You could be a psychopath if you don’t yawn.

By ANTHONY JOSEPH for MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 11:55 EST, 15 August 2015 | UPDATED: 13:38 EST, 15 August 2015


Want to see if someone is a psychopath or not? Try yawning at them. If they yawn back, you’re okay and proceed to befriending them if you wish. If they don’t, perhaps steer clear—they could be distinctly anti-social.

Scientists reveal that people with low empathy levels don’t copy the gestures of others. 

  • Scientists have found that the more psychopathic characteristics people have, the less they are affected by ‘contagious yawning’
  • Researchers from Baylor University tested 135 students for anti-social traits
  • Those who scored highly on ‘cold-heartedness’ were less likely to yawn when shown video clips of facial expressions

Most people will yawn if someone around them yawns. Normal mammals are said to be unable to resist ‘contagious yawning.’

US President Barack Obama yawns during the East Asia Summit plenary session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2012US President Barack Obama yawns during the East Asia
Summit plenary session in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in 2012

The researchers from Baylor University in Texas published their findings in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Read more: Psychopaths don’t yawn study

See also:


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Millions of Social Predators

Robert Hare

Professor Robert Hare, the world’s foremost expert in the field, estimates that there are at least two million psychopaths in North America.

PatternRuleBc300

“Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without the slightest sense of guilt or regret.”

PatternRuleBc300

Almost a Psychopath

See also: Almost A Psychopath


Do you know someone who has a poor sense of smell?


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.

Read article.

Are we born good or evil?

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Are we born good or evil?

Do humans have in-built morality? BBC’s Horizon shows how scientists looking into the minds of babies and criminals are rewriting our ideas of right and wrong.

Learn about testosterone and the “warrior gene” on the BBC website.


Facts About Psychopaths

Do you know someone who might be a psychopath? It’s possible. Read this and see.

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Note to viewer: The slideshow should be viewed with a grain of salt. It presents some known psychopathic traits, but in an oversimplified fashion. In the real world, do not expect a psychopathic individual to exhibit all of these traits, or any one of them as obviously or as extremely as the slide show may suggest.

Add to Fact #5 about childhood warning signs: cruelty to animals.


The Psychopath Brain

The Disconnection of Psychopaths

Functional connectivity between the right amygdala and anterior vmPFC is reduced in psychopaths. From Fig. 2 of Motzkin et al., (2011).

What is psychopathy, exactly? According to Ermer and colleagues (2011):

Psychopathy is a serious personality disorder marked by affective and interpersonal deficiencies, as well as behavioral problems and antisocial tendencies (Cleckley, 1976). Affective and interpersonal traits (termed Factor 1) include callousness and a profound inability to experience remorse, guilt, and empathy; antisocial and behavioral problems (termed Factor 2) include impulsivity, stimulation seeking, and irresponsibility. These symptoms tend to manifest at an early age, continue throughout adulthood, and pervade numerous aspects of psychopaths’ daily functioning.

As for the brain regions implicated in psychopathy, dysfunction in the amygdala and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) have been suspected for quite some time (Abbott, 2001Blair, 2007Koenigs et al., 2011). From this perspective, a recent study on the structural and functional connectivity of these two regions (Motzkin et al., 2011) isn’t entirely groundbreaking. Read more…

Treating Antisocial Personality Disorder

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psychopath disorder
Treating Antisocial Personality Disorder

Author Jack Pemment writes:

“I feel sorry for any therapist who diagnoses a
patient with Antisocial Personality Disorder…”

Read the article

psychopath disorder

The Psychopath’s Sleep of Death

By Thomas Sheridan – thomassheridanarts.com

When a psychopath goes to sleep they literally close their eyes and they are out. While the psychopath sleeps, they may as well be dead. However, if even gently approached during their Death Sleep, they instantly wake up — similar to a feral animal in the wild might do when they sense danger. When they wake up, it is instantaneous and they step out of their bed with no sign of fatigue or a sense of easing into the day — as a normal person would. It is akin to a machine literally switching on and off. Did you personally experience this?

