The dark triad is a combination of three negative personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism. It is more common for this set of traits to be found among men, and it can be spotted through characteristics like selfishness, impulsivity, and opportunism. Those who gain success at the workplace without regard to getting along with others are likely to score high on measures of the dark triad.
The cop wanted her car keys. Kelli Peters handed them over. She told herself she had nothing to fear, that all he’d find inside her PT Cruiser was beach sand, dog hair, maybe one of her daughter’s toys.
There are many people whose behavior and perceptions of others places them squarely in the category of antisocial personality disorder but they go their entire life without being assessed in psychiatric units or put in prison. We may live close to them, work with them or see them in the media. Many of us will have a strong sense that their character is flawed, their actions are damaging or their attitude to other people makes them dangerous. However, for a variety of reasons, we may suppress our intuitions. One reason for doing so is, if we were to dwell on these perceptions, it could shatter our sense of security and comfort.
When we live in societies where ruthlessness in business and politics is rewarded and prized, the problem of identifying and curtailing genuine psychopaths becomes more challenging. As our search for the psychopath strays from prisons and psychiatric units to banks, trading floors, media companies and political parties, we become aware that society’s ability to challenge and control them has been limited.
In fact, we may tolerate psychopathic qualities in politicians, television and film stars, sportsmen, and captains of industry more readily than we do in our neighbors.Read more…
Deceit and manipulation are tools with which I am proficient. These tools are, in fact, part of my primary programming. My brain, for reasons I’d like to understand, has evolved in a manner distinct from other people and my personality is that of a predator. A psychological predator, by nature, engages in deceit and manipulation. It takes, I think, the same level of conscious energy for me to be totally honest that it takes for a normal person to lie. I do my best not to lie and I feel like I’m successful.
Psychopaths have a remarkably poor sense of smell, according to a study published in 2012.
Researchers in Australia tested a theory that psychopathy may be linked to impaired smell ability. Both phenomena have been independently traced to dysfunction in part of the brain called the orbito-frontal complex (OFC).
Mehmet Mahmut and Richard Stevenson of the Department of Psychology at Sydney’s Macquarie University trialled the olfactory skills of 79 individuals, aged 19 to 21, who had been diagnosed as non-criminal psychopaths. Using “Sniffin’ Sticks” – 16 pens that contain different scents, such as orange, coffee, and leather – they found the participants had problems in correctly identifying the smell, and then discriminating it against a different odor. Those who scored highest on a standard scorecard of psychopathic traits did worst on both counts. The finding could be useful for identifying psychopaths, who are famously manipulative in the face of questioning, says the paper. “Olfactory measures represent a potentially interesting marker for psychopathic traits, because performance expectancies are unclear in odor tests and may therefore be less susceptible to attempts to fake ‘good’ or ‘bad’ responses.”
The OFC is a front part of the brain responsible for controlling impulses, planning and behaving in line with social norms. It also appears to be important in processing olfactory signals, although the precise function is unclear. The study makes clear that a poor sense of smell does not by itself mean that someone is a psychopath. Olfactory dysfunction can also occur in schizophrenia, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s disease.
A sociopathic person is walled off from their inner core. How they present themselves to the world is a facade. Their operational system is power. To relate to them by playing the power game is a losing proposition because they are masters of the game and they will win at all cost.
The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt
to Clarify Some Issues About the
So-Called Psychopathic Personality
is a book by American psychiatristHervey M. Cleckley, first published in 1941. It is considered a seminal work and the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century.
Cleckley, a pioneer in psychopathy research, coined the phrase mask of sanityto describe the psychopath’s ability to perfectly mimic a normally functioning person and to mask or disguise the disorder; a fundamental lack of moral conscience and internal personality structure. Despite the seemingly sincere, intelligent, even charming external presentation, internally the psychopathic person does not have the ability to experience genuine emotions.
Victoria ‘Tori’ Stafford was only eight years old when she was abducted, raped, and murdered by a psychopathic duo. She may still have been alive while she was beaten with a hammer before her body was stuffed into plastic bags and buried beneath a pile of rocks. 16 of her 24 ribs were broken and her liver was lacerated. Of the four areas of her head that had been smashed, three were from a hammer’s claw and one from the blunt end.
Terri-Lynn McClintic pleaded guilty in April 2010 to murdering Tori. Michael Rafferty, 31, pleaded not guilty to murder, sexual assault and abduction, but was found guilty on all counts.