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8/5/10

The Psychopaths Among Us

Social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, psychopaths, according to at least one author, are neither sociopaths nor psychotics. They know the difference between right and wrong and just ignore it. Egocentric, they feel no empathy, guilt or remorse. For them, others are potential victims. Psychopaths are indifferent to the trail of unhappiness they leave behind through victims they have deceitfully manipulated.

Are they psychopathic because of nature or nurture, genes or environment? The answer is uncertain, but they are almost impossible to treat because they believe the problem is with others, not themselves. They think they have no psychological or emotional problems. Not all psychopaths are criminals and not all criminals are psychopaths. Chances are good that you have met one or will some day. Beware. A checklist for the personality type would include these: glibness, grandiosity, lack of guilt, and shallow emotions, as well as social deviance traits such as impulsiveness, lack of responsibility, and antisocial behavior. More

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