AP Psychology Fall Term Project
Introduction I am more interested in the abstract and philosophical aspects rather than the more concrete biological aspects of psychology. The topic that interested me the most so far this year and the topic that I continued to research was the topic of morality. I didn’t have a specific question I wanted to address but as I read some articles about people who were institutionalized for violently expressing psychopathic personality traits, I came across an article that asked a question of its own. The article brought up the idea that traits of psychopathy including ruthlessness, charm, mindfulness, focus, fearlessness, and action can be beneficial to the individual. From this idea, the question I sought to answer was “If we all take on typically immoral psychopathic tendencies, are they no longer immoral?” Summary The article I read came from Scientific American adapted from the non-fiction book The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us about Success by Kevin Dutton. The main question posed by Dutton is: Can the typical traits of a psychopath benefit people at certain points in their lives? The article is more of an interview with some patients at Broadmoor, “the best-known high-security psychiatric hospital in England” and an observation rather than a study with measurements and variables. However, applying knowledge of Kohlberg, Brofenbrenner, and Gillian’s theories make the article even more interesting. In the article, Dutton discusses the inmates’ solutions to problems similar to that of the Heinz dilemma, psychopathy and the brain, and a relation to psychopathic traits to religion and happiness. If what he discusses were put into terms of variables, the independent variable could be expression of psychopathic traits and the dependent variable could be anything the traits effect from happiness to inner or universal morality. Discussion In the article, the ideas of the...
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