Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Presidential psychopath

This is an ok Time Magazine article about a study looking at psychopathic traits in U.S. presidents, paritcularly fearless dominance, which, not surprisingly, can either be seen as courage or folly depending on the situation:


“An easy way to think about it is as a combination of physical and social fearlessness,” says Scott Lilienfeld, lead author of the study and professor of psychology at Emory University. “People high in boldness don’t have a lot of apprehension about either physical or social things that would scare the rest of us.”

He adds, “It’s often a kind of resilience because you don’t show lot of anxiety or frustration in the face of everyday life challenges.” While that sounds like a necessity for dealing with the daily crises that face the White House, from hurricanes to threats from rogue nuclear nations, the same trait in psychopaths is also associated with callousness, indifference to negative consequences and impulsive antisocial behavior.


It talks a lot about how presidents are not actually likely to be psychopaths because they have to delay gratification so much. But perhaps the most interesting part of the article was this:

“My mentor, David Lykken, argued that psychopaths and heroes are ‘twigs off of the same branch.’ It may be that the fearless dominance or boldness that sometimes gives rise to psychopathy might also sometimes give rise to heroism,” says Lilienfeld.

105 comments:

  1. Good morning, SW! I had the most wonderful dream about y'all last night. I dreamed that Elicit finally confessed to being an alcoholic, and Alia admitted that she's a pred-med drop-out.

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    1. Glad I'm not the only one who has dreams with those women. :P Just kidding.

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    2. why do you hate them annon?

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    3. Jealousy is a curse, anonymous.
      I've had dreams of SW too, except in mine they were doing things much more fun than confessing to being failures ;-)

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    4. Anon 11.40: that's a very weak attempt at portraying masculinity. I'm not fooled, and I doubt that anyone else is!

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    5. Anon 11.40 is Elicit.

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    6. No, not Elicit. But thank you, I'll take it as a compliment anyway. Elicit is one of the most awesome women to ever come here.
      Lol! I am not portraying masculinity, 305. I'm a woman and proud of it. Having these dreams about other women does not mean I am a male or wanting to portray one. It means I wouldn't mind having fun with other women :-)

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    7. You fantasize about women you've never met, without any idea what they look like? Please, continue.

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    8. I would be hard pressed to think that I am the only one here that ever fantasized about a woman not because of her looks, but because of her personality. I have a good imagination and can attribute whichever physical form I wish to them. That is the great thing about fantasy.
      How shallow of you to only be concerned with their looks. I prefer intelligent, powerful young women. Their looks are a secondary consideration.

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    9. Hi Anonymous <3

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    10. Hi Extremity, want to share some of your fantasies?

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    11. It doesn't strike you as shallow that you focus heavily on the age of your fantasy women?

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    12. Nice try ;-)
      I don't focus heavily on the age, but I do prefer women aged between 20 and 45. Older women tend to be either too grandmotherly or too desperate in their behavior, in my experience. Both are unattractive qualities.
      Tell me about your ideal woman.

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    13. Heh. Not sure about Elicit, but I'm surprized that no one has called Alia on the fact that she's told us she's twenty-five and is already practicing as a doctor... I mean, sure, that'd be possible from a theoretical perspective, but generally, a student is around twenty-two or twenty-three when they begin medical school...

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    14. What are you talking about? You start med school at 18, after high school.

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    15. Yes, in some countries. But the Bachelor of Medicine takes seven years to complete, do even of Alia had skipped a grade in school, she'd be cutting it pretty fine to be practicing medicine by age twenty-five. In other countries, you do your undergrad degree, sit the GAMSAT or the MCAT, and then you apply for med school.

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    16. Why don't you call her on it yourself? She doesn't read the comments from what I've seen. She's mostly on the forum.

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    17. I wouldn't want to mess with her either...

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    18. You defensive tone makes you sound rather shaky, 9.53. I wonder at your motives for defending an anonymous stranger, particularly on a site frequented by people who claim to feel no emotional attachments to anyone.

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    19. I wasn't defending her, I was complimenting your wisdom for not daring to confrunt her.

