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Scientific research

‘Dark core of personality’ — what antisocials, psychopaths, sadists and other miscreants have in common

man in maskIs the disordered person in your life antisocial, narcissistic, borderline, psychopathic — or perhaps even Machiavellian or a sadist?

You may have struggled to figure out which definition applies, perhaps reasoning that a narcissist isn’t as bad as a psychopath. In reality, all of these disorders are bad news — people who have them engage in similar destructive behavior.

Now, research from Europe shows that all of these disorders share a common denominator. In a paper called The Dark Core of Personality, Ingo Zettler, a psychology professor at the University of Copenhagen, and two German colleagues, define the “D-factor” at the dark core. They write:

How much do psychopaths really cost our society?

Kaboni Savage was a drug kingpin in Philadelphia. On his orders, his crew firebombed the home of a federal witness in 2004, killing six people, including four children. Savage was sentenced to death in May, 2013.

A few months later, the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote an article about the cost of prosecuting Kaboni Savage: Bill for Savage trial easily tops $10 million:

No one protested when a federal jury recommended in June that Kaboni Savage be put to death.

In just a few years, Savage had left a grisly trail in North Philadelphia. He gunned down one man, ordered the killing of five others, and directed the 2004 rowhouse firebombing that killed four children and two women.

10 typical emotional abuse tactics that the experts don’t even measure

No wonder mental health professionals don’t seem to understand emotional abuse. In trying to conduct research about it, they don’t even have a comprehensive list of typical emotionally abusive behaviors.

Here are 10 behaviors that Lovefraud readers experience, time and time again, from their sociopathic partners. How many have you seen?

  1. You’re blamed for everything; it’s all your fault.
  2. Your partner flirts with others and cheats on you.
  3. Your partner disappears — you have no idea where he or she is, and when, or if, he or she will return.
  4. Your partner does or says something incredibly hurtful — and then acts like nothing happened.

How psychopathic parents create complex trauma in their children

By Dr. Kathy Ahern

An earthquake strikes in the middle of the night. A four-year-old child is trapped in a demolished house. She is left without food or water, help or support for three terrifying days.

In a different city another child the same age is neglected by her self-absorbed parents. They ignore her cries of hunger and fear for three days.

Years later, the earthquake victim suffers no ill effects from her experience. The child who was physically and emotionally abandoned grows into an adult suffering from complex PTSD. The physical and emotional traumas were identical. So why the difference? Betrayal.

Senior Sociopath survey closing soon

There’s a rumor floating around in mental health circles that sociopaths “burn out” with age, that they engage in less antisocial behavior as they get older.

Is this true?

Lovefraud wants to find out. So we’ve developed a survey to gather data from you.

Were you involved with a sociopath while he or she was over age 50? The individual could have been any of the following:

  • Your spouse or ex-spouse
  • Your romantic partner
  • Your parent
  • Angry Frowning Man with Arms FoldedYour stepparent
  • Your child
  • Your stepchild
  • Your sibling
  • Another family member
  • A work colleague
  • A business associate

The Atlantic publishes: ‘When Your Child Is a Psychopath’

When Samantha was six years old, she tried to choke her two-year-old sister as they sat in the back seat of their mother’s car. After mom separated them, Samantha said she wanted to kill everyone in the family.

The anecdote starts an article in the June issue of The Atlantic, When Your Child Is a Psychopath. The author, Barbara Bradley Hagerty, writes that Samantha was diagnosed with conduct disorder with callous and unemotional traits. She has the traits of a budding psychopath.

Hagerty spoke to many of the leading experts on psychopathy and how it develops for this article. It’s a good explanation of the state of the science.

New research on why people who tell small lies graduate to big lies

good lies

Weheartit

An article in the New York Times reviews new research on how the brain reacts to lies. Essentially, when someone continues to lie, “the negative emotional signals initially associated with lying decrease as the brain becomes desensitized.”

Why big liars often start out as small ones, on NYTimes.com.

The story did not say that the research had anything to do with personality disorders. But it certainly makes sense with sociopaths — the more they lie, the easier it becomes, and they tell more lies.

And then there’s this sociopaths like the sense of power and control that they experience when people believe their lies. So not only does the negative reinforcement fade, but the positive reinforcement of winning escalates.

Domestic violence and brain trauma

brainMany women who endured domestic violence suffer from headaches, memory loss, and confused thinking. The cause may be traumatic brain injuries due to blows to the head. Women may be exposed to the same type of head injuries as football players.

Fists not football: Brain injuries seen in domestic assaults, on Foxnews.com.

How Dr. Bob Hare began studying psychopaths, and what he learned

Robert hare

Robert Hare (University of British Columbia)

When Dr. Robert Hare started his job as a young prison psychologist, the first prisoner he met was a psychopath, although Hare didn’t know it yet. In an interview published in Discover Magazine, Hare describes the encounter with a man he calls “Ray:”

“He was extremely predatory, looked at me like I was food,” recalls Hare. “With his eyes, he nailed me to the wall.” Then Ray pulled out a crude, handmade knife and waved it at Hare. When Hare refrained from pressing the panic button, Ray said he planned to use his weapon on another inmate. Hare felt that Ray was testing him, so he chose not to report the prisoner or the contraband weapon to other staff.

Child abuse is America’s biggest public health crisis, and if you had a sociopathic parent, it could explain what happened to you

ace_pyramid_400x308Yesterday I was standing in line, horrified at how a man in front of me was treating his two little girls.

The girls looked to be about two and four years old. One of them was in a stroller. He yelled at the older girl I don’t know why. When she started crying, he yelled at her again, threatening to hit her if she didn’t stop crying.

No matter what the kids did dropped a blanket on the floor, touched the stanchion rope the guy yelled.

If this father was treating his kids this way in public what in the world was he doing at home?

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