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What is a Psychopath? (Sociopath?)

Lesson created by Tina Taylor using

Video from JoyceGFW YouTube Channel

Let’s Begin…

The word psychopath has come to be associated with deranged raving maniac and serial killer. This connotation keeps people ignorant of the true existence of psychopaths as everyday people - neighbors, friends, coworkers, and family members. Since psychopaths are estimated 1 - 4 percent of the population, there are between 3 and 12 million in the United States alone.
Additional Resources for you to Explore
Classifying someone as a "psychopath" is not meant to be an insult. Psychopathy is a neurological condition (having no conscience), an impairment of the amygdala, orbital frontal cortex, all of cingulate cortex, parahippocampal area, and insula.

Psychopathy is a Developmental Disorder | not Antisocial Personality Disorder Ref. -Dr. Blair, Chief of Affective Cognitive Neuroscience at The National Institute of Mental Health ‪NIMH‬

"Signified by a pattern of lying, exploitiveness, heedlessness, arrogance, sexual promiscuity, low self-control, and lack of empathy and remorse. Those who are affected may appear normal thus increasing their ability to effectively prey on others." - The vast majority of psychopaths are not physically violent, but, having no conscience means they easily cause emotional and material harm to others in pursuit of their selfish goals.

Since this video was filmed, there have been advances made by neuroscientists Dr. Jean Decety and Dr. Kent Kiehl.    and many other specialists "Identification of psychopathic individuals using pattern classification of MRI" Sato, et al 

Psychopathy can be visualized in fMRI brain scans in adults and young children. In Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging tests, psychopaths have a markedly different neurological response to social situations than the non-psychopathic. An fMRI study of affective perspective taking in individuals with psychopathy: imagining another in pain does not evoke empathy

Click for More psychopathy research articles

Q: What is the difference between narcissists and psychopaths?
A: View the research: Differences between psychopathy and other personality disorders: evidence from neuroimaging

"Differentiating Narcissists and Psychopaths" by Steve Becker

No matter how civilized, or prosocial a psychopath appears to be, they are neurologically unlimited in their capacity to destroy people emotionally, harm the environment, and create worldwide havoc – without paying any self-imposed consequences. 

Dr. Robert Hare developed the Psychopathy Checklist—Screening Version (PCL: SV) with the goal of creating a shorter psychopathy assessment that could be used to assess psychopathy in noncriminal settings and to screen for psychopathy in criminal settings.

The danger is that their lack of conscience causes them to act against societal norms; breaking vows, pulling scams, and using people with no remorse. They make their own rules. Now we can spot a psychopath as easily as we see who is drug impaired. New List of psychopathic habits: "How to Spot a Pro-Social Psychopath"

Information and support for victims:
--Discussion at
--US National Domestic Violence Hotline (they understand all abuse, including financial) 24/7 call 1-800-273-TALK and --Veterans 1-800-273-8255

Advocacy for testing mental health of government officials: http://DomesticEnemies.Org
Avatar for Tina Taylor
Lesson Creator
Palm City, FL, United States
Proposals for identifying psychopaths in society? As a test for impairment, such as drug screens?
08/29/2014 • 
 3 Responses
 / 3 Updates

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