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    20. What a poor attempt at baiting. And you're referring to the wrong Anon, anyway. Ha!

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    21. Anon 4.21: you definitely do sound shaky and hyper-defensive. Why would you allow yourself I become so invested in a discussion about the credibility of an anonymous online character?

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    22. We don't have pre-meds (or "pred-meds"~) where I live. It's high school, and then a 6-year-long medical school (within a medical university).

      I'm not yet officially "practicing as a doctor". I graduated and received my MD degree about 3 weeks ago. There's still "a residency exam" I have to suffer through next month that will allow me to choose a medical specialty.

      I hope this dissipates some of your crippling ignorance regarding foreign medical education.~

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    23. Seems kinda weird that, after suffering through so much work, you'd be trolling through this site three days after the original Anon posted about you...

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  2. Arno the Indifferent and has Selective Sight and HearingOctober 16, 2012 at 12:32 AM

    First again!!!

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  3. I disagree with the delay of gratification being a reason for less likelihood of presidents being psychopaths because of the nature of the political machine with it's own versions of checks and balances within it. I do however think that corporate interests are better served having a well vetted psychopath in that position though. The Skull and Bones Society, Bilderberg Group meetings etc could be used to streamline those who get into power having similar traits and interests, why not psychopathy too? Despite the checks and balances within government more extreme thinkers at the top will lead to more extreme policies, a case for screening?

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  4. :) Good Morning Sociopathworld!!!!!!!

    How are you all doing today?

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  5. Replies
    1. He has all the characteristics of a sociopath. Many people see him as a sociopath. Especially, the women that were supposedly raped by him. He certainly likes the limelight - he just never goes away.......

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    2. Furthermore, Nixon used to hit his wife and at times had a black eye. This was told to me by a reliable source.

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    3. Now, I understand why Pat Nixon was so timid...

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    4. Yes, I heard about Nixon, too.

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    5. Interesting article from 2011 about Tricky Dick Not that there's anything wrong with that... Includes reference to his storied abuses upon his long-suffering spouse.

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    6. In the event you were residing in a cave in 2000 (or may have not read this yet) a lovely C-Span ramble-on regarding the The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon You can get one on the cheap right here .

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  6. Clinton may be charming( and he is) However, you can see how aging is taking everything away from him, as he has little inside.

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    1. He still made the DNC light up when he spoke. It's amazing truly, after all the scandals he and Hillary have undergone their party continues to rally and support them like heroes. ;-) More Clinton reviews and speculations . Factually Enhanced Fiction Clinton embraces and sells with a charming aplomb unmatched by many today in the political arena.

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  7. The first step out of a PD is that one must feel with one's own belly button. If a person has to ask other people for confirmation, he cannot feel from his own belly button. When one can feel things out and act confidently on them, one has attained this step.

    This is, really, the jumping off point for healing the PD, as no real progress can be made when one cannot feel out what is happening, both within oneself and outside of oneself. One will be in a prison, no matter what one does or what one achieves imho.

    However, it is a huge hurdle to get to this point if you have been forced to shut down from trauma.

    It is close to a miracle to get your feelings back.

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    1. Thanks Monica for that morsel of wisdom. So does this mean you are going to try the fake it til ya make it approach now?

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    2. i do not like that expression because the implication is you are acting. I am tired of that. Saying "fake it till you make it" sounds like just putting one more act onto all the rest. No thanks.

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    3. Precisely my point. It's all an act. Everything. The only part I can't understand is why someone wants to fake a PD with strangers over the internet. It gets you no sympathy here, not even from the empaths. Ok we get it, you're fucked up in the head woohoo! You know how, why and when it happened. So why not fix it? Recognizing the problem is the hardest part, and that part is over right? Look at all of the mistakes you made and all that the other people in your life made, adapt and overcome. Take some krav maga classes, start a little narc fan club, whatever it takes to build a little self confidence. If your life is boring shit then change it. Fucked-up shit happens to everyone. Instead of sitting on your ass whining about all of your problems, turn the computer off, get the fuck up and go live a little.

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    4. It is close to a miracle to get your feelings back.

