By Tuan Nguyen
Posting in Cities
A study suggests that computers may be able to identify psychopaths by analyzing their speech patterns.
Whether it's Ted Bundy or a fictional character such as Hannibal Lecter, psychopaths elicit within us a sense of morbid fascination.
How did they come to be? Are they born out of society's failures or simply born evil? Recent evidence has shown that their brains appear to be wired differently than most people. Yet what makes them even more mysterious is that on the outside, they appear as inconspicuous as the next person.
However, a study now suggests that there may be a way to identify psychopaths and it involves simply recognizing certain patterns and words in their speech. The finding may make it possible to screen suspects and even enable law enforcement to develop better strategies to track down or interrogate suspects. Additionally, clinical psychologists can use such insights to formulate improved treatment programs.
To investigate whether there are actually "psychopathic tendencies" in the way a person talks, researchers at Cornell University compared stories told by 14 imprisoned psychopathic male murderers with those of 38 convicted murderers who were not diagnosed as psychopathic. Each subject was asked to describe his crime in detail; the stories were taped, transcribed and subjected to computer analysis.
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The analysis showed that psychopaths are more likely than other criminals to use words that reveal a great degree of selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional flatness, the study found. These include conjunctions like "because," "since" or "so that," to imply that the crime "had to be done" to obtain a particular goal. Here are a few other notable differences:
- Psychopaths used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality.
- They were also more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes.
- They tended to be less fluent in their speech, using more "ums" and "uhs." The exact reason for this is not clear, but the researchers speculate that the psychopath is trying harder to make a positive impression and needs to use more mental effort to frame the story.
However, the researchers caution that their analysis applies only to murderers relating the story of their own crimes, and called for further studies of speech patterns in more neutral situations, such as telling a neutral story from the subjects' past or describing an incident shown to them on video.
"These findings on speech begin to open the window into the mind of the psychopath, allowing us to infer that the psychopath's world view is fundamentally different from the rest of the human species," the researchers concluded.
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Mar 8, 2012
You guys allow it to be quite simple for all your folks available.
Psychiatrists frequently think and treat sociopaths and psychopaths as alike, criminologists treat them as unusual because of the dissimilarity in their external behavior.
"These findings on speech begin to open the window into the mind of the psychopath" Really? Sounds like the researchers have a huge window open into their minds, and the breeze is tickling them. Who decided which subjects were psychopaths? Most psychopaths would probably not be found out, because they would probably have a lifetime of practice hiding their unusual thought processes, and a very high degree of control over their speech.
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As others have rightly pointed out at length, there is far too little to go on here. Further, many intelligent people exhibit some of the supposed signs and symptoms of being a psychopath. Most people exhibit at least a couple. On a side note, I would like to point out that a person saying "um", "uh", "er" more than others may be an indication that they are looking for the right words or phrasing, not just to curry favor, but because they wish to maintain a certain standard of articulation. Often, people of a lesser general intelligence or vocabulary will not exhibit the aforementioned tendency because they fail to bother regulating what comes out of their mouth.
So, has anyone run the words of the current occupant of the White House through this filter/test yet? I'd love to see how he scores.
This study is way too limited and way too small to be of any value. This is what pop-psychology writers do, they bring up subjects they find interesting or sensational, and write their little study as if it were scientific and relevant. Don't buy into it.
Jow_Blow, you got that right. I will be another BS program for the government to take away more of our Constitutional Rights!
Hanibal Lector has nothing on Enron they were ready to eat a Nation. Human beings are not the only persons on planet earth there are legal entities as well.
Aim it at Barry Soetoro and see what happens. Also, for the author of the article, does he have any idea of the sort of tyranny he's promoting? Most of these reporters/researchers don't have a clue. Here's a suggestion. Read the book, "1984."
When it's perfected the FBI will seize all rights by imminent domain, in the name of homeland security. Then they can pipe all the electronic communications they are spying on through it. Next there will be an installation at every ISP, and probably a new internet tax to pay for it. I can't wait to see where this is in a year!
