Are psychopaths ever gullible

Learning from psychopaths means learning to win

Note: This article is a contribution to the ScienceBlogs blog writing competition 2015. You can find information on the process of the competition and how you can vote here. Information about the authors of the competition entries can be found at the end of each article.

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Become a psychopath, it's worth it! According to these book tips. In any case, almost a quarter of my online community has psychopathic traits.

I tested my online community for a specific trait of psychopaths - without letting them know it was. Strictly speaking, the participants and you will only find out what was behind my little experiment through this blog post. And which book tips you can take to heart to find out more about it. Because that could pay off for your own life.

The psychopath and his image change

Probably no other severe personality disorder has undergone such an impressive image change as psychopathy. Even if we do not admire psychopaths unreservedly for a long time, they are still being welcomed by larger parts of the population. One understands: They are among us, and not every one of them is a madman who cheerfully kills. Instead, they are cool doers who choose the means that suit their ends, whatever those ends, and exclude everything else.

The change in the way we see psychopaths is largely thanks to Oxford psychology professor Kevin Dutton. In two books he popularizes psychopaths as ambivalent contemporaries who on the one hand stand for a cold, unscrupulous and unemotional brutality, even under pressure, without remorse, but on the other hand, with precisely these characteristics, have a reservoir of character that we, in moderate doses, have Brings success in life closer in general.

In 2013, “Psychopaths. What can be learned from saints, lawyers and serial killers ”, Dutton put in 2015 with“ The good psychopath in you. Discover your hidden strengths! ”Provocatively.

Characteristics of a psychopath

Psychopaths have little or no scruples and fear. They are highly confident and impulsive. They stay cool even under high pressure - they are characterized by great mental toughness and at the same time less empathy and remorse. With charm and charisma, they conquer people and make them trust them and do what they want. Psychopaths can focus on a task and ignore everything else, especially trivialities that are irrelevant to success, such as hurt feelings of other people.

At one point my house and court philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche is quoted with a sentence that makes you shiver easily in this context: "The great epochs of our life lie where we gain the courage to rename our evil as our best."

A psychological experiment

In his second book at the beginning of Chapter 4 “Just do it”, Dutton refers to a psychological experiment, the origin of which I unfortunately could not determine and the concrete results of which I also do not know - allegedly, as “Wolf's Dilemma” it is a sub-form of known prisoner's dilemmas.
(Note: In this book, Fischer Taschenbuch, March 2015, the prisoner's dilemma is presented in its pure form in a table on page 286. This table might be wrong if I see it correctly: The contents of the fields at the bottom left and at the top right would have to be swapped become.)

Here is the experiment:

20 individual cabins stand next to each other. You come into one of these cubicles, the door behind you is closed. You see a big red button. You have to stay in the cabin for 10 minutes without pressing the button. In the remaining 19 cabins, people are also in the same situation as you. If none of the 20 participants has pressed the button after 10 minutes, each of them will receive 10,000 euros. If someone presses beforehand, that person will get 2,500 euros. The experiment is then ended immediately, the others get exactly nothing. The time is running when the red button lights up.

Note: This article is a contribution to the ScienceBlogs blog writing competition 2015. You can find information on the course of the competition and how you can vote here. Information about the authors of the competition entries ...