Personality Cafe banner

1 - 20 of 49 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,493 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After having a discussion on the Worthwhile Television Series thread about the series Dexter, and how I don't understand people's interest in it, I stumbled upon these videos by an INTP talking about psychopaths. I'm going to post this, even though I think this subject probably gets far too much attention. Her other videos are mainly on MBTI, very interesting.

I still don't understand this behavior after these videos, or understand how to spot a psychopath (it seems easier to spot a sociopath), however she's very articulate about the subject and discusses some myths surrounding popular definition.


 
  • Like
Reactions: Buckersniff

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
856 Posts
Given that the show is filled with more lines like this, I need to watch it. I'm hoping it's in likeness to House.
Sherlock is really very good. If we're talking standards now, then Sherlock > House. But House has gone downhill as of late. My point being that you should watch Sherlock. It's a fantastic show.

And there are many one-liners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
42 Posts
After realizing I spent 3 1/2 years of my life dating a psychopath, I did extensive research on the topic desperate to understand the condition. All I've really gotten out of it is that there are probably a lot more psychopaths in the world than generally recognized. Considering psychopaths also have no conception that they are a psychopath, most adapt to society by creating incredibly intricate masks that they themselves have no conception of making. The psychopath I have experience with would assume this is what everyone else does as well, and view genuine emotion as part of someone's "act". He would often express this notion that he was the only one who fully understood reality and because of this had a unique advantage over humanity. He seemed to genuinely feel that humanity was despicable because no one is willing to "admit" to themselves this supposed "truth" he understood about reality. I think the assumption in his mind was that everyone else was really just like him because it's actually impossible for his brain to conceive of the function of an emotion. It's baffling... yet so infinitely interesting.

As for Dexter, I also don't really understand the obsession. I watched the first season and found it pretty ingenious, however, I was really just interested in the overarching plot and scheming more than the fact I was watching a serial killer. I wonder, too, what exactly it is that interests people so much. If I must share my personal opinion, I feel like these people may have psychopathic tendencies themselves. I think that all psychopaths are not born equal. Intelligence seems to be the driving factor as to how successful/damaging they may become. I often wonder if there are many more psychopaths that go completely undetected due to the lack of intelligence to envision more complicated ways to manipulate and control. A psychopath will always put his or herself first and generally the last thing they'd want is for their "good name" to be tarnished. This leads me to the horrifying conclusion that almost any one could be a psychopath and there's really no way to know for sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
Psychopaths frankly terrify me. If the term "evil" has any meaning, psychopaths are it, and the most scary part is that they're not necessarily cruel. I feel it does say a lot about the way our society is structured how likely, as she mentions, they are to enjoy material and social success and power.

Edit: And I quite hate it when people mention INTx's seeming "sociopathic". Really? INTx's are assertive, charming, great at reading and mimicking people, and have no intrapersonal intelligence or capacity for self-reflection? Didn't think so.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
*sigh* woman say I look like Dexter, I believe its because we have similar demenors. I find sociopaths and psychopaths interesting; I tend to believe they are the expression of society trying to fix itself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
815 Posts
*sigh* woman say I look like Dexter, I believe its because we have similar demenors. I find sociopaths and psychopaths interesting; I tend to believe they are the expression of society trying to fix itself.
Pics or it didn't happen.

*women.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ista

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
When you take a species and basically eliminate natural selection(humans) there's bound to be several non-beneficial mutations. I think mother nature might try to combat such with sociopaths and psychopaths.
Mother Nature doesn't really "try" to do anything, but I get your point. Why would *paths work to remove non-beneficial genes, though? As mentioned in the video, a vast majority aren't violent.

If we're going for evolutionary/ecological explanations - valid considering the genetic component - I'm gonna go ahead and call on game theory as well. The urban human society is an ecosystem where survival is based far more on cooperation than competition. Might not seem like it, but it is compared to nature: after all, most of us eat primarily food made by other people and so on. Dawkins points out in the chapter of The Selfish Gene devoted to game theory that "cheating" evolutionary strategies work out best if the individuals are living in a large environment (many potential victims, anonymity) where a vast majority cooperates.

So I guess you're right, in a way, but I'd ascribe it more to the social structure than a lack of natural selection. Psychopaths were pretty screwed in a traditional tribal/rural society - antisocial behavior was typically punished severely by the community. Virtually all modern social systems, on the other hand - from corporate capitalism to North Korean communism - offer them plenty of opportunities to slither their way into high status and achieve evolutionary success.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
Mother Nature doesn't really "try" to do anything, but I get your point. Why would *paths work to remove non-beneficial genes, though?
If mother nature doesn't "try" to do anything how do you explain more males being born after wars? I don't think paths would specifically target flawed genes; but they specifically target humans(and animals) which is a form of natural selection. I think game theory is highly applicable in this situation. Cheating does work best in large communities which are formed by the lack of natural selection.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
If mother nature doesn't "try" to do anything how do you explain more males being born after wars? I don't think paths would specifically target flawed genes; but they specifically target humans(and animals) which is a form of natural selection. I think game theory is highly applicable in this situation. Cheating does work best in large communities which are formed by the lack of natural selection.
Ah yes, the returning soldier effect. Not nearly as significant as you'd think.
The Straight Dope: Are more male babies born after wars?
And in any case - you're practically proposing Lamarckian evolution. A nice theory, but thoroughly debunked over a hundred years ago. Unless nature somehow gathers aggregate demographic and ecological data and runs them through the Central Evolution Computer to generate appropriate mutations, it makes no sense.

