Psychopaths keep their eyes on the Prize.
Well ain’t that the Truth!
This article hypothesizes that the crimes psychopaths commit stems from a combination of basically two features in us: Our lack of Empathy, and an overactive production of Dopamine in relation to the prospect of Gratification.
Image of an Impulsive Brain
The article reads:
All psychopaths share two characteristic traits: an inability to empathize with others’ emotions, such as the fear in a person’s face, and impulsive, anti-social behavior, such as reckless risk taking or excessive aggression. Neuroscientists have pinpointed neural mechanisms that may cause psychopaths’ lack of empathy. But very little research has looked at what leads to impulsivity- which in some ways might be more important, because it can help predict a psychopath’s tendency towards violent crime.
“All psychopaths share two characteristic traits…”, when I read this I expected the following to be: “Lack of Empathy, and lack of Guilt/Remorse”.
And sure enough, Lack of Empathy came up, but the second characteristic mentioned in this case is Impulsivity, the trait that I associate with the Antisocial in me.
I have no problem with lacking Empathy, in fact I’m fine with being the way I am. But I detest the way my Impulsiveness has led to so many mistakes and so much jail time.
And I can’t help but think: If Impulsivity is our second co-nominator, how on earth do the so called White Collar guys pull off what they do?
When I was a teenager, in the years following the Youth Freedom Movement, the Hippies and all that, there was a notion that Impulsivity was a good thing, there was way too little impulsiveness among people, and adults were generally far too rigid and neurotic. So I was proud about my impulsiveness… But that was then, and now I see it very differently.
It’s not my lack of empathy that annoys me, it’s that restless need for stimulation that seems so drive me to do things I wouldn’t have done otherwise. Even to this day it’s a constant struggle.