It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


Should screening for genetic sociopathy be mandatory for politicians and police?

page: 1
<<   2  3  4 >>

log in

+11 more 
posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 10:58 AM

It's time humanity faces what it already knows: roughly six percent of the population are psychopaths and psychopaths in charge of a government are extraordinarily evil and life threatening [see references below]. Humanity must establish a standard for exposing and filtering against psychopaths in positions of power over people. Historic suffering throughout the ages is related to the evil of the psychopath, it's time to standup against the psychopath and end pathocracy.

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) is a diagnostic tool used to rate a person's psychopathic or antisocial tendencies. People who are psychopathic prey ruthlessly on others using charm, deceit, violence or other methods that allow them to get with they want. The symptoms of psychopathy include: lack of a conscience or sense of guilt, lack of empathy, egocentricity, pathological lying, repeated violations of social norms, disregard for the law, shallow emotions, and a history of victimizing others.

Hare's Checklist

1. GLIB and SUPERFICIAL CHARM -- the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick, and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied. They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in talking, for example.

2. GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH -- a grossly inflated view of one's abilities and self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.

3. NEED FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM -- an excessive need for novel, thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull or routine.

4. PATHOLOGICAL LYING -- can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.

5. CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS- the use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack of concern for the feelings and suffering of one's victims.

6. LACK OF REMORSE OR GUILT -- a lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted, and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one's victims.

7. SHALLOW AFFECT -- emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings; interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.

8. CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY -- a lack of feelings toward people in general; cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.

9. PARASITIC LIFESTYLE -- an intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.

10. POOR BEHAVIORAL CONTROLS -- expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience, threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper; acting hastily.

11. PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOR -- a variety of brief, superficial relations, numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual exploits or conquests.

12. EARLY BEHAVIOR PROBLEMS -- a variety of behaviors prior to age 13, including lying, theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting, glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.

13. LACK OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS -- an inability or persistent failure to develop and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking direction in life.

14. IMPULSIVITY -- the occurrence of behaviors that are unpremeditated and lack reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy, rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.

15. IRRESPONSIBILITY -- repeated failure to fulfill or honor obligations and commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy work, being absent or late to work, failing to honor contractual agreements.

16. FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS -- a failure to accept responsibility for one's actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an effort to manipulate others through this denial.

17. MANY SHORT-TERM MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS -- a lack of commitment to a long-term relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments in life, including marital.

18. JUVENILE DELINQUENCY -- behavior problems between the ages of 13-18; mostly behaviors that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism, exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.

19. REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE -- a revocation of probation or other conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low deliberation, or failing to appear.

20. CRIMINAL VERSATILITY -- a diversity of types of criminal offenses, regardless if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at getting away with crimes.

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. Prey-on-by-Melinda-Pillsbury-100122-977.html

Genes play a significant role in the development of psychopathy. However socialization and other environmental factors interact with genetics, so genes are not the only determinant in whether one has psychopathic traits. Studies on the heritability of psychopathy have focused primarily on identical twins (100% shared genes) and fraternal twins (50% shared genes). One study (Larsson, Andershed, & Lichtenstein, 2006) which examined the heritability of psychopathy in twins reported that genetics accounted for approximately half of the variation in the features of psychopathy (as assessed by a self-report measure, the Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory). Other studies have also reported substantial heritability to psychopathic traits when these are assessed using self-report measures (Blonigen, Hicks, Krueger, Patrick, & Iacono, 2005; Brook, Panizzon, Kosson, Sullivan, Lyons, Franz, Eisen, & Kremen, 2010).

The finding that about 50% of individual differences in psychopathic traits are genetic suggests that a fair amount of variance in psychopathic features is environmental. (It is worth noting that approximately 40-60% of the variance in many personality traits and in several other disorders also appears to reflect genetic factors. Thus, psychopathy is similar to other personality traits and disorders in which genetic factors are important, yet do not explain everything.) Although specific genes relevant to psychopathy have not yet been identified, most people believe there are probably multiple genes which contribute to psychopathy, just as there are multiple genes involved in most clinical conditions which are partly heritable. (Thus, there is not usually just one gene that by itself leads to a clinical disorder or condition.)

Tests are showing that the nervous system of the psychopath is markedly different; they feel less fear and anxiety than normal people. One carefully conducted experiment revealed that “low arousal levels” not only causes impulsiveness and thrill-seeking, but also showed how dense sociopaths are when it comes to changing their behavior. A group of sociopaths and a group of healthy individuals were given a task, which was to learn what lever (out of four) turned on a green light. One lever gave the subject an electric shock. Both groups made the same number of errors, but the healthy group quickly learned to avoid the punishing electric shock, while sociopaths took much longer to do so. This need for higher levels of stimulation makes the psychopath seek dangerous situations. Perhaps this is the reason for many serial killers seeking to become part of the police force due to the intensity of the job.

