People sometimes ask me if it is Possible for a Non-Psychopathic Adult Individual to Develop Psychopathy. I have chosen to Respond To this Question with an Introduction to Machiavellianism and how, if at all, this World View Corresponds with Psychopathy.
Let me start with the question as presented by a Reader:
Don’t you think brain plasticity is still fairly high in adults? Short of a traumatic experience which severely damages the amygdala (causing lack of emotion), don’t you think one can slowly develop psychopathy through a safer method of gradually conditioning?
If you don’t have the genetic prerequisites for developing Psychopathy (this is determined before we are born) you will not become a Psychopath no matter what method you use to proactively try to stimulate or trigger the condition in yourself. You can adopt a certain world view, and to some extent behaviors, know to be prevalent among psychopaths. The world view I refer to is well known and even has a name, it is called Machiavellianism (ref. link above).
If you haven’t already come across Machiavelli or what he represents, check out Machiavelli and Machiavellianism (Wikipedia links). You might also want to look up his most famous book ‘The Prince‘ (link is to complete text in e-book format), which became the basis for the modern term ‘Machiavellianism’ – a book that shocked the public even in it’s own time because of it’s ruthless honesty and complete absence of aim to mask descriptions of reality in pleasing packaging as well as his open hearted references to the type of consequences that every man and woman must face when they refuse to acknowledge reality, along with it’s clear exposure of the all too common hypocritical pretenses of morality and religiousness i.e. in all levels of society.
As always, Niccolo Machiavelli, being the Messenger that he was destined to be, wasn’t received well by his contemporaries even if he gave them a Key to gain Understanding that could’ve enabled them to create greater lives for themselves than otherwise possible. Alas, it is always easier to turn the blind eye and use the remaining one eye to indulge in religious practices that the practitioner rarely understands the meanings of – thereby becoming useless mumbo-jumbo of nonsense and a waste of time, or worse: A time consuming Cancer that eats away at your life in exchange for the promise of giving it to you if you only agree to not live it while you have it.
The Machiavellian World View also see it as being an act of selfishness to allow oneself to indulge in illusions such as morality, letting mores dictate that you must be law abiding for the sake of doing what society (read: the seat of power) even if obeying this rule puts you and/or your family i.e. friends etc at risk. Yet the common choice is to be law abiding, and you’re told that you will be rewarded for doing the Morally Right thing (a great and blatant lie, but oh, such a comforting lie to those who lack insight and braveness).