What Makes A Psychopath

1 - Published in United States of America - Social interactions and entertainment - 4 years ago

Hey everyone. For now on, every time I watch a TED Talk, I am going to post my analysis here. I know most people will not read it, but if you do, hope you enjoy. Video Link 1: http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test

What is a psychopath? Is it someone who always walks into the room with a different stride every day? How about someone who has an ego bigger than their skill level? Maybe a person who can get others to do his or her bidding with the use of a few simple words? Or maybe, it is someone with none of these. Maybe a psychopath is someone we think of as a normal person, with not a  visible thing wrong with them. Because, in all truth, we can never be sure who is a psychopath and who is not, because the evidence is overwhelming abundant, to support both the affirmative and negative sides of opinion, making a simple marking of yes or no almost impossible to prove right.
To be defined as a “psychopath” by a psychiatrist means you must fulfill numerous items on a checklist. According to Jon Ronson, some of these so-called “symptoms” were things like “grandiose sense of self worth”, “manipulative”, and a “lack of empathy and emotion” (Ronson). Simple things like these, adding up, made one individual a psychopath. Ted Bundy, famous serial killer, was a psychopath. He manipulated his victims into coming with him, and the public around him into believing he was a perfect, harmless man. He had a gross overconfidence in himself as well, and had a lack of empathy for not only his victims, but also their family and friends. But the same can go for a regular Joe off of the side of the street. Say Joe is a salesman, who, according to Ronson, are “4% likely to be psychopaths” (Ronson), compared to the “1% of normal people”. Joe needs to sell someone a phone so he gets the commission he needs to buy food. Joe uses some persuasive wording, a little white lie here and there, and sells Barbara a phone. He is now marked as manipulative. He does not feel bad though, because he needed the money to support himself and his family, and afterall, he is a good businessman, it was his job to sell the phone. Now, he is marked as egotistic and has a lack of empathy as well. Things a simple, normal person does can be considered psychopathic traits according to the checklist. What makes a psychopath is more than simply having qualities found on a checklist. While these can help point in the right direction, what makes a psychopath is much more. It is what we feel on the inside and do not show that defines us. It is the actions we do that define us all the same.  People can have every quality on the checklist and not be a real psychopath, while others can show no symptoms, yet be truly psychopathic. But, truthfully, where we almost all lie in a grey area, where we represent some qualities, but not others, never fitting into one categorization or another. Ronson said he himself could be considered one. He left things out of his articles and his books, and that could be considered manipulative. But just because he represented a quality off of a checklist, does that mean that he is a psychopath? I took particular note of what Ronson quoted “psychopath” Tony on in the video. Tony said ‘“Everyone’s a little bit psychopathic. You are, I (obviously) am, everyone is.”’ (Ronson), and this right here is about as close to the truth as we can ever get.We all have qualities that make us unusual. We all have imperfections and problems that make us odd and annoying, weird and quirky, and downright crazy sometimes. But that doesn t mean we are psychopaths, it means we are humans. What makes a psychopath, in my opinion, is still unknown. Sure, we can use a checklist to help identify possible signs. And sure, we can give a diagnosis to every problem a person has. But then maybe, that makes the psychiatrist psychopaths for having such confidence in their abilities to brand people something. Or maybe it doesn t. But in the end, we almost all fall in the grey line, and we will probably never really know what makes a person a psychopath, and what makes the psychopath in the first place.

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