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Study: Psychopaths can’t tell when people fake distress

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posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 08:32 PM
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originally posted by: Kharron
For years we've known that a certain percentage of the population simply does not process emotions or interact with other people the same way the majority of humans do. Such behavior or rather, such inability, usually starts presenting itself in childhood and is thought to be genetic; we have so far found no specific cause for it, nor have we found a way to overcome it -- although we are learning more. About 1% of the population is considered to be sociopathic or psychopathic, the latter being a more severe condition of the two.

An interesting new study found which emotions in particular, psychopaths have trouble processing. While intelligent psychopaths can adapt and learn how to emulate emotions, they cannot recognize some in other people very well.


Psychopaths have little trouble recognizing when people are happy or angry based on their facial expressions. But they seem to have a much harder time recognizing the emotion of distress, according to new research from the Australian National University.

"For most people, if we see someone who is genuinely upset, you feel bad for them and it motivates you to help them," said lead study author Amy Dawel of the ANU Research School of Psychology. "People who are very high on the psychopathy spectrum don't show this response."

What they found is that while psychopaths can recognize and show anger, happiness, disgust, for example, and they were able to tell if a person was faking it or not, when it comes to seeing distress in others they just don't have the proper wiring to process it or even tell if it is faked or not.


The results showed that people high in psychopathic traits—like callousness, shallow affect and poor empathy—were less able to tell when someone was faking the emotion of distress.

"We found people with high levels of psychopathic traits don't feel any worse for someone who is genuinely upset than someone who is faking it," Dawel said. "They also seem to have problems telling if the upset is real or fake. As a result, they are not nearly as willing to help someone who is expressing genuine distress as most people are."

However, this handicap among people with psychopathic traits only seems affect their recognition of distress, including the emotions sadness and fear.

So, when you encounter someone who seems to not care about other people or their emotions, cannot process distress or fear and be willing to help, has trouble with love or keeping relationships -- it may not be that they are doing it intentionally, they are just blind to it, they don't see it or know what it is. Their brain lacks the concept of it to the point that they cannot recognize that it is real when they see it in others. Imagine that -- a complete lack of empathy, disconnectedness with other people.

I'll also include this 20 question test that can be used as a basic psychopathy test. It is normally done by a professional while evaluating a patient but I had some fun with it, evaluating some of the more questionable characters in my life.


Each answer is scored as 0, 1 or 2. That means the max for 20 questions is 40 points. Anything over 30 is typically considered psychopathy.


Do you exhibit glib and superficial charm?

Do you have a grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self?

Do you have a constant need for stimulation?

Are you a pathological liar?

Are you cunning and manipulative?

Do you have lack of remorse or guilt?

Do you have shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)?

Are you callous, and do you lack empathy?

Do you have a parasitic lifestyle?

Do you have poor behavioral controls?

Are you sexually promiscuous?

Did you display early behavior problems?

Do you lack realistic long-term goals?

Are you overly impulsive?

Are you irresponsible?

Do you fail to accept responsibility for own actions?

Have you had many short-term marital relationships?

Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?

Have you experienced a revocation of conditional release?

Do you display criminal versatility?


Big Think

Do you know anyone?


But an intelligent and educated psychopath knows, by rote, the 'correct' answers.

See: www.ted.com...




posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 08:34 PM
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a reply to: Kharron

See www.ted.com...

for physiological basis for diagnosis.



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 08:40 PM
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originally posted by: benrl
Well Psychopath, is a bit out dated term.

Most fall on the spectrum of anti-social personality disorder, Sociopath and Psychopath are both being replaced by a spectrum on the ASPD scale.


Im Leary of research that throws around the term as "Although no psychiatric or psychological organization has sanctioned a diagnosis titled "psychopathy", assessments of psychopathic characteristics are widely used in criminal justice settings"


IE: someone leaning far into the ASPD spectrum could be consider either a sociopath and or Psychopath, though that would depend on the end results of their actions. IE: the defining factor would be their criminal actions, not necessarily any differences in their pathology.


That CEO, could just as Easily been a mass murderer, as they would have the same traits, yet we don't know the differentiating factors that lead to that split.


New name, broader spectrum :


APD (Antisocial Personality Disorder)

is a DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition),

diagnosis assigned to individuals who habitually and pervasively disregard or violate the rights and considerations of others without remorse.

