What do you get when a Psychopath, Narcissistic and a Machiavellinisivi- I CAN’T SPELL IT!!!- walk into a bar?

Image

 

Yeah I hope you haven’t kept reading to get the answer to that joke, cause I don’t know what it is.  If anyone does have the answer then feel free to tell me!

I looked up an experiment (Nicolas Holtzman and Michael Strube) involving psychopaths today which stated that they and the other two personality traits of the Dark Triad (narcissism and Machiavellianism) are better at making themselves look physically beautiful, hot, sexy etc etc, than people without the traits.  I like this study- I suck at making myself look pretty so maybe those Psychopath tests were wrong!

There were 111 participants (they missed a really good opportunity here, they should have made it 666 participants), 64% of which were women.  They got a picture taken of themselves in what they normally wear in terms of makeup, clothes, and hair.  Then they all had to dress the same, in a plain t-shirt, and have no makeup on, and hair tied back or un-styled.  Then they all got their picture taken again.

They also took test like I did, but theirs was a personality test that looked into all aspects of personality, including the traits in the Dark Triad.  The experimenters also got information from their peers about their personalities, so both test and peer results were combined.

Then a second group was to rate the pictures on levels of attractiveness and it was found that in the first set of photos, where they were dressed in their normal clothes, participants who were highly scored as attractive also scored highly on the Dark Triad traits, or just Psychopathic traits.

But in the plain photos with everyone dressed down, there wasn’t any relationship between how attractive people were rated and the scores they got on the tests.

So it seems from this that Psychopaths can make themselves more beautiful, but I was already thinking that before I read about the experiment.  One trait of a psychopath is their huge ego.  They tend to think that they are better than everyone else around them (maybe one of the reasons the ones who kill do so, because if they are more important then why not?), and also can usually charm people into doing things they don’t want to do, or just look and act more charming than other people might.  Both the big ego and charm are the reasons I thought that psychopaths might be more successful with their looks, because they feel they deserve it and know how to look as nice as possible.

I wonder what would happen if a Psychopath was blind or something, so couldn’t see themselves.  Would they be able to find a way to make themselves physically attractive?  A genuine part of me says that they probably would.

Image

 

I saw this picture when looking up the Dark Triad by the way and had a fangirl moment.  They are three triplet gym leaders from Pokémon and there is a speculation going about that they could be another trio, who go by the name of the Dark Triad.  The one in middle is Cilan and I love him to bits, so he can be the Psychopath.  Chili, the one with red hair can be Machiavellianism because that big word is similar to a demon’s last name in a fictional series I like, and demons come from hell (red-> fire-> hell).  Then Cress (blue dude) can be narcissism because it reminds me of a girl’s name, and Cress has long hair (look at me I’m gender stereotyping!)

 So, people I give you the true Dark Triad!

(Okay, so I lied, they are actually called the Shadow Triad but whatever.)

“I want it!” “Well you aint getting it!” The Psyche of a Psychopath (according to Freud)

So in the last post I rambled about Psychopaths a bit, but I didn’t say anything about why people actually are Psychopaths.  So I’m choosing a concept that I know a lot about, and that is the Psychodynamic Approach.  And yeah that is Freud’s approach and believe me, I know how wacko he sounds with some of his theories, but I’m really interested in his views on the Psyche, which is what he used to explain Psychopaths.

Image

So everyone knows about the whole angel/devil on your shoulders thing, and even though Freud didn’t say that the psyche was made up of the angel and devil, it is probably the easiest way to explain it.

Here’s the lesson (have fun!)-

The psyche is made up of three parts, the Id (devil), Ego (you), and Superego (angel).

The Id is instinct, it runs off of the pleasure principle and you are born with it.

The Ego is rational, it runs off of the reality principle and it develops from birth.

The Superego is consequence, it runs off of the morality principle and develops from three years.

You are born only with the Id, and all it wants is to get what it wants, without any regard for consequences.  That is why all babies do is cry, moan, cry, and keep you up all night, because they want something, and they don’t care if it annoys you.

Then the ego comes along from birth and you develop as you grow a sense of the world around you, but that’s not really important to the whole Psychopath thing yet.