Genetics and physiological factors also contribute to the building of a psychopath. One study in Copenhagen focused on a group of sociopaths who had been adopted as infants. The biological relatives of sociopaths were 4 – 5 times more likely to be sociopathic than the average person. Yet genetics don’t tell the whole story; it only shows a predisposition to antisocial behavior. Environment can make or break the psychopathic personality. This environmental factor again relates back to what sociologists were saying, about how the social structure and social influence play a part. The words of the sociopath “I haven’t failed, society has failed me” seems to be more powerful and explanatory than first anticipated.


The amygdala is involved in aversive conditioning and instrumental learning ( LeDoux, 1998). It is also involved in the response to fearful and sad facial expressions ( Blair et al, 1999). The amygdala is thus involved in all the processes that, when impaired, give rise to the functional impairments shown by individuals with psychopathy. It is therefore suggested that amygdala dysfunction is one of the core neural systems implicated in the pathology of psychopathy ( Patrick, 1994; Blair et al, 1999).

Interestingly, two recent neuroimaging studies have confirmed that amygdala dysfunction is associated with psychopathy ( Tiihonen et al, 2000; Kiehl et al, 2001). Thus, Tiihonen et al ( 2000) used volumetric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to explore the relationship between amygdaloid volume and degree of psychopathy in violent offenders as measured by the PCL-R. They found that high levels of psychopathy were associated with reduced amygdaloid volume. Kiehl et al ( 2001) used functional MRI to examine neural responses in individuals with high (>28/40) and low (

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:28 AM

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know—someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for—is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know. oor-by-martha-stout-phd.html

With very few exceptions down the ages, discussions in moral philosophy - the study of right conduct - have failed to systematically investigate the origin, nature, and course of evil in a manner free from supernatural imaginings. Evil was often considered something to be endured rather than something that could be understood and eliminated by rational measures.

And - as Lobaczewski demonstrates - the origin of evil actually lies outside the boundaries of the conventional worldview within which the earlier moral inquiries and literary explorations were conducted. Evil requires a truly modern and scientific approach to lay bare its secrets.

This approach is called “ponerology”, the study of evil, from the Greek “poneros” = evil.

The original manuscript of this book went into the furnace minutes before a secret police raid in Communist Poland. The second copy, painfully reassembled by scientists working under impossible conditions of violence and repression, was sent via courier to the Vatican. Its receipt was never acknowledged - the manuscript and all valuable data lost.

In 1984, the third and final copy was written from memory by the last survivor of the original researchers: Andrew Lobaczewski.

Zbigniew Brzezinski blocked its publication.

After half a century of suppression, this book is finally available.

Political Ponerology is shocking in its clinically spare descriptions of the true nature of evil. It is poignant in its more literary passages revealing the immense suffering experienced by the researchers contaminated or destroyed by the disease they were studying.

Political Ponerology is a study of the founders and supporters of oppressive political regimes. Lobaczewski’s approach analyzes the common factors that lead to the propagation of man’s inhumanity to man. Morality and humanism cannot long withstand the predations of this evil.

Knowledge of its nature - and its insidious effect on both individuals and groups - is the only antidote. tm

Researchers Paul Babiak and Robert Hare have long studied psychopaths. Hare, the author of Without Conscience, is a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, and Babiak is an industrial-organizational psychologist. Recently the two came together to study how psychopaths operate in corporations, and the results were surprising. They found that it's exactly the modern, open, more flexible corporate world, in which high risks can equal high profits, that attracts psychopaths. They may enter as rising stars and corporate saviors, but all too soon they're abusing the trust of colleagues, manipulating supervisors, and leaving the workplace in shambles.

Snakes in Suits is a compelling, frightening, and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment: what kind of companies attract them, how they negotiate the hiring process, and how they function day by day. You'll learn how they apply their "instinctive" manipulation techniques -- assessing potential targets, controlling influential victims, and abandoning those no longer useful -- to business processes such as hiring, political command and control, and executive succession, all while hiding within the corporate culture. It's a must read for anyone in the business world, because whatever level you're at, you'll learn the subtle warning signs of psychopathic behavior and be able to protect yourself and your company -- before it's too late.

Some further readings on the subject.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:30 AM
I've voiced my concerns over this very issue over on this thread: A one-world government...

"Psychopaths are four times more likely to be found among the top brass, than dwelling among the lower ranks of the company according to new research from industrial psychologist Paul Babiak."
"’s not clear what makes one psychopath a criminal and another a CEO..."

- Focus-"Could You Spot A Psychopath?"

I don't believe we'll ever be able to force potential world-leaders to "pee in a cup" over the possibility of them being psychopathic (nor would I want to), but I do feel that it's something we have to be vigilant about, irregardless. The tendency of people with this type personality to rise to the top of positions of power, is an ominous threat to national and world safety. Great thread, op!

