Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Bias and the PCL-R

I might have spoken too soon about Dr. Robert Hare. From this unique and conspiracy theory oriented review of Jon Ronson's "The Psychopath Test," selections from the book:
"Serial killers ruin families." Bob [Hare] shrugged. "Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies."

This--Bob was saying--was the straightforward solution to the greatest mystery of all: Why is the world so unfair? Why all that savage economic injustice, those brutal wars, the everyday corporate cruelty? The answer: psychopaths. That part of the brain that doesn't function right. You're standing on an escalator and you watch the people going past on the opposite escalator. If you could climb inside their brains, you would see we aren't all the same. We aren't all good people just trying to do good. Some of us are psychopaths. And psychopaths are to blame for this brutal, misshapen society. They're the jagged rocks thrown into the still pond. (p. 112)

"If some political or business leader had a psychopathically hoodlum childhood, wouldn't it come out in the press and ruin them?" I said.

"They find ways to bury it," Bob replied. "Anyway, Early Behavior Problems don't necessarily mean ending up in Juvenile Hall. It could mean, say, secretly torturing animals." He paused. "But getting access to people like that can be difficult. Prisoners are easy. They like meeting researchers. It breaks up the monotony of their day. But CEOs, politicians ..." Bob looked at me. "It's a really big story," he said. "It's a story that could change forever the way people see the world." (p. 118)
***
[Hare in response to a criticism that he speaks of psychopaths as if they are a different species:] "All the research indicates they're not a different species," said Bob. "There's no evidence that they form a different species" ...

Bob looked evenly at me. "I'm in the clear on this," he said. There was a silence. "My gut feeling, though, deep down, is that maybe they are different," he added. "But we haven't established that yet." (p. 268)
I've always gotten the feeling that he talks the talk of the objective scientist, but when push come to shove he pushes back with what looks inordinately like personal bias, and I'm not the only one that thinks this.

45 comments:

  1. Why does Hare have so much influence anyways?

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  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HxQ1QFUGKqo

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  3. Accuracy can only really be born out of data.
    Also I have a sneaking suspicion he doesn't like us very much...

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  4. I like hare but that don't mean i wouldn't kill em!

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  5. Not Fishing for Answers ButJune 1, 2011 at 3:44 AM

    Have any of you noticed how superior we psychopaths are to other people?

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    1. Superior? Oh, you poor guy…

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  6. Not Goading You ButJune 1, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Are you too dumb to reply?

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  7. "We aren't all good people just trying to do good."

    Try "There aren't any good people just trying to do good."

    You can only be a bleeding heart if someone's stabbed you, and everything else is pragmatic.

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  8. why is metaphors so chalenging for sociapaths

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  9. Firstly, I apologize for another 'is my ex a sociopath or not' comment, but when I unmasked him he looked NOTHING like a vampire. He didn't even wear guyliner. Do you think it's possible that I misdiagnosed him?

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  10. I am so postmodern! Just sayin'.

    ~Chica Nery

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  11. When a Figure present research and opinions from a standpoint of objectivity, sympathy, and most importantly under the guise of promoting understanding it paints the Figure as unbiased. Developing this image provides credibility as an objective scientist... and allows for the more subtle manipulation of their audience when they do decide to "reluctantly" condemn their subjects under study. "It's not my personal opinion, look how objective I am, they're just monsters". People believe a logical mind more readily than a fanatics ranting.

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  12. His opening statement is typical NT logic utilizing a brief glance at the issue.

    The simple fact is that although P/S types are attracted to power the way a fly is to a carcass, there isn't a huge difference between them and NTs at the top. Greed, power, and ego are huge motivators for anyone that makes it to those higher echelons, PD or not. A NT might have a few lines they won't cross, or suffer some kind of depression/guilt, but a big enough carrot on the stick is going to bait anyone.

    Bob Hare is rationalizing the depravity of his own species by trying to classify us as another. Irony, much?

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  13. I am not advocating genocide, but I bet that if you removed people to whom ends justify the means from the top of the power structure, world would likely be a saner, more boring place.

    Psychopaths anyway are pretty rare among statesman and the like. Most leaders I have looked ranged from slightly NPD like Churchill, to full blown cases like uncle Joe or Mao, who may have won wars, but at unprecedented prices everyone else but they were forced to pay.

    People do not need psychopathology to be monsters. I doubt most top SS-men were paths.

    There is a pretty decent book about WWII Nazi Germany, sort of like War and Peace was for napoleonic war. Narrator is a very well educated, rather sexually depraved individual. Feels like a kind of high brow Forrest Gump.

