Is Society Promoting Psycopaths?

I watched a fascinating clip on Tonic TV yesterday on the studies of brains of people with psychopathic tendencies. Apparently, the tendency is found in people with a deficiency in the amygdala (the part of the brain playing a key part in processing emotions) – a deficiency that causes these people to have no qualms about being immoral or unethical and hurting others in the process.  I couldn’t locate the clip on the website but found some other fascinating articles on the subject, one in Expats Post. I recommend reading this.

To sum it up, the psycopaths who end up in prison are at the extreme end of the spectrum but many other psycopaths walk among us. Their characteristcs? They con, swindle, manipulate, control and cause emotional and psychological damage to others and wait – here’s the surprising element – their personalities are often charming, witty, confident, outgoing and disarming. This, only to use others to their advantage, then discard them later. The “Expats Post” article goes on to say that society often rewards such people with a “win at all costs, get the job done” attitude e.g. in corporations, politics, Big Banks etc.

I am impressed with the progress in brain science. Perhaps some day brain scans will be added to the repertoire of tools to more accurately profile and fit people for roles, reducing the dependence on psychometric profiling, assessment by other people (possibly psychopaths themselves) and popular votes.

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  • Justin Caouette  On August 24, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Fit people for roles?! This would be an ugly advent in our society.

    The brain has a great feature called elasticity. This allows us to adapt regardless of how are brains are RIGHT NOW.

    Don’t you worry about the implications of such a suggestion? Have you seen Gattaca? I suggest you watch it.

  • tinker3333  On August 24, 2012 at 6:30 am

    Thanks Justin, for your thoughtful comment. I agree, as with any technology, misuse is a potential problem and it is important to be cognizant of that. I am hoping the technology will be put to good use, to weed out or perhaps, treat psycopaths (using the brain’s elasticity you mentioned).

  • Justin Caouette  On August 25, 2012 at 9:23 am

    Fair enough, on could only hope 🙂

    Thanks for the post, thought provoking!

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