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:38 AM
reply to post by lowundertheradar

If we start on the local level, sooner or later someone will challenge the legality of it.

At that point a public dialogue will begin and some of the most powerful people in the country will place themselves in the awkward and untenable position of defending the rights of sociopaths to remain hidden and to have access to power over others.

In other words, the sociopaths will begin exposing themselves.

If we try, we win, one way or the other.

Knowing who they are is power.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:52 AM
reply to post by apacheman

If they created a method of detection with little to no margin of error than yes, I would be for something of that nature. It would have to be impeccable evidence though, to prevent discriminatory abuse. But with the risk of having power-mad individuals grasping at those positions of power, the benefits may outweigh the cost.
edit on 25-7-2011 by lowundertheradar because: nuance

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:54 AM
reply to post by apacheman

Great post, thanks. This is something that concerns me deeply. Sociopaths are notoriously difficult to treat and rarely present themselves for treatment anyway (except for psychotropic medications, which some are fond of).

Yes, this SHOULD be done. But... it would be difficult. Considering that those in power would resist this or find ways to cheat it. The other problem is that most people who aren't sociopaths have little desire to have control over others (and often mistakenly believe that the sociopaths have the same pure intentions that they themselves do). This gives the sociopaths a huge advantage in our society. In any case, if anyone can figure out a way to implement this in reality, I'm on board.

On a personal level, it is very important that people learn to recognize the signs of sociopathy. I guarantee everyone knows one or more sociopaths who are potentially dangerous even though most of them strive to appear harmless and charming. I highly recommend the book "The Sociopath Next Door."

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 11:56 AM
This is an excellent idea and something needs to be done for national and global security with this very important issue. The implications are very difficult as it does work with a lot of grey area with many variations and factors in testing, identification and rehabilitation. The idea of starting local is the realistic approach to this problem. I have heard of some corporations investing in this problem, it will take time with more refined analytical methods for the larger corporations and governments to participate. Corporate responsibility is a new area that is gradually gaining ground and I do see this field fitting well within this framework. With governments and corporations competing, measuring and rating themselves in many different areas, I do see the psychopathic index as one that will attract a lot of public interest.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 12:33 PM
reply to post by lowundertheradar

So what would be the best way to frame the requirement, do you think?

A combination of the psychological test, background check, brainwave differences, mri or similar scan of the amygdala, and dna testing would seem to cover the bases.

The preliminary screening would be the psych test.

If that indicated a potential for sociopathy, a background check would seem appropriate.

If that tended to confirm the psych test, then the physical test should be run in their entirety to confirm the diagnosis.

At that point their id's should carry a notation prohibiting them from employment in those fields, like requiring glasses for driving, or similar notations, and they are placed on a watch list, like sexual offenders or terrorists..

So long as they behaved themselves, nothing further should be done.

It bothers me a bit to need to implement something like this, but somehow I can't quite wrap my mind around the idea that predators upon humans have a right to prey upon us. In some ways an argument could be made that sociopaths are a seperate offshoot of humanity.

That has implications that are uncomfortable to think about, but necessary, not to say crucial in the log run I think.
edit on 25-7-2011 by apacheman because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 12:39 PM
reply to post by apacheman

Well, I can't get on board with that. In my opinion that would be worse than what we have now as far as turning our society into a police state.

I think the particular *jobs* that could involve power over others should require the complete testing, not just an initial psych test (these guys are crafty, you know). Also the chain of testing would have to be monitored in some way that was pretty much infallible, or they will find some way to cheat it. Not sure how that would work exactly.

Nobody should have sociopath stamped on their ID. I believe it is possible to have been born with sociopathic tendencies but to have overcome them or not act upon them. Rare, but possible.

Awareness on the individual level will help combat interpersonal exploitation.
edit on 7/25/2011 by Universer because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 12:43 PM
reply to post by Universer

From my reading, it's next to impossible to successfully treat a sociopath: they can't be "cured" in any normal sense of the word.

So the question, one of the questions, becomes:

If the tools exist to identify those people with an extraordinary capacity to cause extraordinary amounts of harm to both individuals and to society, is it negligence to spurn identifying them?

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by apacheman

It's a difficult question. Not sure anyone will be able to come up with a good answer. While I believe most of them are potentially dangerous, at the same time, most of them live their lives just wreaking havoc on the lives of their close "loved-ones" and not doing anything technically criminal. So there is that to consider.

Personally, I do believe that most of them can be treated, and will be treated in the future. The extreme cases, well probably not, but the majority of them. Do I know exactly how they will be treated? No, but I have some ideas. The future will tell, hopefully.

The really tricky part is first, yes, identifying them. Most of them are not going to show up for such a test. But I could not condone mass testing of innocent people. It's a violation of human rights, and this process itself could be used for much evil (hard to decide who is going to be running the show... can you trust that their results were accurate and they should be allowed to control the testing of everyone else??).