Again - how do they "target" humans and animals? Once again, most 'paths are not violent, and in any case modern Western society, while extremely accommodating to 'paths, is ultimately far less violent than before. They're not destructive machines, they're out to survive, thrive and pass on their genes like the rest of us.

The reason they use completely ruthless means to do this is because they can. They don't need any other. That's the scary part, really.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
785 Posts
And in any case - you're practically proposing Lamarckian evolution.

Again - how do they "target" humans and animals? Once again, most 'paths are not violent, and in any case modern Western society, while extremely accommodating to 'paths, is ultimately far less violent than before. They're not destructive machines, they're out to survive, thrive and pass on their genes like the rest of us.
I don't support Lamarckism, I'm not sure how you reached this conclusion. They "target" by killing them; why not just kill a plant? How do you kill any animal in a non-violent way? All I was suggesting is that psychopaths(along with sociopaths) might be here to thin the heard, do you have any better ideas?
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
5,669 Posts
After realizing I spent 3 1/2 years of my life dating a psychopath, I did extensive research on the topic desperate to understand the condition. All I've really gotten out of it is that there are probably a lot more psychopaths in the world than generally recognized. Considering psychopaths also have no conception that they are a psychopath, most adapt to society by creating incredibly intricate masks that they themselves have no conception of making. The psychopath I have experience with would assume this is what everyone else does as well, and view genuine emotion as part of someone's "act". He would often express this notion that he was the only one who fully understood reality and because of this had a unique advantage over humanity. He seemed to genuinely feel that humanity was despicable because no one is willing to "admit" to themselves this supposed "truth" he understood about reality. I think the assumption in his mind was that everyone else was really just like him because it's actually impossible for his brain to conceive of the function of an emotion. It's baffling... yet so infinitely interesting.

As for Dexter, I also don't really understand the obsession. I watched the first season and found it pretty ingenious, however, I was really just interested in the overarching plot and scheming more than the fact I was watching a serial killer. I wonder, too, what exactly it is that interests people so much. If I must share my personal opinion, I feel like these people may have psychopathic tendencies themselves. I think that all psychopaths are not born equal. Intelligence seems to be the driving factor as to how successful/damaging they may become. I often wonder if there are many more psychopaths that go completely undetected due to the lack of intelligence to envision more complicated ways to manipulate and control. A psychopath will always put his or herself first and generally the last thing they'd want is for their "good name" to be tarnished. This leads me to the horrifying conclusion that almost any one could be a psychopath and there's really no way to know for sure.
I don't. I think the problem is that on TV shows and movies, psychopaths are depicted as these all-knowing, supersmart geniuses who sit perched above humanity, and who have all sorts of power (a la Hannibal Lecter). What disempowered, disenfranched yoof wouldn't want to get in on a little of that action? The Bernie Madoffs of the world would scoff at this shit.

In reality, most psychopaths are idiots who do really stupid, impulsive, shit and ruin their own lives as much as they do anyone else's. Literally. Most psychopaths are of below, not above, average intelligence.

I think there's probably a spectrum, where "functional" or subclinical ones do well on Wall Street and in jobs like that. The rest are in prison.

American culture seems to be encouraging this behavior thanks to its complete lack of anything like a moral code. You're not born with all kinds of "empathy", necessarily-- it takes ~25 years and a lot of discipline to develop full front lobe connectivity. Teenagers scare me, man. When I lived in Brooklyn, I would switch subway cars if teenagers got on the train... There's really this sense I get from them that they think flagrant sadism is "cool"...

Laertes said:
Dawkins points out in the chapter of The Selfish Gene devoted to game theory that "cheating" evolutionary strategies work out best if the individuals are living in a large environment (many potential victims, anonymity) where a vast majority cooperates.
It's a "frequency-dependent" strategy. And (as I'm sure you know) it's not about "fixing" humanity, it's about a genetic defect in frontal lobe development that back somewhere in our evolutionary history allowed somebody to survive, so it happen to be selected in. That doesn't mean it's "good" or serving a purpose. Evolution is not teleological.

