Beyond Good And Evil

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  • 1. BeyondGood andEvil: ThePsychopathPersonalityWali Memon 1 Wali Memon
  • 2. The Psychopath Personality2 Wali Memon
  • 3. Definitions of a Psychopath"A person with antisocialpersonality disorder,especially one manifestedin aggressive, perverted,criminal, or amoralbehavior." The AmericanHeritage Dictionary“Intraspecies predatorswho use charm,manipulation,intimidation, and violenceto control others and tosatisfy their own selfishneeds. Robert Hare, Ph.D. An individual with “…the instinct of destruction, of mastery, the will to power3 Sigmund Freud .” Wali Memon
  • 4. Brief History of Psychopathy Term derived from the Greek psych (mind) and pathos (suffering), and was once used to denote any form of mental illness. Recognized for centuries, wearing evocative labels such as "madness without delirium" and "moral insanity." In 1801, Phillipe Pinel, the founder of French Psychiatry, identified such individuals as behaving crazily without actually being crazy. In 1812, Benjamin Rush, the first American psychiatrist, described them as patients with “innate preternatural moral depravity. In 1886, philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche writes Beyond Good and Evil, proclaiming “God is dead” and advocating the psychopathic personality as the individual’s legitimate right to becoming an “Ubermensch” or “Superman.” 4 Wali Memon
  • 5. Brief History of Psychopathy In 1910, Freud proposes that the psychopathic personality emerges when the war between the Id’s instinctual drives (Eros/Libido and Thanatos/Aggression), is won by the latter, resulting in an “instinct of destruction, of mastery, the will to power” and an “I see, I want, it’s mine” orientation to the world. In 1915, Emil Kraepelin first used the term “psychopathic personality” to describe amoral vs. immoral criminal types. In 1941, H. Cleckley writes The Mask of Sanity, describing the characteristics of the psychopathic personality. Psychopaths are human in every respect – but it is a lack of "soul quality" that makes them very efficient "machines." In 1980, psychologist Robert Hare creates the diagnostic tool called the Psychopathy Checklist (PCL).5 Wali Memon
  • 6. Incidence of PsychopathyAcross all races, cultures & ethnic groups1% general population 10-20% of prisonersCommon among drug dealers, con men,gang members, mercenaries, terrorists, corrupt politicians,unethical lawyers and doctors and cult leaders.“Smooth as Silk, sincere as Polyester”Recidivism is twice the rate other offenders; violent recidivism3x as likely 4 times more likely to commit violent offense after treatment release from intensive treatment community (develop better6manipulations & deceptions) Wali Memon (Hobson, shine, and Roberts, 2000) (Rice et al., 1989; Hare et al., 2000)
  • 7. Is There Such a Thing as a Female Psychopath?7 Wali Memon
  • 8. Psychopathy & Antisocial Personality Disorder in Offender Populations Antisocial All Personality offenders Disorder (50-70%) (100%) Psychopaths (10-20%)White Collar“SuccessfulPsychopaths” ? Many treatable Difficult to treat with with current current programs programs 8 Wali Memon (R. Hare, 2006)
  • 9. “For me, a life without murder is like a life without food for you.” Alexander Pichushkin Confessing to over 60 murders9 Wali Memon “Man Accused of Killing Dozens in Grisly Game of Chess.” Misha Japaridze (Associate Press) in Tallahassee Democrat August 14, 2007.
  • 10. Hereditary & Developmental10 Considerations in Psychopathy Wali Memon
  • 11. Environmental Trauma and the Brain The Case of Phineas Gage• Gage was a railroad construction supervisor in 1848 when a tamping rod was driven through his skull by an explosion.• The tamping rod severed the connections in the frontal area.• Prior to the accident he was a moral, hardworking, sensitive, conscientious, intelligent, and well liked.• Following the accident, his personality changed: lying and conning, violent, 11 Wali Memon alcoholic, and antisocial.
