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  • James 12:25 on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ethics, , , if you read this tag type 'banana' in the comments, , , , ,   

    Holding back the tide. 

    A reader asked:

    “Do you think a psychopath could see the benefit of utilizing cognitive empathy……since we all live in this planet? Our governments and corporations are run by psychopaths and the abuse is rampant and detrimental to the species since trauma shrinks the brain and in all honesty those who lack empathy are a special kind of stupid. Why can they not see that it is to their advantage to give a shit about others even if it’s for the selfish reason of reducing the bullshit they get from people in the long term. Plus it would increase the average IQ and improve everyone’s living conditions. Why wouldn’t a psychopath want that? Can’t you learn to use your abilities for good?”

    Thanks, ‘bunny foo foo’ (http://en.gravatar.com/hsousse), you’re right. Some of us are intelligent enough to realise this, and modify our behaviour accordingly.

    However, sometimes old habits die hard, and we are only human. I have recently done some stuff which definitely wasn’t part of the plan to “be good” and in the longer run has proved destructive for myself as well as others; at the time, though, it was just fun to let loose and cause a bit of destruction. Yes, fun.

    What you have to understand is the majority of psychopaths have, to a greater or lesser degree, a sadistic streak, and all crave regular stimulation and excitement. So, unfortunately, conflict is inevitable, even with psychopaths who have a desire to be more conscientious.

    I’m not saying it’s not my fault. I still have a free will and the ability to make rational decisions, but when making decisions that are in the interests of everyone, I am fighting against my instincts and genetic programming.

    If you want to understand what that’s like, try to imagine yourself doing something which you think immoral, say kicking a puppy while wearing heavy boots, or deliberately saying something to make your mother cry. If you have any sort of imagination, you can probably feel some sort of discomfort just at the thought, as though your body and mind are already resisting the actions which don’t come naturally to you. It’s difficult attempting to be something you’re not, even for a while.

    None of this is an attempt to excuse past or present misdeeds, this is just a way of improving understanding, and breaking the empathy barrier that exists between you, dear reader, and me.

    Perhaps you can recall a time when you tried to act in a way contrary to your nature, and found it more difficult than you thought. If you ever have, let us know in the comments. We might find common ground on which cognitive empathy can grow and flourish.

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    • Amaterasu Solar 11:17 on November 4, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry it took so long to get to reading this – life has a penchant, it seems, for getting in the way. LOL! I do admire You, James, for Your awareness, if not for choices of a psychopathic nature You make.

      I can honestly say that I have never chosen to do anything that was not of My nature – but I can envision it well – the idea of kicking an innocent creature hurt My heart, and I don’t know what I might say to make anOther cry… I cannot imaging WHY I would want to, and motivation would be the birth of ideas on things to say.

      Still, (ironically) I can empathize with Your dilemma. Being sadistic at times and having to choose between that and something that would keep seas calm would add conflict within.

      Like

    • bunny foo foo 07:10 on November 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for writing this. I am trying to figure out what exactly I am. I think I am something like “Dexter”. I didn’t start out as a sociopath but due to extreme trauma and repeated abuse I sorta became one and as I was growing up I realized what I was becoming and would think about my funeral and how people would respond to my death ( I was 10 at the time ). I didn’t want to become a serial killer it seemed kinda lonely and not what I wanted. So I set about redesigning my personality and character. Later, as the years passed I had learned to practice cognitive empathy on a daily basis almost as a religion. After 23 years of trying to undo the damage that was done to me and return to my original self I finally felt authentic empathy. I began to see the world differently and my relationships improved. I began to see abuse towards others whether by me or someone else or even an apath condoning the abuse as abuse against me. I started to understand our interconnectedness more clearly. I eventually became an empath as I was likely always one but the trauma had rewired my brain towards sociopathic tendencies. Yes I used to do cruel things and had difficulty relating to people’s emotional world due to emotional numbing……..not a problem now. The problem with being an empath is that they are often targets to psychopaths, typically because in an unhealthy state they are codependent (covert narcissism) but as I became emotionally healthier I become more of a realist and had to make a conscious decision to raise my level of narcissism in order to protect myself but only to a point where is was for self protection and not to a level of becoming the thing I had come to despise ( an abuser ). Now after vacillating between the two extremes I find myself somewhere where I would imagine law enforcement often falls. I want to hunt the bad guys (abusers) and end them. Granted people in law enforcement and setting governmental policies for the supposed betterment of society are often psychopaths and narcissist themselves I am not quite like them either. I don’t want to abuse the abuser nor do I find enjoyment at the thought of killing them off. I really just want to sterilize them and lock them away and treat them kindly if they earn it if they don’t earn it then solitary. If no hope of them to be nothing but a detriment to their own species then regretfully yes kill them. I’m thinking of the most violent and destructive the rest would be interesting to study and perhaps rehabilitate. Humanity is a really dumb monkey species and they will be the cause of their own extinction……if we don’t rein in the destructive members and evolve bringing empaths in charge then we are doomed to extinction. What is the psychopath’s place in our social ecosystem…….what is their purpose but to be a parasitic virus that needs excising. So while I’m not sure what to call what I am as I’m more of a hybrid, people like me are probably like society’s immune system and not a detriment.

