Snakes In Suits – Predators Among Us

Cross-posted from Jesse’s Café Americain

“They often make use of the fact that for many people the content of the message is less important than the way it is delivered.

A confident, aggressive delivery style – often larded with jargon, clichés, and flowery phrases – makes up for the lack of substance and sincerity in their interactions with others … they are masters of impression management; their insight into the psyche of others combined with a superficial – but convincing – verbal fluency allows them to change their personas skillfully as it suits the situation and their game plan.

They are known for their ability to don many masks, change ‘who they are’ depending upon the person with whom they are interacting, and make themselves appear likable to their intended victim.

Psychopathic workers very often were identified as the source of departmental conflicts, in many cases, purposely setting people up in conflict with each other. The most debilitating characteristic of even the most well-behaved psychopath is the inability to form a workable team.

Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, Snakes in Suits

“I may have made an error in judgement— but one thing is beyond dispute: the man was able to work his way up to leader of a people of almost 80 million.  His success alone proved that I should subordinate myself to him.”

Adolf Eichmann

A psychopath according to the latest research is both genetically and physically predisposed, through a cluster of characteristics, to being unable to form bonds with other people, even on the most basic level. In addition, certain aspects of their upbringing and environment seem to contribute to their deficiency or predisposition, to turn it towards what would be considered as malignant ends.

Most simply, a full blown psychopath is someone who is ‘born without a conscience.’

Psychopathy is not categorical. It is not a black and white linear measure, wherein one crosses a single numeric score and can be diagnosed.   Rather, as Hare frames it so well in his revised checklist, there is a range of psychopathic predisposition that is more qualitative except at the extreme.

The neuroscientist James Fallon has a very amusing series of lectures in which he discloses how in his work he discovered that his own brain was wired in the same manner as a large profile of criminal psychopaths. And yet he is a high functioning and personable professional and family man.  And he is a remarkably entertaining speaker, and has a number of videos on youtube. So a mere physical disposition of some degree is not enough. There are clearly other factors….

Continue reading the article (including some very interesting videos)

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