What is Psychopathy?

Psychopathy is among the most difficult disorders to spot. The psychopath can appear normal, even charming. Underneath, they lack conscience and empathy, making them manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal. They are an object of popular fascination and clinical anguish: psychopathy is largely impervious to treatment.

It is important to note that the vast majority of people with antisocial tendencies are not psychopaths.

Recent Posts on Psychopathy

Total Mind Control, Possible?

In the dark and sinister underworld of spies and madmen many things are possible. So, has hypnosis been used to program people to do something illegal or even diabolical?

The Sex Offender Next Door: Why Reintegration Helps

Ex-offenders are less likely to re-offend if there are people who will support their recovery.

Not All Narcissists Are Alike

By Joseph Burgo Ph.D. on September 22, 2015 Shame
The word "narcissist" has become trivialized, it's become more or less synonymous with vanity or conceit. In connection with the release of his new book — The Narcissist You Know: Defending Yourself Against Extreme Narcissists in an All-About-Me Age — Clinical Psychologist Joseph Burgo describes five of the more serious types of narcissist and how to cope with them.

Why Some of Us Commit Romantic Revenge

What happens when someone cheats? Is revenge the answer? For some people, yes.

Caution: Releasing "Non-Violent" Offenders

How much do we really known about offenders who may be turned loose?

'Stop Checking Your Smartphone!'

By Mark D. Griffiths Ph.D. on September 16, 2015 In Excess
Few people would say that their lives are worse because of mobile phones. However, in the scientific literature, excessive mobile phone use has been linked with self-reported dependence and addiction-like symptoms, sleep interference, financial problems, and dangerous use (phoning while driving). But can disordered mobile phone use be considered as an addiction?

Who's Most Likely to Post a Video Selfie, and Why?

Selfies have gone from the occasional Facebook post of people celebrating good times to elaborate video recordings of their everyday activities. Some people even post videos of themselves surviving an emergency. Whether or not you believe the selfie is a cause, or result, of narcissism, it seems to be here to stay, especially in its most recent, video, format.

20 Signs That Your Boss May Be a Psychopath

When psychopathy hits the workplace, the effects can be devastating, especially if that psychopath is your boss. Take this 20-item quiz to find out if this recently-discovered form of the dark triad personality may be affecting you and those you love in ways you didn’t realize.

Machiavellians at Work: The Case of the Conniving Counselor

Machiavellians are cunning and can exert their influence gradually and subtly. At work they can cause significant harm before their schemes are outed. I responded to one such employee by calling her bluff and blocking her attempts at continued manipulation. Wrath ensued.

Your Field Guide to the Femme Fatale

By Rebecca Coffey on September 09, 2015 The Bejeezus Out of Me
According to research psychologists from the U.K.’s University of Liverpool, narcissistic women are often sexually coercive. But rather than rape, they use emotionally manipulative tactics like threatening blackmail or vowing to harm themselves.

What Is a Machiavellian?

I am a master manipulator and a member of the dark triad. Pleased to meet you, won't you guess my name?

Who Murders Children? Psychology Profiles Child Killers

Published in the academic journal Victims and Offenders this review also confirms the police can infer a lot about who committed the crime just from the age of the victim. When a child is younger than five, the suspect, who is equally likely to be male or female is most probably from within the same family, not motivated by molesting, and tends to kill using their hands.

The Degenerate Anthropophaginian

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on September 02, 2015 Shadow Boxing
True crime author places Packer tale in context of cannibalism and crimes in American history.

Guns, Mental Illness, Substance Abuse, Trauma and Murder

By Kathryn Seifert on August 30, 2015 Stop The Cycle
Restricting guns and increasing access to mental health treatment is only part of the answer to violence in the US. We need to look at the role of substance abuse and family violence that surrounds children with violence. There is a need to examine our cultural tolerance of substance abuse and guns as a rite of passage and family violence as nobody else's business.

Does Your Bright Side Have a Dark Side?

We know that people high on psychopathy and related traits lurk in the “dark side” of personality, but what about its opposite? Having a “bright side” to your personality may sound positive, but it can create its own shadows in your life. See how you rate on these 13 typical qualities of the colorful (but still dark) personality.

How to Tell Which Therapist is Right for You

There is a reason that a person uses to excess. That underlying issue must be acknowledged and worked through if recovery is going to be long lasting.

Why Male and Female Psychopaths Get More Sex

One theory is that male and female psychopaths end up hypersexual through different routes via contrasts in personality - it's the antisocial aspect in men, but instead the impulsive thrill seeking in women.

Why Psychopaths Are Immune to Contagious Yawning

Catching a yawn from someone is deeply rooted in empathy, and seen across intelligent, social species. A new study shows that psychopaths, who are lacking in empathy, are far less likely to catch a yawn.

Inside the Mind of the Twitter Troll

The latest scientific study on internet trolls finds them to suffer from a unique constellation of manipulativeness (cunning, scheming, unscrupulous), sadism (pleasure from inflicting pain on others) and psychopathy (lacking empathy and remorse), which may only be properly illuminated by psychological testing.

The Bundy Effect

The Bundy Effect is the ability to create multiple impressions, fluidly and effectively, to achieve a goal.

The Six Best Strategies for Successful Therapy

How can you find a good psychotherapist and get the most out of your psychotherapeutic experience?

The Field Guide to the Female Psychopath

By Seth Meyers Psy.D. on August 10, 2015 Insight Is 20/20
A recent assessment with a 27-year old female psychopath offers a tragic reminder that female psychopaths can be just as deadly as their male counterparts.

Finding a Secure Base and Rewiring Your Personality

One way to change your insecure attachment style to that of having an “earned” secure style is to find and nurture your own secure base in adulthood. Learn what to look for and how to create for yourself the experiences that naturally instill mental health and well-being. It is never too late to rewire your personality in a way that works better for you and leads to more h

How the Brain Can Hear Voices That Don't Exist

By Guest Bloggers on July 17, 2015 The Guest Room
Schizophrenic individuals who experience auditory hallucinations seem to hear voices emanating from within. Neuroscientists are investigating how and why this happens.

Is it Psychosis or a Spiritual Emergency?

A spiritual emergency is a more contemporary and less clinical term than psychosis. It refers to an awe-inspiring event that transcends the ego and can cause psychological and spiritual transformation. Normalizing and acknowledging the event can result in learning and transformation for both the client and therapist.

How to Separate the Facts About Psychopaths From the Myths

Psychopaths have gotten popular, but where can we find info we can trust?

How Many Victims to Come, How Many Himizu's to Surface?

Exploring the racism, psychopathy, and schizophrenia of Dylann Roof from a clinical psychology perspective.

Identifying The Next Mass Murderer—Before It’s Too Late

By Joe Navarro M.A. on June 21, 2015 Spycatcher
We average 20 mass murders a year—what can be done?

Hacking Hatred — What Drives People to Hate and Kill

Hacking hatred and what drives someone to hate and then to kill

Diagnosing and Managing Criminal Psychopaths

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on June 15, 2015 Wicked Deeds
Criminologists, forensic psychologists and FBI profilers consider psychopathy to be the most important forensic concept of the early twenty-first century. Psychopaths are charming but deadly in their interactions with others. Because of its relevance to law enforcement, corrections, the courts and related fields, the need to understand psychopathy cannot be overstated.