Thursday, February 20, 2014

Responses to a hypothetical

Ok, we had a good split of responses from the hypothetical. There were 60 total. Approximately 29 people identified as sociopathic. Of those 29, six were diagnosed. Only 16 total people total were diagnosed with anything, including sociopathy. If you're curious to see all the responses, here's a link (there are 9000 total words).

My response to the hypothetical was that if extreme pain was an issue, we should pair up empaths with each other. If it is true that they feel each others' pain and find it painful themselves to inflict pain, then when an empath smashes another empath's fingers smashed with a hammer, that should be a twofer in terms of amount of pain juice. So my main thought was, given that we are in this situation, we should handle the task in the most efficient way possible.

I gave the hypothetical to me extreme empath friend. She suggested that she just wouldn't play. She would spend that time trying to find a way out or just die because she didn't think it was likely that we would be released after the fluid was collected anyway. Interestingly, she has always bucked what most people (including me) would just accept as their lot. For instance, as a child she refused to go to Kindergarten until her father started bribing her with coffee.

Her neurotypical significant other said that he would lock himself up in a room and just hope to avoid anybody, maybe even take a nap because that's how he deals with stress.

Using those three responses and what I predicted would be a fourth, I came up with four categories of responses: (1) cooperative (main goal is figuring a way to get it done, not necessarily to hurt people), (2) opposition (active resistance, (3) avoidance (passive resistance or noncompliance), and (4) sadism (primarily concerned with hurting people). I coded the responses accordingly (see document linked above).


Perhaps people who read this blog won't be surprised, but the large majority of sociopaths chose cooperating. As one person put it, once they heard the rules of the game they became "task-oriented." Why is this? I'm not entirely sure, but when presented with a game like this, sociopaths (high-functioning?) seem less likely to challenge the underlying assumption and more likely to find a way to game the system from the inside. As long as I'm pretty sure the game isn't rigged I'm most likely to play by the rules (and do it better than anyone else by being creative) than to completely subvert them. For instance, in my younger days I would scam people all of the time but didn't tend to outright steal from them.

Cooperative sociopaths were either coldly rationale about getting the job done or were trying to game the inherent weaknesses of the set-up. Interestingly while sociopaths seemed intent on trying to game the system, they were also concerned with the noncompliance of others and how they might try to enforce compliance. They treated the exercise as if it was a game of Diplomacy, tending to advocate for a more regimented and organized approach with due care to isolate the victims and rabblerousers lest their fear, panic, or rebellion spread. (Prompted by a fear of mob mentality? Desire to keep control of the group?)  While the cooperative sociopaths were concerned with emotions and psychological states to the extent they predicted individual behavior, the sociopaths were not concerned with minimizing psychological or emotional scarring, only physical (and they were oddly concerned about that).

In comparison, non-sociopaths who selected cooperation were often concerned about minimizing pain overall, and even emotional pain. Some were worried about minimizing their own pain or maximizing their own chances of survival. Some were primarily concerned with keeping some measure of at least an illusion of control over the situation, or at least being creative with the solutions to the problem.

Interestingly, most of the non-sociopaths answered both questions (how would you feel and what would you do), whereas far fewer sociopaths bothered to answer how they would feel. Even if the sociopath did address how he would feel, it was often in terms of non-emotional reactions, e.g. being impressed, sighing at the bad luck, or just being angry or frustrated.

More interesting still, when asked to imagine the reactions of their "opposites." sociopaths were most likely to focus on their emotions as opposed to what they would do. In contrast, non-sociopaths focused on what the opposites would do, not what they would feel. This suggests that sociopaths tend to see non-sociopaths in terms of their emotional reactions and non-sociopaths see sociopaths in terms of their actions.

Sociopaths also tended to see empath reactions more in terms of group dynamics (e.g., the sociopath would try to predict how they would act as a group), whereas non-sociopaths imagined sociopaths as operating as more of a lone wolf. Again, this is probably true to life -- statistically this situation would have only 1 or 2 sociopaths and the main thrust of the group dynamic would be from non-sociopaths.

I was pleased to see that empaths (at least the ones who visit this site) didn't assume that sociopaths would be uniformly sadistic. Rather, most of them correctly predicted that sociopaths would be rational and efficient (only two sociopaths were coded as sadistic, the other two sadistic responders were BPD and narcissism).

My favorite response about what your opposite might do was from an aspie: "I honestly have little idea."

Thanks for participating!

57 comments:

  1. Getting empaths to torture one another? Seriously, M.E.?

    Now, who wants to claim their responses so we can actually discuss this stuff?

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  2. "My official answer is I would talk everyone into banging each other."

    Serious LOLs to whoever gave response #34.