    It starts by saying that we do not have to fear the monsters, because the most monstrous deeds in history were carried out by law-obeying family men ... and that really, we only have to fear ourselves, our stupidity and our gullibility.

    The message is a bit diluted because the narrator is kind of extraordinary, especially with his bisexual incestuous tendencies (the only woman he wants to fuck is his sister).. which makes it harder to empathize with him for most normal people.



    I have also seen some article suggesting sociopathy increases in adults who are involved in occupation-like duties, the example offered was about IDF soldiers. Of course the leftwing idiots pounced on that. I wonder how true it is.

    As to psychopath CEOs.. I am friends with a consulting CFO who has been involved in eight or so startups. He claims two(out of 8) CEOs he once worked for were obviously psychopaths(or sociopaths), judging from their behavior.

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  14. What is the point of going into politics or business? Sure, you can become successful but the competition is exhausting, why not surround yourself with a bunch of fools.

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  15. Business and Politics are filled with fools.

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  16. Do any of you ever notice friends replicating your behavior? like how you walk or what way you feel your face, or even how you dress.

    I've noticed this a few times, even when I'm drinking out of a bottle or a cup, some will ask me to leave them some left overs to have my germs on them. It's amazing what people will do when you never give to them, I am flattered and disturbed at the same time.

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  17. Sorry notey boy I am projecting. I'm thinking everyone goes into politics to fuck you over :)

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  18. Haven, you're mostly right. Not going to knock you, but you're mostly right BECAUSE people are mostly stupid. If mostly everyone possessed a thought process, then what would happen BEFORE they committed to Hare would be something like: "Well, where on the spectrum is Hare?" "From WHERE are these objective (or not) thoughts being created?" and "What is the ultimate direction/destination these thoughts take us?".

    But they're mostly incapable, so you, I, everyone has to listen to horseshit.

    Just remember one simple phrase and you'll be ok. "Takes one to know one."

    Isn't that right Aspie?

    And good job Lanius "People do not need psychopathology to be monsters." That is one point that should stick beyond anything that can be said about people in general, including supposed psychopaths.

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  19. the younger girls used to chase me and sing songs of praise about me outside my door, i threw a can i was drinking out of outside and literally 7 of them beat the crap out of each other just to put their mouth on my can lols.

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  20. it's a sociopath thing ;) right gais?

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  21. venus, don't worry about that. i also keep thinking my ex was a socio. he was more like a borderline / narc.

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  22. You would think with all our knowledge of genes that we could come up with at least one set of genes that says this person has the possibility of being a P/S. As I read more about how hare did his research the more I see the obvious fallacies in it.

    How did he identify what a psychopath was in the first place before his test? Was it an after the fact analysis. Like let us see what traits these inmates have in common. I mean you have to go in with a preconceived notion of what you are looking for. I'm sure every prisoner hits some of that list. I bet depending on when you caught them would change whether they were one or not. Take a bi-polar prisoner. You catch him in a mania he will have the grandiose sense of self, the impulsiveness, weak controls on anger, need for excitement, inability to do long periods of hard concentration, etc. These periods can last for a long while.

    That isn't even hitting the fact that most prisoners have some type of mental/genetic condition. Fragile x, different forms of autism, and a entire spectrum of disorders lay in our prison systems.
    Where these disorders even taken into account? Did they filter them out? I've seen no mention of it.

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  23. Twenty questions on the test. A test that usually relies on interviews with people besides the inmate, criminal records, and actual inmate interviews.

    Apparently most "normal" people score between 0-4 points.

    Theoretically speaking, if said inmate did not have much of a criminal record, or people to interview, he could either score in the "normal" range if the interviewer didn't have much to work off of, or he could score at least a 20 for the same damn reason!

    It's ludicrous.

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  24. I'd be curious to see how other PDs score on that.

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  25. I watched "I, psycho" with Sam and there was a test on their about how well psychopaths could pick victims.

    Now that is a psychopath test.

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  26. Picking victims isn't a psychopath test, any mugger could pass it probably.

    Joe Newman's picture test however is 100% accurate so long as the one being tested doesn't realize what they're about to do.

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  27. You don't even need intelligence..

    Wolves can pick a victim. Reportedly, we have enough in common with them that they can spot which human has a gun and clearly isn't afraid and which one is easy pickings..

    Back when my boy scouts troop camped near(4 miles) a village with a significant subhuman* population, most of us got attacked because they were either a) scared, and showing it b) cocky and aggressive, which provoked attacks too.

    The key to not being attacked was to mind your own business, and not look like a victim. I pulled it off.. wasn't that hard. Maybe being almost 6'5" probably helped too.


    *only one in five can master reading. Totally present oriented, almost completely unemployable. Whole ethnics has pronounced antisocial tendencies. Most people see them as subhuman, trouble to be avoided, which is unfortunate for the handful of them who are actually human.

