Psychopathy and brain scans

I believe that many institutions/societies are controlled by psychopaths.

A recent claim by the psychologist Oliver James, supports this belief. In his words:

This dark triad of characteristics is very likely to be present in that person in your office who causes you so much trouble. Whether you work in the corporate sector, a small business or a public sector job, the system you are in is liable to reward ruthless, selfish manipulation.

The likelihood of your daily working life being sacrificed by a person who is some mixture of psychopathic, Machiavellian and narcissistic is high. If you do not develop the skills to deal with them, they will eat you for breakfast. (Source)

Psychopaths can act as individuals or in groups. We would do well to re-purpose the word sociopath to mean simply “a group that is made up of psychopaths or that behaves toward other groups in a psychopathic manner.”

James says that the rest of us need to develop skills to deal with psychopaths. The science is not there yet, but I hope the day will come when brain scans are good enough to help us detect psychopathy and lies. Then, if used properly, there would be far less lying and cheating in government, science, academia, the corporate world, and so on. My guess is that if psychopaths and liars can be reliably identified and/or prevented from lying, society in general will become many times more efficient than it is today. That would mean much less work with much better outcomes for all, psychopaths included.

One thought on “Psychopathy and brain scans

  1. Psychopathy is a socially destructive personality disorder usually characterised by a combination of emotional, interpersonal and behavioural traits. The most common of these are egocentricity, extreme impulsivity coupled with irresponsible behaviour, pathological lying and a lack of guilt or remorse. The condition is not a defined mental illness — both legally and in a psychiatric sense psychopaths are generally declared sane, although there is some evidence that a combined diagnosis of schizophrenia and psychopathy occurs occasionally.

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