      When I first started reading here I saw people saying when they went off their medicines all their feelings were coming out. Can anyone talk about that? (I don't know where that thread is, and I don't know the types of personalities who shared.)

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    5. 942
      To me, many of your words sound like when a politician like Romney says to poor people to go borrow money from their parents to pay for school.

      It doesn't seem to fit. Don't get me wrong, I agree with you and I have tried to snap out of "it". My life is a series of ebbs and flows, and fits and starts of projects picked up with no follow through. I am very tired from all the stopping and starting. I want to jump off the diving board as if to start a diet by fasting to kick it off, you know? I want to do something drastic like cut all my hair off to start anew.

      I wish I could snap my fingers and be able to just do it like the nike commercial says.

      That commerscial just makes me feel inspired for a split second.

      Thank you for the pep talk, though. I appreciate it. It just has not worked for me.

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    6. I don't fake things here. I only do it when I am joking around. That is just for relief . I am most certainly not a sociopath . I could not be one if I tried.

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    7. Well I wasn't aiming for a political discussion, but I'm game. I can keep it civil :) who do you support in the political world and why?

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    8. Or you can just throw a jab at "the other guys" and run. Or just change the subject. Such a good little puppet :)

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    9. I dont think How to heal a PD is Monica........... Maybe Iam wrong though.......

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    10. But, I also dont get why ANYBODY would fake having a PD....... It is noting but trouble for the person, unless they are a sociopath, but even than I think it still bothers them alot more than they let the outside world actually know.......

      But without a doubt we get those "fakes" here..... Like you said, even empaths like me have no sympathy for them..... The only point in faking a PD on here would be to Troll this website I think, but even then, it is still pointless................

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    11. I need no confirmation from no one to do the stupid shit I do. I have the utmost confidence in myself to be a complete and utter self obsorbed ass. I don't need anyone feeling my belly button. I don't get this one heals. Not all PD's are looking for confirmation outside themselves. Some people really don't give a shit about anyone else... how is they are looking for other's approval? How is it they don't already "feel their own belly button"?

      On the flip side... nice to hear from you
      :o)

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    12. How to Heal is Monica, Virus. We get to hear from her more than we really want.

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    13. I need no confirmation from no one to do the stupid shit I do. I have the utmost confidence in myself to be a complete and utter self obsorbed ass. I don't need anyone feeling my belly button. I don't get this one heals. Not all PD's are looking for confirmation outside themselves. Some people really don't give a shit about anyone else... how is they are looking for other's approval? How is it they don't already "feel their own belly button"?

      On the flip side... nice to hear from you
      :o)


      Thanks Virus :)




      The answer to that would be that each PD has strength in different areas, BUT corresponding weakness in others, in which another PD is strong.

      Let me give an example, the Co-dependent is strong in meeting people's needs but weak in having a good sense of "selfishness" i.e a healthy narcissism.

      The sociopath, on the other hand, is strong in being selfish and meeting his own needs, but low in giving to others and trying to be a considerate partner and helper to others.

      ALL PARTS OF A PERSON ARE NEEDED. If one is frozen in any single part(s), that is what defines a PD.

      If you take the BPD, they are strong in emotional expression, but too strong. The sociopath is shut down in emotional expression. So, you may think you don't care what other people think, but your problem could be a cast off empathy or good kind of "co-dependence"

      Do you know what I mean, Virus?


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    14. "If you take the BPD, they are strong in emotional expression, but too strong. The sociopath is shut down in emotional expression. So, you may think you don't care what other people think, but your problem could be a cast off empathy or good kind of "co-dependence""

      I'm tracking on the different areas of functional weakness , and agree. The problem I see with ASPD and in someways NPD, when you boil it all down it's the fact they don't care about other's at all. I don't care what you think. I am doing what I do because that's what I do... It's who I am. Now, what I do care about is whether what you think of me inhibits me from getting what I want. But, I really don't NEED your confirmation... I just need your sastisfaction to decieve you long enough for me to get where I need to go with you.

      I just realized I wrote all this from the first person... um, I "take it" that's how someone with a PD like ASPD might think. Just saying.