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  28. The test wasn't about picking a victim but about picking out people who have been victimized. She noted that people with psychopathy could pick them out at 70% accuracy and above while normal people had a lower ability.

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  29. Why all that savage economic injustice, those brutal wars, the everyday corporate cruelty?.. psychopaths are to blame for this brutal, misshapen society. They're the jagged rocks thrown into the still pond.

    It amuses that theories of human nature extoll progress/systems institutions when order has not necessarily improved our environment either tangibly or psychically. We have poisoned ourselves with all of the manufacturing/packaging/systems/ designed to rein in chaos. A human population cleaved too far from its origins may be to blame for the condition of our world.

    Perhaps the sociopath remains as a vestige of our animal selves. She is a change agent, a part of nature's fail safe, the polarity which reigns in Chaos. In neurotypicals, chaos creates psychic entropy and thus engages an innate pattern seeking mechanism. NT's demand order and respond to disruption with systems (the delusions of safety & control) housed alongside meaning (religion). That there would be those inside structures (religion/corporations/politics) to exploit loopholes seems like a natural and critical check and balance, a necessary tear in the fabric of 'reality' from which to invite reformation. A sociopath essentially challenges the system to reconstitute a new order. (Note described this succinctly as the grey hat hacker, In Hindu mythology Shiva, as lord of the dance, destroys the spent universe in preparation for creation anew.)

    A Sociopath is in the unenviable position of being often stigmatized, It's rather admirable that you engage this exercise in awareness yourselves. Hare gets play because however poorly constructed the litmus (or judgmental & myopic its author) there seems to be one primary test and spokesperson. He offers the greater population nothing less than a "scientific" explanation for the existence of "evil." What a simplistic way to write off the collective's fear regarding the great unknown. Perhaps M.E. will one day take up the opposition (an endgame). Maybe one of you (or more likely a cat's paw) will play by the rules long enough to subvert them-- re-frame a diagnostic to asses strength, contribute to the literature with a more even handed description of your particular cognitive set. (One challenge I see here is working collectively towards a shared goal without an immediate personal benefit. I am sure most of you wouldn't mind seeing the pack thinned if it meant more meat. )

    All this refracting is very post modern but a singular reality always cloys.

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  30. Give a sociopath empathy, and you just get a wet sociopath.

    Give a Neurotypical sociopathy and you just spawn insecurity all over the place

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  31. Jason I realize you're being facetious but you make no fucking sense.

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  32. fuck that picture. ugh. DONT SCARE ME M.E. :(

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  33. It was in reference to a recent post by ukan.

    :(

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  35. "My gut feeling, though, deep down, is that maybe they are different"

    Idiot. Of course "psychopaths" are different from "non-psychopaths". That is why the word exists. "Red-heads" are different in that they have red hair and "left-handed people"... Of course we are all the same based on chromosome number, organ components, etc.

    Also, what is this about another species? Someone doesn't own a dictionary and didn't graduate from high school, evidently.

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  36. Jason does makes sense and I don't know what post he got that from. I do believe that in a sense.
    When you give someone normal a dose of sociopathic thinking they become apathetic and insecure of their values. They see that every ethic they upheld as being baseless, which forces them to question their whole life.
    Robert Hare seems stumped these days. Different species? I knew I was a god.

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  37. I'd say it's fair to say full blooded psychopaths are a subspecies.

    Really, they look the same, but their behavior is rather different to ours.

    I mean,.. isn't it a fact that neurotypicals are often greatly stigmatised by killing someone, whereas a real psychopath can breakfast babies, kill a dozen people each day and still sleep as soundly as a kitten?

    That's a pretty major difference, I'd say.

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  38. I think what he means by a different species or that they are different is that they represent natural evil. They are not just some free thinking non remorse feeling people with poor impulse control, but in fact have a genetic agenda and that is to cause chaos and destroy. There have been more than a few articles written about hare and I recall in one of them he was described as a little paranoid about sociopaths. Wanting to see a persons eyes before he would talk to them. I think if you read between the lines of his work that his opinion of S is such. As apparently are other authors.

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  39. Fuck off Jason. Eat my cum, you fucking faggoty ass-twitching big man. You don't have insecurities? Why don't you take your mother with Alzheimers out to Compton, leave her there in the middle of the night with a wad of cash up her twat and her nighty over her head, and see what comes up for you.

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  40. I agree with this ukan, above.

    Picking and choosing when to be a socio or not is what makes a person like me do something more PRODUCTIVE and likeable in my life, thus having more friends and playmates who like to do shit on the weekends.

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