In the Mind of Psychopaths

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PRavina Patel 1136613
General Psychology assignment- Wider awareness

Pondering on psychopathic traits

Aided by brain scans (MRI), scientists have found that psychopaths have significant brain impairments, which are decreased amount of grey matter in the brain responsible for processing empathy, moral reasoning and guilt that clearly affect their ability to feel emotions, and to react to other people’s distress. Also, other studies have linked the amygdala with psychopathic traits as this area is related to aggressive behavior. Abnormalities in other parts of the brain such as the orbitofrontal cortex have also been correlated to psychopathy, as this area is responsible for lying, irresponsibility, and lack of emotion. Brain scans have also shown that psychopaths (with mean, aggressive, rude attitude) have more activity in the part of the brain related to the expectation of rewards. Other than physical brain abnormalities, genes could also be playing a role on psychopathic behavior (monster-like behavior such as merciless killing, torturing, cannibalism, etc.). Psychopaths can also be considered as “natural born predators” as they tend to sense emotions such as fear accurately. Apart from biology, social upbringing can also be playing a role in psychopath’s lives. In fact, violent upbringing can contribute to psychopathic traits. However, psychopathic traits cannot be explained with simply one factor or another; it is a combination of biological traits, social traits, personal psychology and biochemical traits that are combined to explain psychopathic behavior. According to Dr. Robert Hare, the percentage of psychopaths in Canada goes up to 1% of the total population. One important distinction to make is that psychopaths are not necessarily murderous creatures. In fact, many of them may not even be criminals. However, people with lack of emotions, feelings, remorse or concern for other’s well being do tend to contribute to destroyed lives....
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