*sigh* woman say I look like Dexter, I believe its because we have similar demenors. I find sociopaths and psychopaths interesting; I tend to believe they are the expression of society trying to fix itself.
Whatisthisidon'teven...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I don't support Lamarckism, I'm not sure how you reached this conclusion. They "target" by killing them; why not just kill a plant? How do you kill any animal in a non-violent way? All I was suggesting is that psychopaths(along with sociopaths) might be here to thin the heard, do you have any better ideas?
It's a "frequency-dependent" strategy. And (as I'm sure you know) it's not about "fixing" humanity, it's about a genetic defect in frontal lobe development that back somewhere in our evolutionary history allowed somebody to survive, so it happen to be selected in. That doesn't mean it's "good" or serving a purpose. Evolution is not teleological.
This. If you're looking at evolution, any line of reasoning that says "they're here to..." is missing the point, it should be "they're here because". Evolutionary processes take place for a reason, but not for a purpose. This was exactly the difference between what Lamarck got wrong and what Darwin got right.

Anyway - as mentioned in the videos, a majority of psychopaths do not kill people, nor are a majority of people who kill others psychopaths. We get that association because serial killers, the most chilling example, are overwhelmingly psychopaths. But serial killers are not a major cause of death, they're not "thinning the herd". Natural selection still happens, by the way, only there's less pressure. Health, physical attractiveness, social status, certain personality traits etc. massively affect people's reproductive success.

In fact, I'd argue that serials are essentially dysfunctional psychopaths - if psychopathy as a genetic trait has managed to take hold in the population, it's because it brings success. Serial killers are evolutionary failures - they don't function in society and they are eventually apprehended and incarcerated for most/all of their lives or outright executed. The survival tool of the psychopath is concealing his/her nature, and those who are inclined to constantly jeopardize their masquerade are engaging in self-destructive rather than self-preserving behavior.

Psychopaths are mimics. Serial killers are what happens when they mimic the wrong behavior patterns; they're the ones being culled from Satan's miniature gene pool.
 

·
Over 300 Confirmed Kills
Joined
·
10,604 Posts
I didn't even watch, honestly I get tired of this discussion.

But FWIW it should actually be easier to spot a psychopath. I don't know of it's been proven but from what I've heard they're born the way they are and they lack the wiring to learn charm and wit the a way a sociopath does.

A sociopath isn't born that way and isn't inherently "evil" although I don't like calling a psychopath evil either.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Sage del Viento

·
Registered
Joined
·
98 Posts
I didn't even watch, honestly I get tired of this discussion.

But FWIW it should actually be easier to spot a psychopath. I don't know of it's been proven but from what I've heard they're born the way they are and they lack the wiring to learn charm and wit the a way a sociopath does.

A sociopath isn't born that way and isn't inherently "evil" although I don't like calling a psychopath evil either.
The line is fluid, really. The main difference is that sociopaths are capable of emotional attachment to other individuals. They still don't have any notion of right or wrong. If the difference is "I'm a person, everybody else is a thing" OR "I'm a person, a few other people are persons, everybody else is a thing", it's not exactly huge.

Why not call them evil, though? Sure, it's a word that's out of fashion, but I think it's accurate as long as you think the concept of evil is valid (well beyond the scope of this thread). They're entirely self-aware beings like you and me, only they have literally no concern for the welfare of others, no understanding of ethics or morality, and are completely selfish. If I have a definition of evil that goes beyond the extreme "wantonly cruel serial torturer-rapist" examples, it's that.
 

·
Over 300 Confirmed Kills
Joined
·
10,604 Posts
The line is fluid, really. The main difference is that sociopaths are capable of emotional attachment to other individuals. They still don't have any notion of right or wrong. If the difference is "I'm a person, everybody else is a thing" OR "I'm a person, a few other people are persons, everybody else is a thing", it's not exactly huge.

Why not call them evil, though? Sure, it's a word that's out of fashion, but I think it's accurate as long as you think the concept of evil is valid (well beyond the scope of this thread). They're entirely self-aware beings like you and me, only they have literally no concern for the welfare of others, no understanding of ethics or morality, and are completely selfish. If I have a definition of evil that goes beyond the extreme "wantonly cruel serial torturer-rapist" examples, it's that.
*shrug* this is why I get tired of the discussion. I just don't believe in "evil" and people usually have an arbitrary definition of it. When people claim that they've dealt with one or many "evil" people in their lifetime I usually don't believe them (although it's possible, of course).

As far as right and wrong goes, people are so quick to label anyone who has no adherence to a "standard" moral code as evil as well.

Why?

The kind of people I've known who might be considered sociopaths by some were more likely narcissists and they were terrible people who definitely viewed themselves as the only people who mattered but I can't make the connection of "evil" in my mind.

It's too dramatic for me, personally. There are many, many terrible people who don't lack empathy and do the things they do because they feel they've been wronged by the world. That isn't evil, that's the behavior of a pestilent adult child with an entitlement complex

I guess the main reason I don't like it is because it's seems like it's easier for people to label others as evil so they don't have to deal with the fact that perfectly normal people are capable of this behavior.

In the case of actual psychopaths I don't like to call them evil because they can't help the way the are and they're incredibly rare.
 
1 - 20 of 49 Posts
Top