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    15. You are missing the point, Virus. The bad ass has a PD where (s)he cannot be tender. The weak, victim type has a PD where (s)he cannot be strong.

      The BPD has a PD where (s)he cannot be abandoned and has weak boundaries. The ASPD has a PD where he is a hard ass and needs no one.

      They are all PD's, but different.

      To round it out, the NPD has a PD where he has little core self, so makes a big, grotesque false self that acts like he is better than everyone and hence, needs no one. This is an aberration of the human spectrum of being. It is a distortion. Hence, it is a PD.

      It doesn't matter if you are "weak" or a hard ass. Each PD hardens one part of what it means to be human and throws another part away.

      Do you see what I mean, Virus?

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    16. "The first step out of a PD is that one must feel with one's own belly button. If a person has to ask other people for confirmation,"

      I do see the differences... my point is if one does not seek anyone's approval or confirmation becuase they are always right in everything they do (even if the whole world says they are wrong) then one has either already taken this step or one will never see this need for this step.

      ASPD feels little to absolutley NO remorse, correct? Why would I have ever needed anyone's confirmation and I have always felt from my own bellybutton... but I am still going to run this world for everything I can get out of it. Do you see what I am saying Heals?

      I love your stuff, Heals... but I am right back to the "tearing down defenses" thing we got into a while ago. I just do not see anything wrong with being the way I am...

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    18. "If you take the BPD, they are strong in emotional expression, but too strong."

      But only if you include a certain population of people diagnosed with BPD. Not all.

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    19. How To Heal... I can appreciate that you think these minimalist ideas and platitudes are helpful. That you think throwing out one liners and a sentence or two are actually the solution.

      I can also appreciate that you are only you, and not anyone else. That you have not fought the battle that anyone else has battled. Therefore you only have the right to suggest what works for you, but you can not suggest that what may be simple for you, is simple or obvious for anyone else. You are only you. You are not anyone else.

      To suggest that something is simple... where it is an extreme struggle for someone else, is indirectly shaming them. It is making their struggle more difficult for not having the compassion or acknowledgement that what you deem to be simple or obvious, is in fact, not.

      What you have been through, and how you have healed , may have worked for you.

      But just because something works for you, does not mean it is the way, the path, or will work for anyone else.

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    20. I hear you, Haven! I don't mean to suggest that the walk with a PD is not very, very arduous. I don't mean to minimize it.
      I want to heal. In my healing, I want to help others and help myself, as well. That is my only agenda.
      I write these segments because I need to. I need to voice my struggles and my triumphs. ME allows us the freedom to do this. For that, I am grateful and I make use of it.

      If you find me to be someone who does not speak to you, that is OK. My larger question, though, is if YOU have accepted your PD and lost the hope to heal it.

      I don't. I think all things can be healed--both physical and mental/ emotional.

      We have to find the way and there is a way. I don't have a passive acceptance that I will have a PD for life. Anyone who wants to join me in my struggle is warmly welcomed.

      Anyone who does not is not judged by me, but I cannot give up and accept a PD, without giving it all I have to become normal. I am doing it, so it can be done.

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    21. I have obviously not lost the hope or given up the struggle with my own PD. However, I do it on my own blog in my own space. I don't force it in a venue that is not conducive to my won struggle. Unless you're a recovering sociopath, your struggle, is going to be different, and therefore not applicable to the people that come here.

      Why don't you start your own forum! And attract people who care.

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    22. Haven
      People seem to care, here, as there is convo on it.


      Virus, I will, always, be honest with you ( and everyone). I think you are lying to yourself that you are just fine with how you are.

      I have followed your posts in SW. You are not happy with who you are. You are not happy with your life and your ability to contribute to it in a way that feels satisfying.

      That is why you are at SW, in part.

      However, in order to get help. you must admit this. That is the first step, for all of us. I think you are dancing around this process, but have not admitted it, as it would be very painful.

      I think you will, as you are strong and brave. I don't think you are a person with no empathy. I think you are shut down from your emotions.

      I appreciate your responses to my posts. I cannot do this alone and I appreciate you, a great deal, Friend.

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    23. Heals...