I wonder if pop pseudo-psychologists can be identified from their speech patterns? Even if you ignore the basic silliness of a soft science with an extremely high rate of predictive failure using computer voice patterns as a tool, the pool of test subjects was so small as to make it utterly impossible to get any useful conclusions from this effort. Those "researchers" need to give a full refund to whomever paid for this study. BTW when I was a teenager a psychologist predicted I'd have a psychotic break at some time. Unless of course I had a long course of therapy with him. Since I was probably the least aggressive, calmest, most self contained kid in the world my parents just laughed at him. Looks like the overselling of this discipline hasn't changed in the past 50 plus years.
My book of the month is The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout, a Harvard psychologist. (sociopath and psychopath are the same). Her estimate is that 4% of the population is sociopathic, meaning that they have no consciences, and they marvel at the rest of us who are so concerned with unimportant emotions. They know well how to use our peculiar concerns against us. They are often very clever, generally manipulative and very rarely are they criminal. The real threat is from our spouses, children, neighbors, friends and colleagues who appear to us to be normal but who view us as potential victims. She points out the closest thing to a flashing warning of a sociopath is the constant need to be pitied - they are always victims in their own minds. What this implies is that the article above is just silly. 99% of sociopaths have no overt or severe criminal tendencies. The identification of sociopathology with Ted Bundy makes no sense except in that limited arena of criminality. We are still left with our caution and alertness to find most of the sociopaths that we encounter every day or week. And that is usually almost impossible until it is too late.
Something my spiritual teacher pointed out: most organizations exhibit psychopathic behavior. This is because the individuals who make the decisions are shielded from their consequences, but still largely free to act on their impulses. The result is that the organization behaves like a psychopath, not caring about the consequences of its self-centered actions. This applies to companies, which bizarrely have also recently been given the status of "people." With over 60% of hardened criminals in jail also diagnosing as psychopathic, can we lock up our large corporations? Government also qualifies for this diagnosis.
I wonder how Newt Gingrich would fare in such a test. It is clear that he is a delusional sociopath, but perhaps he is also a psychpath . . . .
[i]"...non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality."[/i] So, believing in nonexistent supernatural beings is 'normal'? Sounds to me like a religiously tinted study. Ummm.
A good test for a psychopath; 1. Walk up to the test subject. 2. Look the subject directly in the eyes. 3. Poke the subject in the chest with your finger. If injuries to yourself occur from this test, the subject is most likely a psychopath....
OK...so according to this: "Psychopaths used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality." A single person who is an atheist with a low paying job in search of a soul-mate is a psychopath..... "They were also more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes." Who used to have a good life and most of the best memories are in the past are psychopaths. "They tended to be less fluent in their speech, using more ???ums??? and ???uhs.???" And have less sleep and lack of food prevents them from thinking coherently... These things all make up a psychopath? This is the problem here...false positives...if even *ONE* individual breaks the pattern, then it is not a reliable method to determine psychopathic tendencies....
Gosh, what is described above really seems to be the kinda typical description of Wall Street CEOs and similar megalomaniacs... You know, the ones who put millions of people out of work, nearly crash the global economy but think that taxes are something to be paid by the ordinary people so they lobby Congress to reduce taxes and they do things like buy companies with the sole purpose of selling their assets. Be really neat to see this kind of computer analysis applied to interviews of some of these people who are so crassly killing off ordinary Americans by restricting access to health care or simply allowing banks to foreclose on so many millions of home owners... I'm not [i] saying [/i] that they are sociopathic, just wondering, you know? People that express their beliefs in average people but act in their own interests or run for political office and intentionally distort the truth for their own purposes and benefit.
From: "The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry" by Jon Ronson The very first thing to know about psychopaths, at least according to Jon Ronson is that: ??? ???they???re very charming. ??? They???re also usually smart, ??? Bored, ??? And ruthless power mongers ??? Who watch suffering with interest, ??? Have an inflated sense of self-worth, ??? Lie compulsively, ??? And rarely take blame for their mistakes.???
"The Sociopath Next Door" is a great book for understanding true psychopathy (not the limited definition that this study uses), another is "Snakes in Suits" by Paul Babiak, Ph.D., and Robert D. Hare, Ph.D. Whereas '..Next Door' deals with ones found in our regular lives, '..Suits' deals with sociopaths in the workplace, both as employees as well as supervisors. It helps in identifying them and how to deal with them (the best way is to avoid them entirely but oftentimes that is not possible.
