Psychopathy - tools of malice

Psychopathy is a personality construct consisting of a cluster of characteristics used by mental health professionals to describe someone who is charming, manipulative, emotionally ruthless and potentially criminal. Based on how frequently the term is used in media, you’d think psychopaths are everywhere. In truth, it is estimated that they make up one percent of the population. [1] Psychopaths are gifted at hiding in plain sight, though. Many appear normal and inviting on the surface. By assessing some core personality patterns, watching the person’s emotional affect, and paying attention to their relationships, you can learn to spot the psychopath among you.

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Sarah Bakewell is the author, most recently, of “How to Live; Or, A Life of Montaigne in One Question and Twenty Attempts at an Answer,” winner of the 2010 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography.

No real surprises, actually. There were craftsmen, care workers. Nurses were in there. Accountants were pretty low on psychopathy. One of the interesting ones: doctors. Doctors were low on psychopathy, but surgeons were actually in the top ten, so there’s kind of a dividing line between surgeons and doctors.

For some people, their only compass is what feels good right now—“What would I like to do right now?” Psychopathic individuals spend very little time questioning their motivations. They do not examine their own thoughts or feelings in the way that most of us do. The lack of a conscience can help to explain why people with psychopathic features often do not follow predictable career trajectories. It also helps to explain a general lack of stability in their behavior.

Psychopathy - Tools of MalicePsychopathy - Tools of MalicePsychopathy - Tools of MalicePsychopathy - Tools of Malice