At around aged three the Superego comes along and it develops based on your same sex parent.  It begins to conflict with the Id, because the Id’s all like, “I see the kid’s toy, I want the kid’s toy, I’ll freaking HAVE the kid’s toy!”  Then the Superego’s like “Nah-uh, that’s that kids toy, we aint having it, mm’kay?!”  And then the Ego goes, “Waah!  I don’t know what to do!  I want the toy, but I know that kid will be upset if I take it!”

By the way the toy in question is a Furby.  Because I really want a Furby and am seriously debating on whether or not I should steal one from a little kid.

Yeah so onto the Psychopath bit.  It all depends on how developed the Superego is.  If it is overdeveloped, then it will lead to someone being neurotic, anxious and probably depressed.  Because even in simple situations, like procrastinating while studying, your brain would be screaming at your ego (which is basically you) to stop doing things you like and start doing things you need to do.  Meaning you’ll never have any fun, and always be stressed.

The opposite, when your Superego is underdeveloped, is Psychotic.  That is when your Id is much stronger than your superego.  It allows you to hurt other people, or do anything to get what you want.

Now (this is the important bit), to be a Psychopath, the Id overpowers the Ego, and there is absolutely no Superego.  This means that you feel you can get anything you want, whenever you want, and you feel that you are in the right to have it.  You will also hurt yourself to get pleasure, by taking drugs or alcohol abuse.  Really the only reason Psychopaths don’t go around killing everyone is because they still have the Ego (even though it gets overpowered), which is ruled by rationality and reality.  If a Psychopath didn’t have the Ego and only the Id then they would think “I see the kid’s toy, I want the kid’s toy, so I’ll kill the kid to get it (Still a Furby by the way).”  Another example would be if you wanted to run down the stairs for a random reason, and somebody went in front of you.  Instead of asking them to move, you’d just push them.  Even if it meant them flying down the stairs.

What a lovely thing the Id is.

So that’s it for this post, but I need to say two things.

The first is that not all Psychopaths are killers or commit crime.  When I talk about Psychopaths I’m talking about the ones who do commit crime.  So if you are a Psychopath who doesn’t commit crime, I’m not talking about you.  Although if you are a Psychopath who commits crime, I’d love to have a talk, just don’t unleash your Id on me.

Second, this is a Furby in case you don’t know what it is.

Image

Who Killed the Twitter Bird? A Look into Psychopaths

So I trolled though Google Scholar for ages trying to find something on lack of empathy, but without the ability to pay for any of the articles, I found it quite difficult to actually get any information.  So instead, I’m going to look into another common thing you’ll come across when researching criminal behaviour- and that thing is… a Psychopath!

Okay, so I typed Psychopath into Google Images and the first picture that appeared was this-

Image

If you know who this is then you’re awesome for watching good movies.  If you don’t recognise this then shame on you and go and watch Silence of the Lambs right now.  Here’s a quote from it-

Oh, he’s a monster.  Pure psychopath.  So rare to capture one alive.  From a research point of view, Lecter is our most prized asset.

Hannibal Lecter (the dude in the picture) is the psychopath being talked about, and he’s probably the most famous fictional psychopath in history.  He’s the number one best villain in Hollywood (AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Heroes & Villians), and like the quote above suggests, he is a perfect example of a psychopath.

But now onto real Psychopaths.  I took an Are you a Psychopath test and scored 17 out of 40.  Here’s the test if you want to try it too-

http://www.arkancide.com/psychopathy.htm

I think that’s an improvement from two years ago, when I took Eysneck’s Personality Questionnaire in school.  The test measures your personality on three scales.  The E scale (introvert vs extrovert), the N scale (Neuroticism vs Stability) and the P scale (how Psychopathic you are).  I took it, and scored like 90 points in Neuroticism and 10 points in Psychopathic, with no mention of Stability and anything off of the E scale.  If you want to take it, here you go, and I hope you get a more appealing score than me-

http://xestia.net/tests/epq.php

So apart from getting that score on the EPQ, what are the other warning signs of future Psychopaths?  I read an article called Are you a Psychopath?  Scientists say it all depends on your TWEETS (Alex Gore, Mail Online), which as the title says, explains that if you frequently tweet words like “kill,” “die” and “bury” then they are warning signs that you could be a psychopath.  Oh and so is swearing too much apparently.  It explains that looking at social media is just as important as looking into personality and emotions, as with social media, people talk about their feelings much more openly than to others.

