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Is Psychopathy Curable?


Simon Baron-Cohen, Cambridge University psychology/psychiatry prof, director of Autism Research Centre
expert developmental psychopathology
doesn't like word "evil", says we need new theory of human cruelty, more science on "evil"
theory: evil = lack of empathy
this condition is measurable, monitorable, and mb treatable/educable

empathy = 1) the drive to identify another person's thoughts and feelings, and 2) the drive to respond appropriately to those thoughts and feelings
between two people, ex: Nelson Mandela and F. W de Klerk-->end apartheid
"erosion" of empathy-->personal and international trouble, Israel/Palestine type impasses
Nazis made lampshades and soap out of Jew's bodies

B-C's book comes out in July:
"Zero Degrees of Empathy" is title in Britain, "The Science of Evil" in US
works on concept of empathy from many angles: endocrine, nature vs nurture, early childhood, etc
brain "empathy circuit = 10 regions of brain
empathy spectrum: zero to six, measure wtih empathy quotient test
he says it's a bell curve
low end = psychopaths, narcissists, borderline personality disorder
not evil:--->sick, "disabled", empathy deficient
doesn't say they can be cured but wants to try, thinks empathy can be taught and practiced

my thought: the Buddhists do it with the practice of lovingkindness
and Dr Mate points out that this practice is helpful for addicts
and another thought of mine: early childhood emotional deprivation-->limbic underdevelopment-->psychopathy
depending on the level of neural plasiticity present in adults limbic pathways may be added ...??

SOURCES
http://af.reuters.com/article/southAfricaNews/idAFLDE7430U720110505?sp=true

THIS ONE ON CORPORATIONS
http://www.naturalnews.com/032814_corporations_psychopath.html
and what if we expected business to act according to the values that we expect of people???

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
lynnivere
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:44 pm (UTC)
Fascinating! Thank you for the links.

So my gut reaction is to say NO.. but after listening to this last year, I have changed my mind.

http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/317/unconditional-love
liveonearth
Jun. 27th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)
Oooooh I so enjoy This American Life. Thanks for the link. I will listen soon! Today is the first day of school so can't listen right now....
lynnivere
Jun. 27th, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC)
good luck!
liveonearth
Jun. 27th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Thx!!!
(Deleted comment)
liveonearth
Jun. 27th, 2011 04:31 pm (UTC)
Why do you suspect this person is a sociopath?
b_vainamoinen
Jun. 27th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
Empathy is a skill that can be developed, yes.

I disagree with the premise. Psychopathy is more than just a lack of empathy.
liveonearth
Jun. 28th, 2011 08:05 pm (UTC)
Well.... so what is psychopathy? You've studied it some, eh?
b_vainamoinen
Jun. 28th, 2011 10:44 pm (UTC)
Yeah. The DSMIV calls it "Antisocial Personality Disorder."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

Lack of empathy is one feature, but there are a host of others. Not all people who lack empathy have "Antisocial Personality Disorder."

From Wikipedia:

1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
2. deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
3. impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
liveonearth
Jun. 28th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)
Oh I thought you had a synthesis view of your own to report, instead of a regurge of wiki or the DSM. I'm aware of the standard definitions and characteristics of psychopathy.
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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