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      • James 13:11 on November 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        People like you should terrify society. Your final solution “for the greater good” has been tried before by others like you who were convinced they were right. Thank G-d you are not in power.

        Liked by 1 person

  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 18:06 on October 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ethics, , , , , ,   

    National Character Counts Week: Welcome to Pathocracy 

    “There is nothing accidental about the destruction narcissistic psychopaths, especially in power, inflict on the world. Destruction is coded in their character defect. They not only lack empathy and conscience, which makes them incapable of understanding human values, but they are driven to hurt and destroy everyone and everything that stands on their way to power and self-aggrandizement, and/or reminds them of their weaknesses. It is not a question of IF a narcissistic psychopath in power will destroy his world, but how soon.”

    Liked by 1 person

    good marriage central*

    Image result for trump offends soldiers widow“The presence or absence of conscience is perhaps the deepest human division.”

    Ian Hughes

    Last week Donald Trump put another nail in the coffin of health care for American citizens, especially the most vulnerable ones; undermined the painstakingly drafted and internationally supported Iran nuclear deal; challenged his Secretary of State to an IQ test; chastised residents of Puerto Rico for their audacity to suffer and die in a hurricane-caused mayhem, and berated football players for their willingness to protest racial injustice. He also proclaimed the next six days, October 15 to 21, National Character Counts Week.

    Yes, you have read that correctly.

    The man who lies easier than he breathes (there is that perpetual snort, you know), who takes sadistic pleasure in the pain and suffering of others, and who lives for adulation and revenge without any efforts at disguising his destructive motives, lectures America about character.

    Let it…

    View original post 2,550 more words

     
    • nowve666 19:06 on October 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      “The presence or absence of conscience is perhaps the deepest human division.–Ian Hughes”

      They call this kind of thinking “splitting.” It’s all or nothing. Those with a conscience are good, or, at least, can be good. Those without are “evil.” You should know by now that one doesn’t need a conscience to be a decent human being. May I suggest “https://kiasherosjourney.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/can-a-psychopath-be-good/ Can I Psychopath be Good?” or “https://kiasherosjourney.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/free-to-choose/ Free to Choose?”

      There are plenty of divisions of humanity besides the presence of absence of conscience. How about cowardice vs. courage? Or intelligence vs. stupidity? Or wisdom vs. folly?

      You have been going into Trump’s misdeeds in great detail. But what about the fools who voted for him? They can’t all be psychopaths. I have read that a study found most conservatives have an enlarged amygdala in the area of fearfulness. These fools support the same policies as Trump but they are mostly NTs. Meanwhile, there are psychopaths who are politically progressive. I don’t think Trump, himself, is really a conservative. I think he’s an opportunist. He has embraced the politics that got him into office. That hardly makes him a good person. He’s an asshole. But attaching a diagnosis to him as professionals, who should know better, have done and many more laypeople keep doing adds nothing to understanding the problem. The problem is we have a government that is politically on the wrong path. The problem with Trump is his politics, not his personality.

      I agree with the Goldwater Rule: Don’t “diagnose” a political figure without the clinical support that it takes to correctly make a diagnosis. Whether he is a psychopath, a narcissist or an NT, Trump has a dreadful agenda. As the Bible says, “By their fruits shall ye know them.”

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      • James 11:39 on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        “The problem is we have a government that is politically on the wrong path. The problem with Trump is his politics, not his personality.”

        He does have a repellent personality as well, however.

        Like

    • nowve666 14:40 on October 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      The biggest problem I see is in the morons who voted for this turkey and even still support him. I just read your “Holding back the tide” post about psychopaths using cognitive empathy to make the world a better place if only for our own advantage. I have wanted to do this for years. I have marched in political protests, even volunteered. But current events have made me feel so cynical that I can’t bring myself to even want to save the world. While I realize that’s wrong since there are some people worth saving, the massive stupidity that seems to move the planet is just overwhelming. My current attitude is “apres moi le deluge.” I wish I could care. It would make life more interesting.

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      • James 07:32 on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        For some, changing the world is about leaving a tangible mark on the place after they’re dead. I can see why you might not be interested by that, since your death seems inconsequential to you.

