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Honored Advisor

Re: Book 'the sociopath next door'

Often, it is said that a genetic code " predisposes" one to certain characteristics. Rarely is a genetic direction deemed a total determinant of a certain result.

Even if you lean in a given way, you may be more or less prone to the behavior...most behaviors lie along a spectrum. Think of the spectrum of autistic disorders.

We have been fans of the show "Dexter" for several years. This final season, the psychopaths are coming out of the woodwork, revolving in a storyline around a psychologist who studied and wrote about many of them. She was involved in the creation of the title character as a serial killer with a code, of only killing killers.

There is a section of the brain that houses empathy, and one element of the story is that someone is killing serial killers, then removing that brain segment, delivering it to her in a jar of preservative. It is an intriguing element of the human condition that we might eventually be able to study brains and predict behaviors. Scary, though.

On a side note, I heard something today about teachers predicting certain problems, something to do with authorities wanting to lay hands on the school records of the Sandy Hook massacre killer. They think if they study them, maybe they can learn how to avoid future attacks of this kind.

As a former teacher, I can't say. That I could predict every kid that eventually had problems getting along with the rest of society, but every one that I thought would, eventually did.
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Senior Contributor

Re: Book 'the sociopath next door'

As I understand the author she says that it is part genetic and part the results of a problematic childhood. There does not seem to be any way to 'fix' the 'no conscience'. There is no way to make someone care about others if they do not have the conscience.

 

One of the examples tells of a small boy who begins by stabbing frogs and goes on to sex at age 12 with girl after girl then to eventually to only earning money and destroying people along the way.

 

The book is inexpensive on Amazon. We can identify acquaintances where there is a fit. If you only know 200 people that is an average of 8 sociopaths.

 

 

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Honored Advisor

Re: Book 'the sociopath next door'

When you count up the people you know, and what they have shown ou about their empathy, do you feel that the sociopathic personality is as prevalemt as the aithor says it is? I am trying to add up the ones I have encountered, and most of them have been in connection with business....
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Senior Contributor

Re: Book 'the sociopath next door'

Yes. We easily named several who fit the description.  Business people, professionals, salesmen they are in all areas not just those who won't work or are abusers.

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Honored Advisor

Re: Book 'the sociopath next door'

Don't you think that some jobs are tailor-made for sociopaths? The ones that come to mind most readily for me have been the ones that companies hire to lead you on, then drop the hammer on your hopes. A person with any empathy at all simply couldn't do what they are paid to do.

I have crossed paths with several attorneys that I would describe as totally lacking in empathy. I will not hire one of those, but some people evidently prefer them.

The most dangerous sociopaths can put on a good act, and make you think they are normal. When you see their true personality, it is like one of those science fiction films, where the alien peels off his human mask, and reveals a reptilian creature underneath.

We can forget that it takes all types to make a world. How does a country kid who is a good rifle shot get picked to be a military sniper? Who do they choose to operate the weapons systems than deliver drone attacks?

I can think of all sorts of professions or jobs where empathy would be an impediment to doing what you are hired to do. There are a lot of people who would say us livestock farmers are among them.
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Senior Advisor

Re: Book 'the sociopath next door'

Most people are not born republican. However them must be some element that totally diminishes any degree of empathy. It simply evaporates.

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