People with Antisocial Personality Disorder may be habitual criminals, or engage in behavior which would be grounds for criminal arrest and prosecution, or they may engage in behaviors which skirt the edges of the law, or manipulate and hurt others in non-criminal ways which are widely regarded as unethical, immoral, irresponsible, or in violation of social norms and expectations.

Those with APD often possess an impaired moral conscience and make decisions driven purely by their own desires without considering the needs or negative effects of their actions on others.

Impulsive and criminal behavior is common.

The terms psychopathy or sociopathy are also used, in some contexts synonymously,

in others, sociopath is differentiated from a psychopath, in that a sociopathy is rooted in environmental causes, while psychopathy is genetically based.


www.theravive.com...(f60.2)



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 08:47 PM
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originally posted by: Scrutinizing

originally posted by: DictionaryOfExcuses
a reply to: Scrutinizing

Are you just being reflexively sarcastic or do you have a point?

Our dimensions of assessment seem to be different.

Yes, the world needs all types.


Sarcastic, but I find it absurd this concept we need psychopaths or sociopaths. This is a category of the most monstrous people that have ever walked the earth, have tens of millions of victims under their belts, the very concept the world needs the psychotically deranged laughable. Hands down, if I'd never met a psycho, that would be a better life. Period. They can go to hell, at least those that do psycho things.


Many of the world's finest surgeons are to a degree or another psychopathic.

Lists:

www.theravive.com...(f60.2)

www.cbc.ca...

www.forbes.com...

CEO seems to lead all lists, salespeople, police, .....



posted on Aug, 4 2018 @ 11:00 PM
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Sometimes when I go to the shops around 9pm, I encounter people begging for money - one girl was in tears claiming she was homeless and no one would want to help them - asking for any amount of money. How do you tell if someone is faking that or not.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 12:18 AM
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If a person is only concerned with their own well being. Having no regard to anybody else. Then the brain would not develop the ability to determine when people are in distress. As it would be an unnecessary function. Likewise a tiger would not become sympathetic to prey it wants to eat, its only aim is for survival. Psychopaths might be like tigers in a world of prey.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 12:29 AM
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Quick, someone fake some distress. :p



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 12:57 AM
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originally posted by: glend
If a person is only concerned with their own well being. Having no regard to anybody else. Then the brain would not develop the ability to determine when people are in distress. As it would be an unnecessary function. Likewise a tiger would not become sympathetic to prey it wants to eat, its only aim is for survival. Psychopaths might be like tigers in a world of prey.





The intersection of Nurture and Nature - physiology and psychology.

There is evidence (see Fallons work already referenced above) that there is a physical brain difference in psychopaths. I speculate it could be some pre-natal event in early brain development which would be more environmental then genetic - or rather something in utero that triggers or suppresses a (or a combination) of genes.

What makes the difference between a functional (beneficial to society) psychopath? That would be the nurture part of it as you say. If productive and moral behavior is modeled by parents and other adults, then their lack of - let's call it - empathy, innate sense of conscious, ethical/moral restraint can be mitigated.

I'm just thinking out loud.

The potential consequences, good - and not, of being able to screen at an early age... I have trouble imagining. Would it be a boon? Or a horror?



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 01:37 AM
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Makes understand how emotionally dead a sociopath is compared to a psychopath.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 02:49 AM
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a reply to: Kharron

When I'm at work or at home.

The skies the limit.

Adulthood sucks

If I said yes, then it wouldn't be lying?

Apparently.

I have received none.

I am machine.

That what's she said.

What the HELL is this #!!!

Gggg..gaaarrrsshh!

Mommy...where are you!?

If I had a million dollars.

I payed the telephone bill.

Fate is a cruel mistress.

I got the boot and had detention a few times.

No.

Want to see a magic trick? Its gone...and so am i.!






edit on 5-8-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)

edit on 5-8-2018 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 03:33 AM
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a reply to: FyreByrd



The potential consequences, good - and not, of being able to screen at an early age... I have trouble imagining. Would it be a boon? Or a horror?


I have read that many of the worlds CEO's display psychopathic traits. Many will burn anything in their path to win. Be it land, tree's, children or whatever.

So are they at fault because they exist in a economic environment that rewards psychopathic behaviour. I think not. Its the environments fault for rewarding bad behaviour. If psychopaths can otherwise exist within our laws then screening shouldn't be unnecessary.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 08:00 AM
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a reply to: Kharron







Do you know anyone?