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    • nowve666 14:40 on November 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I would change the world if I could. But the tiny impact I would have compared to the enormous effort it would take on my part. How about you? Are you active? You know, I just read that the DNC admitted they rigged the primary. And these jokers want me to donate to them? The kept a candidate who could have won from running and put Hillary there. She ran the most lackluster campaign I ever saw. It’s their fault we have Trump. With friends like that, who needs enemies?

      Like

  • GeneticPsychosMom (Tina) 09:26 on October 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , dark triad, ego, ethics, , , , , , ,   

    A Narcissist, a Psychopath, and a Machiavellian Walk into a Bar… 

    The bartender asks, ‘who has the darkest personality out of you three?’ The Narcissist says ‘me’, the Psychopath says, ‘I don’t care’ and the Mach says ‘it’s whoever I want it to be’.

    All embarrassing jokes aside, the Dark Triad of Personality rather ominously named, is an area of Psychological research which is attracting significant attention. It is however only a young field, in fact, it was just over a decade ago that Paulhus and Williams (2002) coined the term ‘Dark Triad’. It’s an area of research that seems to intrigue Organisational, Clinical and Forensic Psychologists alike and of course, has important implications for society as a whole. However, is there any real merit, use and/or empirical rigour in the study of these traits? I was inspired to delve a little deeper into the Dark Triad after last month’s blog on office politics, which touched on certain characteristics which fall within the remit of these traits i.e. manipulating others for self gain.

    So what does the Dark Triad consist of?

    Narcissism: characterised by grandiosity, entitlement, dominance, and superiority (Corry, Merritt, Mrug, & Pamp, 2008). The scale largely used to measure this trait is the Narcissistic Personality Inventory (NPI; Raskin & Hall, 1979).

    Psychopathy: characterised by high levels of impulsivity and thrill-seeking along with low levels of empathy (Hare, 1985). It has been described as the most ‘malevolent’ of the Dark Triad (Rauthmann, 2012). The scale which is largely used in the literature to measure Psychopathy is the Self-Report Psychopathy (SRP) scale, version III forthcoming (Paulhus, Neumann, & Hare). It was modelled on the Psychopathy Check List (Hare, 1991), which is largely seen as the ‘‘gold standard’’ for the measurement of forensic Psychopathy.

    Machiavellianism: characterised as being cynical, unprincipled and using manipulation of others for self-gain and life success (Jones & Palhaus, 2009). The scale which is most used to measure this construct is the Mach IV (Christie & Geis, 1970).

    Global measures of the triad have recently been created such as the Dirty Dozen, a 12 item scale (Jonason & Webster, 2010) and the Short Dark Triad, a 27 item scale (SD3; Jones & Paulhus, forthcoming).

    Both Narcissism and Psychopathy have migrated from the clinical literature as personality disorders found in DSM-IV, whilst Machiavellianism has been distilled from the philosophy and tactics of Nicolo Machiavelli. In this instance, they have been applied to the sub-clinical population in much the same way as the Big Five personality factors. It is suggested that there are extreme personalities in our communities, which cross the boundary over into subclinical Dark Triad territory. In fact, a recent TED talk* highlighted the fact that as many as 1% of ‘normal people’ could be classed as a Psychopath, rising to 4% in CEO’s and business leaders.

    Much of my research into the Dark Triad was precipitated by an excellent new review of the literature by Furnham, Richards & Paulhus (2013). Hence please refer to this for a more detailed account of this area. They do a particularly good job at highlighting the major outcomes which the Dark Triad predict, across the workplace, educational and evolutionary literature.

    Focussing on workplace behaviours, they cite research which shows that while leaders who are high in such traits can be successful in navigating their way to the top (when coupled with high IQ and attractiveness, apparently), most eventually fall or derail in the end (Furnham, 2010). They are described by Hogan (2007) as being able to ‘get ahead’ but not ‘get along’ – which eventually comes back to haunt them. Specific behaviours include Narcissists’ softer methods of manipulation, while Psychopaths use harder, more direct methods and Machs are able to be flexible and switch between both methods (Jonason, Slomski, & Partyka, 2012). With extremely successful publications such as Snakes in Suits raising awareness of Dark Triad traits and behaviours, leadership derailment and management style are more relevant and important than ever.

    In terms of specifics, research indicates that Psychopaths tend to make negative impressions in short meetings (Rauthman, 2012), while Machs have the most questionable morals and are most cynical towards others (Rauthman, 2012). Lastly, Narcissists believe themselves to be good leaders, with high emotional intelligence even though they are perceived negatively by those around them (Petrides et al, 2011). Globally, however, all three Dark Triad traits exhibit a drive for ruthless self-advancement (Zuroff, Fournier, Patall, & Leybman, 2010).

