Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Are there real monsters among us?

Stumbled over this:

Made me curious about the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy:

"Sociopathy and psychopathy share many traits, which is the main source of confusion for differentiating them in psychology. Traits that sociopaths and psychopaths share include:

    * a disregard for the rights of others
    * a failure to feel remorse or guilt
    * a disregard for laws and social mores
    * a tendency to display violent behavior and emotional outbursts

"Though not all psychology professionals agree on what exactly differentiates sociopaths from psychopaths, among those who believe each are separate disorders there is a list of definite differences. Sociopaths tend to be nervous and easily agitated. They are likely to be uneducated and live on the fringes of society, unable to hold down a steady job or stay in one place. Some sociopaths form attachments to an individual or group, though they have no regard for society in general. In the eyes of others, sociopaths appear clearly disturbed. Any crimes committed by a sociopath tend to be disorganized and spontaneous.

"Psychopaths, on the other hand, often have charming personalities. They are manipulative and easily gain people’s trust. They have learned to mimic emotion and so appear “normal” to other people. Psychopaths are often educated and hold steady jobs. Some are so good at manipulation and mimicry that they can have families and other long-term relationships without those around them ever suspecting their true nature.

"Psychopaths, when committing crimes, carefully plan out every detail and often have contingency plans in place. Because of this marked difference between the method of crimes committed by sociopaths and psychopaths, the distinction between these disorders is perhaps even more important to criminology than it is to psychology."

Interesting that crime figures so prominently in both descriptions.... Makes me wonder about the recent "bailouts"... Are we ruled by psychopaths? And are they the vampires of our times? And is a stake through the heart and detaching the head the only "cure"?

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