Stray dog - asleep

Stray dog – asleep (Photo: Wikipedia)

Target A: “Switched off! Not a care in the world. Which I could not understand how someone did not even toss and turn when there were so many problems.”

Target B: “Used to talk in his sleep, often, but not all the time. Couldn’t really understand what he was saying. Didn’t think of it being another language, but anything possible with these things. I didn’t listen closely. Oh and if I woke him up, he would awaken as if he was in the middle of a tornado or something. Never woke up peacefully unless on his own. No matter how gentle I did it, either. I mean, jumping out of bed freaking out kind of shit. Like he was ready for a battle.”

Cover sample of "The Death of Sleep"...

Target C: “This is interesting. He would fall asleep in an instant, at anytime of the day. However, when he did go to sleep at night, it was intermittently broken up by his urge to smoke every 2-3 hours.”

Target D: “Death sleep. He would fall asleep instantly. Guess with having no conscience there are the benefits too!”

Target E: “It could fall asleep so easily, and I remember how it could jump up out of bed and be wide awake! I too found myself quite envious of this ‘ability’ as I struggle to fall asleep.”

What’s your experience?
Leave a comment!

$460 billion per year—the cost of psychopathy

Psychopaths are estimated to make up 1 percent* of the population but constitute roughly 15 to 25 percent of the offenders in prison and are responsible for a disproportionate number of brutal crimes and murders. A recent estimate by the neuroscientist Kent Kiehl placed the national cost of psychopathy at $460 billion a year — roughly 10 times the cost of depression — in part because psychopaths tend to be arrested repeatedly. The societal costs of nonviolent psychopaths may be even higher. Dr. Robert Hare, the co-author of “Snakes in Suits,” describes evidence of psychopathy among some financiers and business people; he suspects Bernie Madoff of falling into that category.

* Opinions about the percentage vary. 1% is the most moderate estimate.

Chasing Madoff Jeffrey Dahmer
psychopathic

psychopathic

Bullies get a kick out of seeing others in pain.

Brain scans of teens with a history of aggressive bullying behavior suggest that they may actually get pleasure out of seeing someone else in pain. While this may come as little surprise to those who have been victimized by bullies, it is not what the researchers expected.

The reason they were surprised is because the prevailing view is that these kids are cold and unemotional in their aggression.

“It is entirely possible their brains are lighting in the way they are because they experience seeing pain in others as exciting and fun and pleasurable,” said one researcher.

“We need to test that hypothesis more, but that is what it looks like,” he added.

The Bullies Have All Gone to RestRelated articles

Men who hate women

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Misogynist narcissists

Heterosexual women bear the brunt of narcissistic heterosexual men’s hostility, according to a 2010 study.

Narcissists’ lack of empathy, feelings of entitlement, and perceptions of being deprived of ‘deserved’ admiration and gratification can make them prone to aggression and vengeance.

The results from this study reveal that straight men’s narcissism is linked to an adversarial and angry stance toward straight women more than toward other groups. Although narcissists may want to maintain feelings of superiority and power over all people, narcissistic heterosexual men are particularly invested in subordinating heterosexual women because they are “gatekeepers in men’s quest for sexual pleasure, patriarchal power and status,” the study authors explain.

Another conclusion from the study is that male narcissists believe that heterosexual relationships should be patriarchal rather than egalitarian.

Read the full article.

The psychopathic brain

An underlying cause for psychopathic behavior?

April 27, 2010

prefrontal cortexPsychopaths are known for their callousness, diminished capacity for remorse, and lack of empathy. However, the exact cause of these personality traits is an area of scientific debate. The results of a new study show striking similarities between the mental impairments observed in psychopaths and those seen in patients with frontal lobe damage.

One previous explanation for psychopathic tendencies has been a reduced capacity to make inferences about the mental states of other people, an ability known as Theory of Mind (ToM). On the other hand, psychopaths are also known to be extremely good manipulators and deceivers, which would imply that they have good skills in inferring the knowledge, needs, intentions, and beliefs of other people. Therefore, it has been suggested recently that ToM is made up of different aspects: a cognitive part, which requires inferences about knowledge and beliefs, and another part which requires the understanding of emotions.

Read the whole article.