I do think that there is something in this article, but just because someone swears a lot doesn’t mean they might turn out to be a psychopath.  There are some people who just swear with every second word.  And the way they assess whether someone might have psychopathic tendencies is by using a computer gadget that counts the number of times a certain word is used.  That is extremely flawed because you might be something like a gravedigger (that’s still a job isn’t it?), so like every day you could tweet “Just buried another one.  Off to bed now.  Had enough dead bodies for one day lol.”  I mean, if you didn’t know that he was a gravedigger that could be taken really out of context.  And what if you are studying Psychopaths, so these words come up a lot in what you are writing?  I mean, what if you are a young psychology student who is looking into Psychopaths and yes, may use these words a lot but isn’t one no matter what some stupid test says.

I think that they should rethink what they have found, and maybe look into ways to improve it.  Because I don’t think any self-respecting psychopath with intelligence would go out to hurt someone then tweet about it afterwards.

Image

Although if this was the twitter bird, I totally would.

Empathy, to have or not to have…

I’ve decided to look into empathy here because it seems like a more reasonable explanation to why people commit crimes.  But first- a little learning lesson from our favourite book, the dictionary!

Em-pa-thy.

Noun- the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Lesson over.  😀

I agree that lack of empathy is a very important reason into why people commit crimes, but I have a also read an article that states that

Empathy can be used to help or to hurt others”. (Mary C. Lamia Psychology Today).

It was very interesting an explained that people who have a lack of empathy can hurt others so simply because they are oblivious to everyone else’s feelings.  But then Lamia explained that some people, like bullies for example, which was what the article was focusing on, are aware of the feelings of others, and use those feelings to hurt someone in a way that they will know will work.

Well this makes a lot of sense to me, I mean, anyone whose brain allows them to hurt someone (because I still think it’s the brain that’s the reason), when they are unaware of how that person feels can do it really.  Yeah they probably could see the person is in pain, or scared, but they must not be able to relate to it so it would be much easier than to actually feel that persons emotions and hurt them anyway.

That’s led me to think that people who have empathy can be a whole lot worse than those who lack it.  Because they know how someone feels, or know exactly how to hurt them in the most personal way, and they do it.  Now we have yet another sample of humans taking something good that can be used to help, and using it for bad.

^ That sounded very Disney that last sentence did.  I apologize tremendously.

A thought has just come to me while getting distracted with an army of Disney songs in my head.  A trait of Serial Killers (I pride myself in knowing all the approved traits Psychologists have given Serial Killers (and yes, I do know that’s a strange way to spend your weekend) ) says that Serial Killers, around their adolescence time, tend to torture and kill animals.  I always just assumed that was because it was easier to get away with, but maybe, the reason, or another reason they prey on animals, is because it is more difficult to empathise with them, and therefore, easier to hurt them.

I hope I’ve not made anyone upset about dead animals- if I have, here’s something to cheer you up and you can thank me later!

Image

Next destination- Google Scholar!

So what makes the Ripper pick up the knife?

Image

So I read online that people commit crimes because they don’t feel empathy for others, or feel that they are better than others, or that they are pressured into it, opportunists, jealous, greedy, passionate, laaaaaazy, you name it, someone’s apparently probably committed a crime because of it.

  Well I’ll tell you, sometimes I don’t feel empathy for people, and heck yeah I’m greedy and lazy- and I’ve been in the kitchen with someone else when I’m very close to a knife- but I’ve never gone all Jack the Ripper on them.  So there must be something about me, and all the other people in the big wide world who haven’t properly committed a crime, that stops us from doing it.  It could be something in those brains of ours.  Or maybe it’s what’s around us instead of inside us.

  … I’ll have a think on it.

Image

Topic.. Topic… To pick a topic..

I’m a student at the University of the Highlands and Islands!  It’s a cold, windy, depressing place up here in the land of nowhere, where your never a few feet from a sheep and it’s impossible to not live on some form of hill.

 Image

At UHI, I’m studying psychology- in hope that it will answer some of my random questions about other humans’ mind-boggling, puzzle-busting, weird looking brains 🙂  And in the psychology course we are to think of a topic to write about.  

But I have a problem… my own mind can’t think of a topic.  It’s thinking about the psychology of criminals. Or maybe early thoughts on psychology.  Or maybe the topic should be why brains can’t make up their minds!  (That’s right brain.. I’m talking to you.)

Rikachupi