  • 12. “Nature” vs. “Nurture”“Psycho”path = Biology vs. “Socio”path = Environment 12 Wali Memon Heritability of ASPD estimated at 50% Neglect, Trauma & Abuse increases the risk
  • 13. The Genetics of Psychopathy A 1993 study identified 14 men in an extended family that had all been identified with psychopathic behaviors Scientists reported that all had an identical aberrant form of a gene on a chromosome that makes an enzyme called MAOA. Normal MAOA breaks down serotonin and noradrenalin; aberrant gene caused low enzyme activity. Low MAOA in animals associated with severe aggression13 Wali Memon Scientists posited they had found the “Violence Gene”
  • 14. The Environment and Psychopathy Can Our Software Change OurHardware?14 Wali Memon“Our Billy wasn’t Born a Killer”
  • 15. The Environment and Psychopathy A 2002 study followed 442 men with low-activity form of the MAOA gene Not more likely to engage in psychopathic behaviors (cruelty, severe aggression, criminal violence, etc.) unless abused and/or neglected Long term exposure to stress & violence produces high level of fear hormone, cortisol, altering brain chemistry Conclusion: Environment can alter15 brain circuitry Wali Memon
  • 16. “The Warning Signs” Early Onset of Traits & Conduct Problems16 Wali Memon
  • 17. What We Know About Antisocial Behavior Among Youth• Persistent aggression after third grade (age 8) is predictive of continued aggressiveness; its stability is similar to intelligence; the more severe the more stable• For example, 40% of 8 year-olds with conduct disorder are repeatedly convicted of theft, vandalism, & assault 17 in adolescence and….40% of the offenders who Wali Memon victimized children under age 6 were juveniles
  • 18. The Path to the Psychopath 2-16% 40-50% of CD becomes ASPD 6-16% boys 2-9% girls 3% males PDD 1% females1% PDD 1%1-20% ADHDADHD Oppositional Antisocial FAS/FAE Conduct Psychopathic1% Defiant PersonalityFAS/FAE Bipolar Disorder Personality4-6% Disorder Disorder LD DisorderBipolar2-8% LD etc… Stimulus seeking Criminal acts Lack goals Aggression Impulsiveness Parasitic Destruction Disregard safety Predatory Hostile Deceitfulness Irresponsibility Violent Inattention Defiant Rule violation Lack remorse Poor social skills Negative Manipulation Learning deficits 80% of kids with ADHD as children carry it into adolescence, and 60% of those had developed ODD or CD. 18 Wali Memon 100% of antisocial personality disorder have diagnosis of CD as youth.
  • 19. “We Covet What We See”You shall not covet your neighbor’s house.You shall not covet your neighbor’s spouse, ortheir manservant, or their cattle or anythingthat is your neighbor’s.Exodus 20:17The Ten Commandments are declared in Exodus 20 ofthe ancient Jewish Scriptures. Written nearly 3,500years ago. The Ten Commandments are used as socialand legal principles governing most cultures.19 Wali Memon
  • 20. Inside the Brain of the Psychopath20 Wali Memon
  • 21. Non-Reactivity to Emotional Stimulation EQUAL EMOTIONAL IMPACT FOR THE PSYCHOPATH21 Wali Memon
  • 22. The disruption of thecircuit linking the limbicsystem with theprefrontal cortex couldcontribute to theimpulsiveness, lack ofcontrol and emotionalabnormalities observedin psychopaths. 22 Wali Memon
  • 23. Prefrontal Cortex: The “CEO” of the Brain • Planning • Attention • Judgment • Reflection • Prioritizing • Self control • Strategizing • Sequencing • Anticipation • Organization • Impulse control • Second thought • Working memory • Modulating mood • Response flexibility23 Wali Memon • Goal-directed behavior • Foresee consequences Frontal brain
  • 24. The Psychopath & the Brain• Impairment in the prefrontal cortex (impulse control, judgment, tact) and its connections with anterior cingulate cortex (conflict coping) & amygdala (fear & anger)• Early neglect (sensory deprivation) trauma & abuse affects the development of the brain Result: poor impulse control, lack 24 socialization, poor empathy of Wali Memon
  • 25. The Neuropsychology of the Psychopath• Brains not be able to construct an emotional facsimile (empathy) of others’ discomfort• Less able to process deep semantic meaning of words & emotional significance of events• Less response to startle• Lower GSR to expected painful stimuli• Less fear of common hazards• Higher pain thresholds• Less avoidance of shock-punished errors in learning 25 Wali Memon task
  • 26. of a Normal Brain to the Brain of a Killer26 Wali Memon
  • 27. Undersocialized subjects have more difficulty in naming the color, suggesting frontal lobe involvement.27 Wali Memon
  • 28. Doomed to Poor Judgments “The grass is always greener on the other side of the hill.” “People who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” “Strike while the iron is hot.”28 Wali Memon