I also have been thinking about company structure, especially when it is public company where interests are dictated by shareholders. It becomes a machine that puts shareholders' interests above people who work in the company. Even if people who lead and work there are normal, the company still exhibits psychopathic properties. As long as profit drives the company, it will be so and usually that's the situation with public companies. So, what would be the ideal human company? It may not be possible in the current world. Maybe the one where service to others is a top priority?
Once again, an ignorant Liberal uses a totally unrelated subject to insult a conservative with totally false accusations and innuendos.
Unfortunately, Cognitive dissonance is more common than sense. So if you are smart enough to think above social needs, religion, and spirituality, you might be a psychopath. If you are stupid, then you most likely believe in stupid things like religion and peer pressure.
You have just proved that You are a psychopath. Why on earth did You go and poke that nervous man in the chest in a neighbourhood where there are at least four stabbings a day?
They said when describing the crime psychos will use past tense while normal person will re-live the situation once again and describe it in present tense.
I rather think that the study in question would not just use a symptom or two to determine psychopathy, it would be a combination of weighted symptoms.
You're quite right about that. The same personality defects that are present in psychopathy do often make people successful businessmen although it is still only a small percentage. If you're interested in learning more about the relationship, I recommend "Snakes in Suits :When Psychopaths Go to Work" by Hare and Babiak. Robert Hare is probably the world's leading authority on psychopathy.
Correct a corporation is a legal person who's best face is in fact ruthless and at worst psychopathic. Its always about the money. Consumers have one function to supply money. How that is got well its what works goes. Enron for instance, oil " noncartel " and so on. Rents are better than profits etc. Who needs free enterprise when you can dominate and eliminate that is really free enterprise like the hoist the black flag kind of enterprise. That kind of thing.
Leave it to an ignorant Liberal to use any and every forum to spout his dribble. "Wall Street CEOs and similar megalomaniacs" provide the jobs that allow morons like you the freedom to bite the hand that feeds you. Governments, not corporations, "put millions of people out of work, and crash the global economy". Those you demonize pay the lions share of the taxes, while 50% of those who vote pay nothing. If it weren't for "corporate raiders" purchasing companies to sell their assets, those companies purchased would simply go bankrupt, owing billions to their creditors and former employees. The true sociopaths in today's society are the Liberals who think it proper to steal from those who produce to give money to those who don't, all the while making wealthy Liberal politicians and bureaucrats richer.
Politicians: Nothing for they do not fit the base criterion of being human. Leaders: Does a person lead for the betterment of your followers or is it done to fill a vacuum of required ego boosters? BTW, there is a BIG difference between a true leader and a politician. God help us if we elect another politician this November.
Wrong approach. Test had to be developed using politicians as a subject, then it could be applied to criminals...
So Jon Ronson is now being quoted as a source on psychopathic personalities? The very, very first thing to know about psychopaths is that someone could exhibit all of the behaviours and qualities and attitudes of "the very first thing to know...according to Jon Ronson" and not be psychopathic. The second of them is that there are not actually that many of them around (your boss might be a controlling, manipulative little shit, but he's unlikely to be a controlling, manipulative, psychopathic little shit). A 2009 British study found that in the prison population, where we would expect to see higher numbers of psychopaths than in the general population, only 7.7% of men, and 1.9% of women could be categorically diagnosed with psychopathy. Jon Ronson's book is about as useful in understanding and identifying psychopaths as a Cosmo 20 question personality test would be. Posted by an ex-psychiatric nurse.
I've met a couple light weights and though the damage is slight and annoying rather than serious and deeply hurtful, their personal attributes reflect most of what is listed by jerryroller. If one person I know ever got involved in felonious activities, someone would end up on Death Row, and if a jury believed her, it probably would be someone else.
I submit the idea that there are too many generalizations being paraded around in the guise of hard and fast rules. In general. (haha) I think the proposed methods for identifying psychopaths and sociopaths are a prime example. Yes, there are indicators in behavior, speech, etc... but every single case is unique. People want to believe that there is a definite means of identifying psychopaths or sociopaths or whatever bc the idea that there isn't scares them. (and as we know, fear has a tendency to suppress rational thought) There are always exceptions. I find it especially amusing, personally, that many of the so-called red flags present in the behavior of serial killers are also present in the behavior of most intelligent people to one degree or another. Who can draw the line without some good hard evidence? Who will say "Because he/she showed the signs. Because we will first deny him/her the chance to prove us wrong, in order to avoid the chance that he/she proves us right."