    A word of warning; whereas Psychopaths react aggressively to physical threat, Narcissists do so to ego-threat (Jones & Palhaus, 2010). However, Machs are more deliberate and cautious as to how they react and respond as they don’t give into temptation as easily as the other two typically do (Williams, Nathanson & Paulhus, 2010). Therefore, when thinking about corporate crime, Jones et al (2012) suggest that it is the Mach who is unhindered by the impulsivity of the Psychopath, and displays of hedonism of the Narcissist to be the most successful perpetrator of white-collar crimes.

    All jokes aside, the next time you face an aggressive bully, you could be dealing with a Psychopath. The next time you face an overtly arrogant manager, you could be dealing with a Narcissist. And finally, the next time you find yourself manoeuvred out of an opportunity, you may have just been made a victim of a Mach’s manipulation. The Dark Triad does exist, perhaps in all of us. However, in the vast majority of us, they do so to a much lesser extent than that 1% of the population that they truly manifest themselves in.

    Written by Raj Chopra, TPF committee member.

    Follow me on Twitter: @Raj_Chopra24, follow TPF on Twitter: @TPF_UK.

    References

    Christie, R. C., & Geis, F. L. (1970). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic press.

    Corry, N., Merritt, R. D., Mrug, S., & Pamp, B. (2008). The factor structure of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality Assessment, 90, 593–600.

    Furnham, A. (2010). The Elephant in the Boardroom: The Causes of Leadership Derailment. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.

    Furnham, A., Richards, S.C. & Paulhus, D.L. (2013) The Dark Triad of Personality: A 10 Year Review. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7/3, 199–216,

    Hare, R. D. (1985). Comparison of procedures for the assessment of psychopathy. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 53, 7–16.

    Hare, R. D. (1991). The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.

    Hogan, R. (2007). Personality and the Fate of Organizations. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

    Jonason, P. K., Slomski, S., & Partyka, J. (2012). The Dark Triad at work: How toxic employees get their way. Personality and Individual Differences, 52, 449–453.

    Jonason, P. K., & Webster, G. D. (2010). The Dirty Dozen: A concise measure of the Dark Triad. Psychological Assessment, 22, 420–432.

    Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2009). Machiavellianism. In M. R. Leary & R. H. Hoyle (Eds.), Handbook of Individual Differences in Social Behavior (pp. 93–108). New York: Guilford.

    Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. (2010). Different provocations trigger aggression in narcissists and psychopaths. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 1, 12–18.

    Jones, D. N., & Paulhus, D. L. forthcoming. Introducing the Short Dark Triad (SD3): A brief measure of dark personalities. Manuscript under review.

    Paulhus, D. L., Neumann, C. S., & Hare, R. D. forthcoming. Manual for the Self-Report Psychopathy (SRP) Scale. Toronto: Multi-Health Systems.

    Paulhus, D. L, & Williams, K. M. (2002). The Dark Triad of personality: Narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Journal of Research in Personality, 36, 556–563.

    Petrides, K. V., Vernon, P. A., Schermer, J. A., & Veselka, L. (2011). Trait emotional intelligence and the Dark Triad of personality. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 14, 35–41.

    Raskin, R. N., & Hall, C. S. (1979). Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Psychological Reports, 45, 590.

    Rauthmann, J. F. (2012). The Dark Triad and interpersonal perception: Similarities and differences in the social consequences of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 3, 487–496.

    Williams, K. M., Nathanson, C., & Paulhus, D. L. (2010). Identifying and profiling scholastic cheaters: Their personality, cognitive ability, and motivation. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 16, 293–307.

    Zuroff, D. C., Fournier, M. A., Patall, E. A., & Leybman, M. J. (2010). Steps toward an evolutionary personality psychology: Individual differences in the social rank domain. Canadian Psychology, 51, 58–66.

    Reblogged from: A Narcissist, a Psychopath and a Machiavellian Walk into a Bar…  by Raj Chopra, June 23, 2013

     

    Psychopath TEST Politicians

     

    .

     
    • nowve666 09:47 on October 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I think Machiavellianism is a strategy, not a personality characteristic in itself as if Narcissism and Psychopathy. Both Narcs and ‘Paths can be Machiavellian to achieve their ends. An NT can also use Machiavellian tactics at times. But it’s a technique, not a personality “disorder.” Therefore, I don’t think “the dark triad” should be treated as a “thing.” Three people might have walked into the bar but the third one can be a Narc or a ‘Path or an NT.

      Liked by 1 person

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