6 things we don’t understand about psychopaths

2-11-2019 bundy
Psychopath Ted Bundy. Image credit: Don Dughi/Bettmann/Corbis

Journalists and fiction writers and even psychologists and criminologists have gone to great lengths to both mystify and make monsters out of psychopaths.

When famous experts label psychopaths in corporate settings as “snakes in suits,” and authors describe interviews with psychopaths as “a journey into the evil mind,” we can quickly venture into a cycle of dehumanizing.

Myth 1: Psychopathy is synonymous with violence.


Most psychopaths are not offenders, and even offending psychopaths are not necessarily violent. The fact that many psychopaths have traits that make them more likely to be violent does not mean that they will be violent.

Myth 4: Psychopathic individuals are born, not made.

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Like with everything in psychology, this disorder comes from a combination of nature and nurture.


Myth 6: All psychopaths are the same.

As [researcher Jennifer] Skeem has argued:

“Psychopathy has long been assumed to be a single personality disorder. However, there is increasing evidence that it is a confluence of several different personality traits”.


These personality traits include disinhibition, boldness, and meanness—none of which are exclusive to psychopaths but together can result in a potent mix.

Read full, original post: What We Get Wrong About Psychopaths

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