Maybe we could test people who commit any crime (white collar or otherwise) and go from there.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 12:52 PM
reply to post by apacheman

Erm. Why restrict testing to politicians and police? Why even focus there?

We live in a society that rewards socio- and psychopathic behavior - especially on Wall Street. In fact, corporate law mandates sociopathic values and psychopathic behavior. And whether we like it or not, we live by Corporate Rule.

VIDEO: The Corporation (complete, chapters 1 to 23)

The Corporation As Psychopath

Sociopath World

Corporation – legal personality with psychopath’s traits


The Corporation

lots of edits trying to embed
edit on 25/7/11 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:04 PM
reply to post by soficrow

The reason I restrict it to them is that it is a clear example with the implications easily understood.

I am not advocating mass screening just because.

What I am suggesting is that when people try to place themselves in positions of public power, they should be required to prove they aren't sociopaths. Why should someone who physically lacks the equipment required to care about others be allowed to make decisions on their behalf?

Given our values, it would seem that while requiring the screening for the positions I've enumerated is justifiable, allowing the private sector to police itself would be necessary, if terribly inefficient, at least at first.

I can see a way for social and peer pressure to work in this way:

Would you rather invest with a financial firm that certifies itself sociopath-free or one that doesn't?
edit on 25-7-2011 by apacheman because: clarity

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:11 PM

Using a brain scanning technique called functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers are learning more about what happens inside both normal and abnormal brains.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:12 PM
In three words, yes, absolutely yes.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:13 PM

Originally posted by apacheman
reply to post by Universer

From my reading, it's next to impossible to successfully treat a sociopath: they can't be "cured" in any normal sense of the word.

So the question, one of the questions, becomes:

If the tools exist to identify those people with an extraordinary capacity to cause extraordinary amounts of harm to both individuals and to society, is it negligence to spurn identifying them?

I believe it is gross, criminal negligeance.

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:16 PM
reply to post by apacheman

If the tools exist to identify those people with an extraordinary capacity to cause extraordinary amounts of harm to both individuals and to society, is it negligence to spurn identifying them?

The main problem I see is that there is no clear cut definition between who is and who is not a sociopath, it is more of a spectrum with different people having different components of sociopath behaviour to varying degrees. It is interesting to hear how there is no cure or treatment for this, so once someone is labelled it will be with them for life unless the medical community makes some new breakthroughs. False positives will have a detrimental affect on a persons life similar to false criminal convictions. This does not mean that nothing should be done, but it is important to be aware of the risks and take all endeavours to minimise them.

It is going to take a lot of information to make an informed decision, school, family, criminal histories, different tests and a lot of wisdom to see the lies through the reality. The management of the database would have to come under some medical / psychological board due to the technicalities of the work and police will need to have access when preforming background and employment checks.

edit on 25-7-2011 by kwakakev because: spelling 'hear'

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:17 PM
No. Developementally speaking, you could probably only assess potential for becoming either. Other factors thruout the persons life would either make it a reality that it would be present, or situations could arise that would prevent it from ever developing.

Its that way with foks who are normal forever seemingly...and then without warning...they "snap".I think testing would provide indications and not facts of these developing if not already at the time of testing...Its hard tp "pick-em" with any certainty.

PS Testing provides perhaps denoting of the common genes for alcoholism...yet some never become one even with them present.
edit on 25-7-2011 by LazloFarnsworth because: ?

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by apacheman

You assume socio/psychopathy is genetic - I disagree. Also, public corporations are required by law to put profit first - before people, civil rights, the environment, everything - and politicians are required to uphold the law, whether they agree with it or not.

...Genetics just doesn't explain much - add some proteomics, metabolomics and prion science, then maybe you can ID problems - but none of it's sufficiently developed. I might agree with personality testing but it tends to be subjective to the test and tester...

Worst of all, testing anyone for any reason is the edge of the wedge - leads to testing anyone and everyone for any "legitimate" reason. ...Think "Voter Competency Testing."

Would you rather invest with a financial firm that certifies itself sociopath-free or one that doesn't?

Again - the law mandates corporate psychopathy. No way around it.

edit on 25/7/11 by soficrow because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 25 2011 @ 01:21 PM
reply to post by kwakakev

Actually, there are clear markers for sociopathy.

There are fairly well-understood environmental factors, physical differences in the amygdala, clear differences in in brainwave activity, and some fairly sophisticated psychological tests.

Whether or not they openly or currently express their sociopathy really doesn't matter: the potential for harm is simply too great and too predictable.

There is no way I want a sociopath as a police officer, judge, prosecutor, or politician, I don't care how "nice" they are, they are still sociopaths.

new topics

top topics

<<   2  3  4 >>

log in