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    Replies
    1. Actually the area of the brain that processes pain and pleasure work similarly. Dopamine is released both in pleasure and pain. If this is the key ingredient of the fluid, all things being equal, then it could work. It would also be a superior alternative to inflicting pain.

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    2. Heeey!! 34 is me.

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    3. Embarrassing.

      Sounds like the ramblings of some deranged, sexually frustrated person.

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    4. Hmm...wtf? On my phone, my reply is counted as #34.
      On computer, I'm 35.

      So sorry, but that was not me talking about getting laid. I was the next one talking about causing maximum pain, but with minimum bodily damage.

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    5. In that case, banging is a perfectly viable solution.

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    6. You're the one that wrote that, aren't you?
      Soo....if you thought that nobody would stop you, you'd rape people?

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    7. No, not my post.

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    8. Endorphins are released from pain, not dopamine

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    9. Traditionally yes, but not just that:

      http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/10/061019094148.htm

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  3. Pairing will be unnecessary as vicarious pain (ie. emotional) is observable in the room. It is also likely in a moment of collective distress that people will form and seek comfort as a larger group. There would be increased resistance to pairing, especially with strangers. However as a group, cooperation may be more effective (minus predictable dissenters).

    The responses were intriguing. Statistically speaking, since it can be assumed that some people lied/embellished diagnoses that the 1-2 actual diagnosed sociopaths would be accurate, as far as being a representative sample in this experiment. That said, the variety of responses and opposing predictions were enlightening across all psychological spectra.

    Also, since you asked, diagnosed sociopath on Feb 18 at 1:51:14.

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  4. "If it is true that they feel each others' pain and find it painful themselves to inflict pain, then when an empath smashes another empath's fingers smashed with a hammer, that should be a twofer in terms of amount of pain juice." lololol

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    1. It is more efficient. Of course, the emotional distress of the situation would compound it all, increasing production.

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  5. ME: This effort to keep us entertained reminds me of the socio I have known. Somehow sencerely and somehow pure invention, arbitrary

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  6. Sociopaths can not control thier actions unless they:
    1) See the need to control thier actions.
    2) Desire above all else to change.
    3) Partispate in a novel program that TRULY understands the
    reasons WHY Sociopaths do what they DO and provides
    adequate support and guidence along the way.
    Forget all the things you've read about Sociopaths, including
    the writings of the great Robert Hare. These are pessimistic and
    hopeless writings.
    Sociopaths DO have the power to SELF rehabilate. But they've
    got to "kick" thier lifestyle, like the addict must "kick" drugs!
    Look to the writings of Dr. Stanton E. Samenow for answers.

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    Replies
    1. It's #1 that counts. #2 to a lesser degree. #3 is hardly novel - standard treatment involves pushing #1 and incentivizing #2. Also, sociopathy is not an addiction. That is a common misconception.

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  7. Regarding how the aspie and sociopathic "communites" interact with each other, well, aspies are behind some of the better security systems and their underlying programming which is used in cellblock D and various prisons and detention centers and helps keep the unruly element of the sociopathic population under control. In general though, I think most aspergers people as well as other peoples of other communities find sociopaths interesting and talented/gifted in respects, but ultimately dangerous and untrustworthy. One to one, I think aspies and sociopaths can sometimes get along well because they share the ability to see and
    evalute things unemotionally. We may both laugh at something that would make an "empath" immediately cry or upset as we react to the absurdity or boldness of a given event/situation. But that is where any similarity ends. And that is because the aspie can evaluate on a level (an empathic level or logical level that has benevolence at its root) that simply doesn't exist for the sociopath. It just not there and cannot be "thought" there (or can it?). It can only be thought about by them in the context of it not existing. Their biggest weakness is belief in their own ability (which can be exploited), as well as difficulty with long term planning and consequences.

    As far as this hypothetical goes, its ridiculous, because no one is going to do brain surgery on you with some magical pain measuring thing and make some rules to see how people behave. Even if you did all that with some clever successful strategy the chances of you still being slaughtered are likely quite high so you just wasted your time when you could have been conspiring on how to defeat the captor. A more realistic question is, what do you do if you are accosted, bound and then torture raped murdered. How do you deal with that, at least mentally, up till death if it goes that way?

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    Replies
    1. Benevolence is the key word

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    2. Is benevolence learnable?

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    3. Maybe. But they tend to give in to dismissive impulses, if they think they could afford, just as cholerics. It is an opportunistic behaviour with some pleasure gain. In contrast to cholerics, socios humiliate from behind. To out themselves is really respectable.

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    4. In truth you can learn anything you set your mind to. With that in mind, benevolence is not out of the range of information for s socio.

