfo profile image

toknowinfo 5 years ago

Hi Tonymac,

Excellent hub. You put together an informative and interesting article on a topic that needs to be explored more. The biggest problem, with sociopaths/psychopaths, is that they don't respond to psychological treatment, so they can't really be helped. And because, as you said, they wear the "mask of sanity", most people don't know who they are dealing with until they are more involved with them. They also range on a scale from severe to mild in their psychological deviation. This really is a problem in our society with no answers and no warning or protection for those who wind up close to them. Thanks for doing a great job on writing about this subject. Rated up and useful.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

TKI - thanks for stopping by and leaving such a great comment. Your comment is spot on.

Thanks for adding significantly to this Hub.

Love and peace

Tony


cheaptoys profile image

cheaptoys 5 years ago

this hub is scary..not for kids!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Cheaptoys - indeed not! Thanks for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


kimh039 profile image

kimh039 5 years ago

Interesting hub, tony. I worked in a correctional setting where we assessed all the felony offenders on a psychopathy scale before and after treatment. Treatment was aimed at increasing responsible thinking patterns and reducing antisocial behaviors. While some risk factors in the assessment were static and couldn't be changed, such as a childhood trauma, others could be changed. That's what we targeted.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Kim - thanks for stpping by and making an interesting contribution to the debate. Much appreciated.

Love and peace

Tony


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 5 years ago from Great Britain

Absolutely fascinating, but l need to read lt again (It´s my age, you know)

God Bless, Tony.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa Author

Dim - thanks for the read. Your age? I'm sure it's more my writing!

Thanks again for stopping by.

Love and peace

Tony


someonewhoknows profile image

someonewhoknows 5 years ago from south and west of canada,north of ohio

Hi,Tony

Very Interesting and useful subject matter for a Hub.

I'm thinking that reverse speech may be a useful tool in working with unstable personality traits.

In fact,I did a speech reversal on an Inmate from a public radio broadcast about an Inmate was found guilty of causing the death of a young girl who he was baby sitting.The girls mother was in the medical profession as a nurse and she apparently was not happy being a mother.In fact she was found to be a very poor mother.In anycase the little girl was said to have had a rare health problem where brusing occurred very easily which could be mistaken for physical abuse.Blood was found in her vagina.In this radio program they said that this bleeding could be caused by a rare medical condition. So,without reading the sutopsy medical examminer's report the doctor who exammined the girls body after or while the autopsy was being performed automatically assumed that she had been raped due to what she described as "obvious" signs of rape.In fact she was a key witness in the court trial where this man was convicted of "killing the girl after raping her" -First degree murder.Based on circumstancial evidence and the testamony of the medial examminer -who neglected to read the autopsy report of signs of a rare medical condition.

The even MORE interesting fact in this case for me is the man who was conviced seemed to have no sympathy for the girl who died.This was indicated in the speech reversal I performed on him.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 2 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Tony...Superb hub!........Are you not going to tell us? I think "Eric" (on the right?) looks depressed.......So, am I wrong or right? LOL...UP+++

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working