  • 29. Lionel TateSentenced to LIFE at age 14 for a murder he committedwhen he was 12. Once the youngest person in modernU.S. history to be sentenced to life in prison for the1999 killing of 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick. After his lifesentence was thrown out in 2004, a plea deal gave himprobation.Tate violated his probation when he was arrested forRobbery with a gun after he robbed a pizzadeliveryman. He is now serving a 30-year sentence forthe murder and is facing charges for the robbery. 29 Wali Memon
  • 30. DC Number: L24475Name: TATE, LIONELAge when crime committed: 12 Victim’s age: 6 Current age: 21 Current Release Date: 05/04/2031 Age at release date: 44 30 Wali Memon *armed robbery charges still pending
  • 31. Two World Views We perceive our worlds totally differently. The way a psychopath thinks and acts just doesn’t make and sense to most people.31 Wali Memon
  • 32. Characteristics of a Psychopath SIGNS DIAGNOSTIC & CRITERIASYMPTOMS 32 Wali Memon
  • 33. Characteristics of a Psychopath Early behavioral problems No realistic long term goalsGrandiose sense of selfworth Not responsible for actionsNeed for stimulation Promiscuous sexual behaviorPathological lying Many short termConning relationshipsLack of remorse or guilt Poor behavioral controlsShallow emotional Juvenile delinquencyresponse Revokes of conditionalCallous/lack of empathy releaseManipulative Criminal versatilityImpulsivity 33 Wali Memon Parasitic lifestyleProne to boredom
  • 34. Meet the Psychopath: Inmate Interviews34 Wali Memon
  • 35. Treatment of PsychopathsTreatment literature suggests that nothing has worked intreating psychopathsSignificant portion of those committed under SexuallyViolent Predator (SVP) legislation likely to be psychopaths(Hare, 2000)Treatment should NOT focus on personality change,developing empathy or sense of conscienceFocus on developing pro-social ways to satisfy their needsby capitalizing on their strengths and abilitiesMedications for acute aggression and very close controlboth during and after incarceration (Wong and Hare, 2005)35 Wali Memon
  • 36. Treatment CaveatsThe psychopath, will interpret caring as aweakness to be exploited.When psychopaths are placed in a mentalhealth treatment environment, they prey uponthe mentally ill and mimic their symptoms tomanipulate their environment.Psychopath’s who participate in traditionalpsychotherapy become better psychopathsand are more likely to victimize others.36 Wali Memon
  • 37. When asked how he selected his victims, Danny Rolling, the Gainesville serial murderer replied,“Predators look for vulnerabilities.” 37 Wali Memon
  • 38. Survival Skills Dealing with the Psychopath38 Wali Memon
  • 39. TOXIC PEOPLE Avoid being around antisocials and psychopaths as much as possible. Don’t hang out with people who have little regard for others or the law. Don’t be in places where you are likely to find such people. If you think you are in the presence of a psychopath, get away.39 Wali Memon
  • 40. Keep Your Eyes Open Don’t be blind to the psychopath’s need to control through deception. Be on guard against flattering statements, feigned concern, and phony kindness. Lying and deceit are natural talents of the psychopathic offender. They will do whatever is necessary to gain a psychological advantage to get what they want.40 Wali Memon
  • 41. Try Not to be Influenced by “Props” Be aware that psychopaths are masters of using “props” such as a winning smile, soothing voice, or an emotionless gaze. Understand that nonverbal mannerisms are really sleight-of- hand efforts to influence and distort your judgment. Be aware that an offender’s riveting eye contact is not necessarily an indication of concern or interest, but rather a “prop” to establish dominance and control.41 Wali Memon
  • 42. Know What You are Dealing With Everyone, including the experts, can be taken in, manipulated, and conned. Your best defense is to understand the nature of these predators. Be careful about sharing personal information about yourself, family or friends. Remember, if crime was the job description, the psychopath would be the perfect applicant.42 Wali Memon
  • 43. Know Thy Self Psychopaths are extremely skilled at detecting and ruthlessly exploiting your weak spots. If you are a sucker for flattery, feel unappreciated, feel lonely or alone, you are vulnerable. Be wary of anyone who tries to limit your contact with your social support system. The wolf will isolate the prey. The best defense is to understand what your weak spots are and to be extremely wary of anyone who zeros in on them. Self- examination, frank discussions with people you trust will be a helpful defense against43 the psychopath’s ability to distort our reality. Wali Memon
  • 44. Interviewing the Psychopath is… “A Dance with the Devil”44 Wali Memon
  • 45. Good: That which promotes life and liveliness. Evil: That which seeks to kill life or liveliness.45 Wali Memon
  • 46. A Cure for Evil ? “One can not study a disease without the intention to heal it.” M.S. Peck Perhaps we can diminish it’s impact, it’s force in the world.46 Wali Memon
  • 47. The End….Or is It?47 Wali Memon