Yup, my brother. He has a masters degree, sells drugs, takes steroids and body builds, extremely cunning and manipulative, very self centered and currently serving a 30 year prison sentence.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 11:24 AM
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I'm sure there are places for a psychopath in the military, maybe on wall street.

I always thought the disorder went beyond torturing small animals into areas like sexual predators and some forms of drug addiction.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 12:13 PM
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Ouch, I'm sorry to hear that man. Hope your brother is doing alright where he is at now.

I've known a few myself, one in the family but we haven't seen her in a couple of decades -- she did plenty of damage on everyone before we put the distance between us. I was engaged to one since then, she taught me how to trust less and be more paranoid -- really not a good thing, but I won't make the same mistake again.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 12:31 PM
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Apologies. This post didn't contribute to the discussion.
edit on 852018 by Sillyolme because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 12:34 PM
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a reply to: Alien Abduct

Sorry.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 01:14 PM
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originally posted by: FyreByrd

Many of the world's finest surgeons are to a degree or another psychopathic.

CEO seems to lead all lists, salespeople, police, .....


Some of these comments are uproarious. You guys ought to pull resources and found a psychopaths' advocacy group. That would be so 2018. I'd recommend starting with a lofty goal of rehabilitating the reputations of Hitler, Stalin, and let's not forget Ted Bundy, perhaps approach it from the psychos are misunderstood angle, merely empathy challenged, how we could all use a little more of that inner psycho. We're probably ready for this, now that we're to where we have no problem with nervous little boys, with two Daddies. Hey! Maybe start with somebody like Caligula or Nero, go for broke, rewrite the whole nine yards!

You know, looking at the world and all human history, there must be something wrong with me, to have a problem with psychopaths controlling things. Maybe I'm thinking about this all wrong, need to get a psychopath doctor, a psychopath babysitter, a psychopath minister, write City Hall we need more psychopathic policemen: woe is me, I guess having lived my whole life, begging God and hoping everybody I know is an under achiever? Oh no! Has this made me a psychopathophobic? After all, how can we argue with history and what's in the news, as they say, the proof is in the pudding, isn't it?

You could also knock me over with a feather that normal people, with sound minds, are inferior. Just goes to show all the brilliant, sane people I've known have simply faked their intellects and high achievements. Just think what Isaac Newton may have achieved, had he simply been fortunate enough to have been a psychopath? The examples could go on for pages of the normal people who stole the psychopaths' glories. Yes, herein must be the real tragedy.

Yes, we need to ever more admire psychopaths. Keep up the good work! I'm already feeling better, that when WWIII erupts, you'll have laid a foundation of understanding for the high achieving psychopaths that are fission and fusion challenged. Even puts Satan in a whole new light. Does that make those that manned the German deaths camps, like, good old boys?

One of you guys could become famous, you know, if you're the first to say, "I never met a psycho I didn't like."



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 03:12 PM
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a reply to: Scrutinizing

Nice contribution.



posted on Aug, 5 2018 @ 05:10 PM
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originally posted by: glend
a reply to: FyreByrd



The potential consequences, good - and not, of being able to screen at an early age... I have trouble imagining. Would it be a boon? Or a horror?


I have read that many of the worlds CEO's display psychopathic traits. Many will burn anything in their path to win. Be it land, tree's, children or whatever.

So are they at fault because they exist in a economic environment that rewards psychopathic behaviour. I think not. Its the environments fault for rewarding bad behaviour. If psychopaths can otherwise exist within our laws then screening shouldn't be unnecessary.


While a psychopath may not be responsible for their birth or their early nurture. Once an adult, as with all other adults, they are responsible for their behavior.

We all have - negative conditioning and genetics that as adults we have to work to overcome. Psychopathic adults, poorly nurtured would have difficultly in seeing the benefits of continuing personal development in the moral, ethical, spiritual especially in a cultural that lionizes ruthless pursuit of wealth and power without considerations for the consequences.

And I most certainly don't mean religious development - I mean recognizing the long-term benefit of moral, ethical, spiritual development. Psychopaths - and many others - have trouble with valuing these benefits and see only the short term.

The thinking behind the early screening would be the responsibility of 'society' such as early hearing and sight tests are part of routine childhood checkups. For the benefit of the child, the family and society as a whole.

How the negative traits would be minimized.



posted on Aug, 14 2018 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: Kharron

That makes sense. They probably can’t tell real much of any sort of real anything.



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