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Social psychopaths in neuropsychology’s standpoint2010-04-12Hit:2587

◇ Psychopaths have different mindsets

According to the research that was released in 2008, the more people possess the tendency of psychopath, the higher the chance of remembering faces and names of gloomy-faced women, especially women who fall in the bottom of social hierarchy in term of their income. The researcher said this result resembles the characteristics of predators who always seek to hunt easy-to-catch preys.


In another research, it was found that psychopaths have difficulties in feeling and understanding other’s emotion. There is a widespread misconception that the psychopath is something similar to the symptom of schizophrenia. Contrary to the schizophrenia, which leads to crimes mainly due to the hallucination, psychopaths are capable of logical thinking to a certain degree.

We often think of psychopaths as the disturbed criminals who capture headlines and crowd the nation"s prisons. But not all psychopaths are killers. They are more likely to be men and women you know who move through life with supreme self-confidence but without a conscience.

What if there is a less extreme type of psychopaths in your company? He/she carefully observes which co-workers are easy-to–catch preys. Once this type of co-workers are identified, the psychopath do whatever it takes to get closer to these “preys” and set them up to make them hard to refuse his/her favors.

As another example, if some easy money is identified, these less extreme psychopaths try to manipulate the accounting book and use up this money for entertainment purposes rather than for saving. This phenomenon is mainly due to their hedonic tendency.

In self-justification wise, when psychopaths attribute their failures and misbehaviors to other co-workers, they have a tendency to actually believe it and convince themselves that it is true.

And it is persuasive that a psychopath goes onto think that other co-workers committed misbehaviors and failures to intentionally set him up and put him into hardship since if he were in their position, he would have done that way

This triggers psychopaths to commit crimes and they don’t even feel guilty about it since they truly believe that the problem resides in their co-workers rather than in themselves.


◇ The powerhouse of psychopaths – Modern enterprises

In the book called “The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power” by Joel Bakan, the professor of law faculty in University of British Columbia, he explains that enterprises resemble psychopaths in a sense that they are both self-centered and tactfully take advantage of others. Also he adds that they have more characteristics in common such as unethical and irresponsible aspects.

When the enterprises themselves show the psychopathic characteristics, it can be easily assumed that top managements of enterprises have better chances to get promoted when they align their characteristics well with that of enterprises, which is possessing something psychopathic.


◇ The danger of Hasty prejudgment

No one calls himself/herself as a psychopath. Sometimes, people are just suspicious about themselves whether they are psychopathic. However, they merely know they are something different from others but not assured that they are clearly psychopathic.

People should not jump into a hasty conclusion that a certain person is psychopathic because they have a few attributes introduced herein.

As introduced before, the main difference between the person who has bad personality and the psychopath is that the former knows what is ethically right or wrong, and the latter doesn’t. It would be too much for psychopathic people to understand the morals and ethics from their hearts.

From HR people’s perspective, it is not easy to tell apart who has this psychopathic tendency through a short interview. They cannot recruit timid staffs because they cannot distinguish passion from arrogance.

And what if you become anxious whether you are psychopathic or not?

If you ever had an experience of bursting into tears and emotionally having difficulties due to the hardship that your lover had gone through, you probably don’t need to be worried!


Contact : Lee, Sohyun ( sohyun.c.lee@kaist.ac.kr )

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