      I assure youI am the happiesst person I know, and if you knew me in person... I feel you would say the same. I like this to Haven though:

      "My larger question, though, is if YOU have accepted your PD and lost the hope to heal it"

      There is the ticket... sort of.

      What needs to be "healed"? I'm a working unit. I am just not like most. Have a great night Heals.

      Haven, go easy on the wine, Dear. Have a good night too.

      Tom

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    24. That's one of the things I like about you Virus, you are comfortable enough in your skin to not feel the need to mope and dissect everything you ever said and did to death. Accept the good with the bad and make the most of it.
      Don't ever change.

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    25. Take care, Tom!

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    26. AnonymousOctober 16, 2012 10:57 AM
      Well I wasn't aiming for a political discussion, but I'm game. I can keep it civil :) who do you support in the political world and why?


      AnonymousOctober 16, 2012 11:49 AM
      Or you can just throw a jab at "the other guys" and run. Or just change the subject. Such a good little puppet :)

      Haha. I'm not great at politics. I only do the topical reference analogy to drive a point home. But you're right seemed like a cut an run, ha. I had to go.

      I'm liberal, but not bleeding heart ;)

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    27. Do you feel you have a pd?

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    28. ^ this is for the person itching for a political discussion.

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  8. Replies
    1. Cuz we always stay on topic here?

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  9. Missing the sw forum digested reads... they never failed to make me smile

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  10. When I first started reading here I saw people saying when they went off their medicines all their feelings were coming out. Can anyone talk about that? (I don't know where that thread is, and I don't know the types of personalities who shared.)


    Yes, meds keep down your feelings. I never took meds, so can't comment about going off them, but it hurt really, really, really badly to get to this point of feeling.

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    1. Iam sure it will happen to me when I come off ALL the drugs....... I just dont know when I will ever get off the methadone though.

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    2. Rich
      It will have to be very, very slow. It will have to be at a time that is right. Don't sweat it, now. Be open for a time when it may be the right time.

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    3. :) Definatly....... I have to worry about getting off the Alcohol, xanax, and weed right now so iam not even thinking about getting off the methadone yet......... But maybe one day I will want to, I just have to see how I feel......

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    4. Rich
      You have many steps to take and each one has to be taken, very slowly, in order for them to last. It is like an inner revolution and must be approached with that kind of caution.

      You have just begun the journey. Your steps should be baby steps, just as you are doing, Rich.

      You are doing a great job!

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    5. ":) Definatly....... I have to worry about getting off the Alcohol, xanax, and weed right now so iam not even thinking about getting off the methadone yet......... But maybe one day I will want to, I just have to see how I feel......"

      Damn Rich... "Just Say NO!"

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    6. :) Thank you for your great advice...... Baby steps are a nescissity for me as taking HUGE steps at once scares me, so I take a bunch of small baby steps, and over time it equals out to taking a big step, without feeling so overwhelming!

      Thank you for your kind words and advice!!!!! I really appreciate it at this time!!!!!

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    7. LOL, It's a little too late for that one Virus!

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  11. wasn't nixon autistic?

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    1. nixon was an asshole

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    2. Nixon was your superior, you owe him some respect.

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    3. Anon 1115

      Do you feel better? Pitiful soul

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  12. Replies
    1. Hi Rich
      Thank you for your kind words, yesterday!



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    2. :) No problem Themes!!!!!! I LOVE your themes! You are part of what makes SW, we need a little humor in here from time to time ;)

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  13. Thanks for your email, M.E.

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  14. Hey there SW. I just finished a bottle of wine, am still unpleasantly coherent, and feel I need at least one more bottle to get though the Presidential debates tonight. Entertain me. and.... Go!

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    1. Lackluster. You all fail.

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    2. They are all too busy watching Romney being an utter idiot to entertain anyone.
      What a waste of a buzz :-(

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  15. Haven, still drinking? How much so far?

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    Replies
    1. Nah, I quit. Debates are over. I'd rather just go to sleep.

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    2. i'm sorry I missed you :)

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  16. I'm down with BPD! Yeah you know me!

    ReplyDelete

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