Monday, September 26, 2011

The psychopath test

The psychopath test: a journey through the madness industry/Jon Ronson 275 pgs.

Patrick and Kathleen had already read this book and so I kept hearing about it and decided I could not let this one pass me by. I've never really worried that I'm a psychopath but if you have, that pretty much proves you are not one. Yes, the notable incidents in the book are crazy but make you realize the dangers and risks associated with this...the mental illness most associated with serial killers. The one guy earned a 3 hour pass from his facility and wasted no time after getting out and went straight to killing someone. When asked why, he said he wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone. When reminded that he had killed many people before, he said that those murders had been a long time ago and he had forgotten what it felt like. So much for treatment. But one of the biggest problems with "treatment" is that is generally trains the psychopath to become harder to detect by giving them the skills they need to "act normal". Not every psychopath is a killer...some are business leaders. In the end, the lack to empathy and inability to register the reactions of others leads to the guy who did not know how to describe the emotion when shown pictures of people in fear but he did know enough to say, "I don't know what this is but I see it a lot right before I kill people." YIKES. Pick up this book and take the test.

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