Psychopathy was once used to describe a form of mental illness. In more recent psychiatry, it is defined as lacking empathy
or conscience, the inability to control impulses, and manipulative behavior. Most common people usually associate psychopaths
with serial killers while some others consider psychopaths to be the more quiet, introverted intellectual who is a bit
more manipulative than the average criminal. Still others believe that psychopaths are completely out of touch with reality.
Contrary to popular belief, sociopaths and psychopaths are not one in the same. As I previously mentioned, psychopaths are
considered to be out of touch with reality while socipaths are deemed unable to identify their conscience and thus are
plagued by the inability to distinguish right from wrong.
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In many cases, psychopaths seemed to function normally in public society. They have many friends and strong family bonds.
However, there are a few signs that may give some insight as to their true character.
- Superficial charm and average intelligence.
- Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking.
- Absence of nervousness or neurotic manifestations.
- Untruthfulness and insincerity.
- Lack of remorse or shame.
- Antisocial behavior without apparent compunction.
- Poor judgement and failure to learn from experience.
- Pathological egocentricity and incapacity to love.
- General poverty in major affective reactions.
- Specific loss of insight.
- Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations.
- Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink, and sometimes without.
- Suicide threats rarely carried out.
- Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated.
- Failure to follow any life plan.
While these are not always the telltale signs, they often lead to the exposure and capture of said psychopaths.
Well known psychopaths, or serial killers, such as Jeffrey Dahmer
, Ted Bundy
, and Jack the Ripper
were notorious for their polite manners and cool intellect. As all people are different, so are the traits of psychopaths.