      -- Queue

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  8. Amelia heinle from the young and the restless will guest star on Hawaii five o Amelia heinle will be playing as julie campinelle in Hawaii five o

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  9. Amelia heinle from the young and the restless will guest star on how I met your mother Amelia heinle will be playing as brooke doyle in how I met your mother

    ReplyDelete
  10. Amelia heinle from the young and the restless will guest star on the good wife Amelia heinle will be playing as deb filiatraut in the good wife

    ReplyDelete
  11. Amelia heinle from the young and the restless will guest star on elementary Amelia heinle will be playing as Brenda graoux in elementary

    ReplyDelete
  12. Amelia heinle from the young and the restless will guest star on bones Amelia heinle will be playing as roz helter in bones

    ReplyDelete
  13. Amelia heinle from the young and the restless will guest star on Chicago fire Amelia HEINLE WILL BE PLAYING AS BROOKE KRAMER IN CHICAGO FIRE

    ReplyDelete
  14. AMELIA HEINLE FROM THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS WILL GUEST STAR ON CHICAGO PD AMELIA HEINLE WILL BE PLAYING AS AMANDA LINDENBACH IN CHICAGO PD

    ReplyDelete
  15. AMELIA HEINLE FROM THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS WILL GUEST STAR ON VICTORIOUS AMELIA HEINLE WILL BE PLAYING AS CAT MCDOUGAL IN VICTORIOUS

    ReplyDelete
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    1. AMELIA HEINLE FROM THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS WILL GUEST STAR ON VICTORIOUS AMELIA HEINLE WILL BE PLAYING AS CATE MCDOUGAL IN VICTORIOUS

      Delete
    2. I was laughing so hard in the coffee shop at many of the responses (particularly the sociopath league--not at, but I started imagining a dark comedy out of the scenario). I have a strange sense of humor, I guess. I enjoyed reading.

      --Bipolaris

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  16. Please delete all the unrelated/unnecessary posts about The Young and the Restless.
    It's quite distracting.

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    Replies
    1. You're the first person I've ever known to comment on spam here. This 'casting news' anon, the 'Teehee guy' and the usual spammers trying to flog pills never even get any acknowledgement. So congrats, you're unusual :-)

      Delete
  17. Coffee!!!! It revives me occasionally too, for a very very short time. I think, one thing some of them could do is to perform a harakiri –Japanese style- all together. It’s very cooperative, and it makes a beautiful scene for me to watch. I will remove my own vial after their communal action took place.

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  18. I've learned a lot about sorcery in the past, and am re-learning about it now (there's also vodou in Haiti).

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  19. Dear ME. This was a great idea and very insightful.

    I laughed at myself when I read the section about how sociopaths tended to not bother answering on how they would feel:

    I didnt even notice that was part of the question. Happens all the time . I read a text and my brain omits what is deems irrelevant ;-)

    In a situation like that , how on earth are feelings relevant. It is about life and death for crying out loud!

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  20. 'I would feel sad.'

    LOL.

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  21. Maybe what we do is brainstorm us up a plan to trick and attack the captor. Since the Sociopaths are probably the best and coolest actors amoung us, and quite manipulative, we convince them (they are somehow identifiable) to join in with us on our plan, which will involve them convincing the brain surgery woman that she needs to enter the room brieftly (was there a room involved?). In return for their participation, we all promise to give each sociopath $500 from each of us when we get out. Additionally, we promise to tell the reporters it was these brave individuals (the S's) who thought of and executed "their" daring plan. This will yield them a measure of fame and admiration.

    These conditions and agreement positively encourage them to a convincing performance and when the brain surgery woman enters, we pounce on her, free ouselves and go to the hospital to get our brains fixed. We keep to our deal and give the S's the money and also report how they were so brave and smart. Some years later though, some of us change our story a little and say they (the s's) actually were not the architects of our daring escape and name others who were involved. We explain that since they did the hard work, we gave them the credit. Plus we were in shock. This makes the story current again with some controversy, gives the S's a little more spotlight, and gives the rest of us a little attention and fame. Eventually the book is turned into a movie and we all make some coin.

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    1. I thought one of the conditions was that the brain tubes truly weren't removable--I took this to include removal by medical professionals, and perhaps even removal by the brain surgery woman. I'm not I'd have enough faith in brain surgeons ability to remove the tubes, unless this was a future dystopian world where such brain tubes were common. I'm neurotypical, but I think I'd think along the same lines as ME--doing whatever is most efficient.

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    2. Oh, I see. I hadn't really read what M.E. posted or the links she provided and just glanced it over. I'd like to think the women brain surgery woman, who is likely a sociopath btw, is not only lying about freeing us, but also lying about how something can be removed from our heads. You'd have more faith in her, a sadistic spciopath, than a hospital with access to many modern tools. Odd. So I would still seek destruction of captor.

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  22. Money and fame is worthless. The sociopaths are just as interested in escape as you are. That is incentive enough. They would be more than happy to put an axe through her head as they did the Macarena for all it would help.

