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Sociopaths - They Prey on All of Us

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He constantly asks for sympathy, takes risks , lies to you and when caught shows no remorse. It is unsettling, frightening. Somehow it is your own fault. But why would anyone do these things? There is an answer.

He constantly asks for sympathy, takes risks, lies to you and when caught shows no remorse. It is unsettling, frightening. Somehow it is your own fault. But why would anyone do these things? There is an answer.

The terms, "psychopathy", "sociopath" and others refer to individuals who look human but, in elemental ways, are not. They harbor a condition which cuts them off from us. Their automatic emotional reactions, foundational to limiting wrong behavior, do not exist. These individuals emulate compassion, concern, affection, kindness and love only to further their purposes. They feel no compunction about stealing, lying, or committing crimes to achieve their goals. They consistently demand sympathy, knowing perfectly well they deserve none.

They do not want or need sympathy. But they do need you to feel sorry for them, to want to help them. It is all manipulation, emotions emulated to get what they want. They know we feel sorry for them and project the existence of emotions they never feel, just another lie.

People catching their eyes report feeling a chill of fear, as if looking into the eyes of a predator. Psychopaths are predators among us. The pain and suffering of those around them mean nothing, is pleasure to them. Their motivations seem inexplicable to the emotionally normal, who comprise 96% of the population.

Psychopaths have no conscience.

Where before little was written on the condition outside of professional journals, now much more is known. This is changing.

The evidence, now mounting, indicates the condition has a genetic element which becomes activated when combined with the conditions in the life of the individual. The last few years have taken understanding of the condition known as 'psychopathy' to new levels.

While only 4% of the population have the condition MarthaStout, PhD., points out in her book, The Sociopath Next Door, you are likely to have contact with psychopathic individuals on many occasions during your life time. You therefore need to understand the danger signs.

Experts in the field of psychology have been researching the problem since 1980. Much is now known.

In 1999 RobertD.Hare, Ph.D. published Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us. Today, thanks to RobertHare, DavidKosson, Pd.D, and others, the means exist to reliably diagnose the condition. The test, carried out by qualified professionals, allows us the tools needed to understand and to take steps to help victims. The test, known as Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) and the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, when used by qualified professionals, makes available the means to identify those with the condition. As with other tests it, presumably, will soon be commonly used in court proceedings.

Hare's new book, Snakes In Suits: When Psychopaths Go To Work, written with PaulBabiak, Ph.D., and published in 2006, opens the issue of the impact of the condition on the workplace, including large corporations.

Since psychopaths live and work in every part of our culture we must consider this issue. How many sociopaths have worked their way into the management structure of corporate America? Estimates vary widely and lacking documented evidence all numbers are open to question. However, the behaviors associated with psychopathy, lack of conscience, lack of concern for the well being of others, a pattern of blatant lies and others, strike many as strongly present in corporate culture today. Both the recent banking and mortgage implosions are evidence of this conclusion.

What if the present meltdown is partly due to a growing presence of psychopaths in upper management? Disturbingly, this may well also be true in higher levels of government given the massive cross which exists at the over the highest levels of each. Logic supports the theory.

The test originated by RobertHare has proven to be a valuable tool both to help victims and, increasingly, to open the door for victims to find justice. The work of Hare and his associates may, possibly, be used to the benefit of business and politics as well.

Psychopaths can impact us from every direction. For individual victims there is also hope.

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Melinda Pillsbury-Foster is the author of GREED: The NeoConning of America and A Tour of Old Yosemite. The former is a novel about the lives of the NeoCons with a strong autobiographical component. The latter is a non-fiction book about her father (more...)
 
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Great article Melinda! This is the single biggest ... by Niall Bradley on Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 5:24:09 PM
Thanks Naill,Clearly, something needs to be done a... by Melinda Pillsbury-Foster on Saturday, Jan 23, 2010 at 6:25:45 PM
I suspectObama's election was what forced this iss... by Oh on Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 6:33:35 AM