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    1. They may want to play around though. They can be dumb like that. By offering rewards and incentives we hope to harness and give direction to their skills for the greater good.

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    2. Given the situation, that is unlikely. Besides, only an idiot would bribe them with dog treats when the situation calls for extreme measures. Sociopaths aren't dogs without any situational awareness. This is a matter of survival.

      Who gives dog treats to wolves?

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    3. Oh,come on, give aspie some credit, that was entertaining!

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    4. Thanks anonymous! This is beginning to sound like a bad discovery channel program. I was going to say that alternatively, we could offer to just beat them to death but I'm thinking we go with carrot which may provide a better chance based on what we know about sociopaths to give desired result.

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    5. Or you could do neither, and just ask and explain your reasoning. That is sufficient.

      Delete
  23. That was fun. #52 is exactly what I would do.

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  24. M.E. I am a sociopath (diagnosed). I didn't fill this out, because it seemed too boring. Moral dilemmas are easy (throw fatty in front of train, then go get some drinks and pick up women).

    This hypothetical is more messy and boring.

    I'd feel pumped (afraid) at first, as I'd realized someone had gotten the drop on me. Angry too, at the people that did it. If it seemed we were stuck, I'd be helpful and point out that electrically shocking our genitals would produce the most pain. I'd volunteer and take charge, with the goal of spinning my experience into money/fame/pussy/movie-deal afterwards.

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  25. M.E.~

    Greetings. I'm the aspie you mentioned in the text above. I've read your book, and have been reading through this website for several months while working out my own neurodiversity issues. I appreciate your work, which has opened valuable doors to understanding myself and others around me. I've considered writing or commenting for some time.

    My apologies if my answers to the hypothetical were rather brief. I'm extremely physically sensitive, and the overall hopelessness of the situation, combined with sheer body horror at the notion of having a foreign object in my brain, shut down any more complex response beyond suicide. I would have little practical solution to offer otherwise.

    One thing that I wish to note is that, as an aspie, it is far from obvious to me that a sociopath (presumably) is my "opposite". I'm personally at least as afraid of empaths as of sociopaths, as moral panics and heartfelt morality threaten me more directly than a ruthlessness which will, at most, take advantage of existing empathic prejudice. More deeply, I seem to share a fair number of character traits with sociopaths: I'm selfish, calculative, thrill~seeking, sexually fluid, inclined to elitism, and routinely ignore all legal and social constraints on my life. I'm however very emotional, socially awkward, and feel a sense of integrity, honesty, and personal identity, including a strong if antinomian conscience. Thus, if I understand these concepts correctly, I don't intuitively feel sociopaths to be farther from my psychology than neurotypicals, and in any case I suspect there is as much variance within any neurotype as exists between them.

    I incidentally have a friend and sex partner whom I strongly suspect to be a sociopath. We have a mutually beneficial if emotionally distant relationship, and he has treated me with more kindness and justice than most empathic lovers I have known. I showed him your thought experiment, and he suggested that the standard household tools and machinery would likely contain suitable materials to construct a bomb. He's an engineer.

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  26. I am number 5. Does this make me a socio or just a plain sadist? Mind you under normal circumstances I wouldn't have done it, since i do understand the reward and punishment system of the double standard society. But when threatened, and we are sure to die, then why inhibit ourselves? Have fun? And die with style

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  27. Fascinating. I didn't take the time to answer but the scarring part was really spot on for me. I didn't think about ''emotional scarring'' but I would have tried to do extremely painful things that do not really damage the body. Like, preventing to break bones (or at least bones that are difficult to repair) and blood loss. Electric shocks is a good way, if it's available. Simply beating the crap out of someone with bare fist could be useful too. I may be a bit masochistic so I wouldn't really care what they do to me. Also, if I wouldn't care if I died like that so I would just do my best and see how it goes.

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    Replies
    1. Electrocution leaves burns and can cause neuro-muscular damage. Bare fists risk damage to your hand - while most likely temporary, the decreased motor function would inhibit survival.

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  28. #53 is my favorite. #54 is my other favorite. Number 54, I like you. Considering I would (unless there was someone better) be your 'calm leader,' we could have some fun. You would, in fact, be exactly the one I was looking for. My biggest asset, in keeping the others in line, and then when you turned against me, we could really play~
    (I say that. Actually at that point it would be way more logical to just brain you with a frying pan, bind you, an extract the required quota of fluid. I'd wake you up when it came time to kill the lady who is not willingly going to let us leave, keep an eye on you until we'd neutralized her, and then probably kill you before you kill me. Play.)

    Not that 54's gonna see this. But I feel like we were working on the same wavelength a bit ~

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  29. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

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  30. I'm very torn after finding this blog last night. I want to play a hypothetical game

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