A Non-Profit or break even company, where every penny of profit is reinvested in the business, either to the employees, profit sharing, or expansion and hiring. Stock price is what drives publicly traded companies, which is not a true reflection of business. You can make a healthy profit, with billions in revenue, but if you do not continually grow that, then Wall Street will stop investing in you, stock price goes down, management leaves/fired (with grossly inflated departing bonus), new management tries to make Wall Street happy playing with numbers to make things look good (but continuous growth is impossible), etc, etc repeat, ad nausea... Wall Street loves growth or crash because they can skim money (while adding no value) either way. Consistent sustained performance is what they loathe, but what every business should really aspire to, but Wall Street calls this flat-lining. It not only puts shareholders interests above the people who work in the company, it puts them before the customers, products, services and the business itself. Its greed, not psychopathy, and will eventually consume itself (and everything else as well).
Most people will use the past tense when talking about the past. I am very confused about that being used in profiling. If anything, if the study was done with "Psycho's vs normal Murderers" as suggested, it simply profiles literacy within the criminal community? Wouldn't the study need to also be carried out among non convicted citizens?
Are all your rants this whacky??? You are obviously not a Christian because you don't care about anyone other than yourself. You obviously have no conscious and couldn't give a rats patooty about the elderly or disabled. It's obvious that you are anti-democracy. It's actually the middle class that pays the lions share of taxes as they don't have the crooked dishonest loopholes, shelters, and off shore accounts that the greedy morons you idolize have and abuse. Perhaps you should go back to listening to Rush on the radio and leave the real discussions to the adults. Liberals? bureaucrats? Rue the day? Who talks like that?
While psychos get successfully you and likewise people project blame on each other, they will keep ruling the world. "Those you demonize pay the lions share..." What a lot of BS! I haven't seen major bank paying any significant TAX since 2008 crisis. The banks paid their bailout money by using credits from government. The recent example is 25 bln settlement where banks would have to pay 5 bln, the rest 20 bln will be given to them as credits by gov. That's why since 2008 US got 8 trln. of new debt. Someone gotta pay and it looks like it will be a tax payer. The investment tax is 15% while regular man pays ~30% Here's article about it. "Here was one of the biggest investment banks in the world seeking psychopaths as recruits. " [bank: GS] http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/01/psychopaths-caused-the-financial-crisis-and-they-will-do-it-again-and-again-unless-they-are-removed-from-power.html I'm not saying there are no good companies, who pays taxes and creates jobs. They do exist and many. What I meant is right now banks managing the show and the psychopaths who control those companies will destroy the economy if not stopped.
"what you have just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul."
Way to small and specific a population to generalize from (at least yet). But you have to watch out for assuming the converse is true. If we accept the proposition from the study: if you are a psycopath ==> you behave this way you still don't have any idea if the converse is true if you behave this way ==> you are a psycopath And until you can prove the later proposition, this is all just useless as a tool for anyone.
Do you know 'most' Christians, Hans? You've met them, I take it? 'Most,' did you say? How well do you know them? Intimately? How well do you know even the tiny minority you've actually met and how can you be sure they are really Christians? Because they said so? Because they were standing in a church? If they stood in a bank and claimed to millionaires would you believe them? Let's look at this from another angle: You've got Germanic name - Hans Schmidt - and so just for grins, let's substitute 'Germanic Name' for 'Christian' in your scholarly post and tweak the historical context appropriately. Now, along comes someone who verbally tosses you and everyone else having a Germanic Name into a bin labelled 'Most People Having Germanic Names Care Only About Genocide and World Conquest,' thanks to his experiences with a score or two Germans he's not even sure of and scarcely knows, and some knowledge of recent German history gleaned from 50+ years of scholarly study. Did you find what you were looking for, Hans?
What many do not realize is that corporate taxes are part of the company's cost structure and as such, corporations may be viewed as not actually paying taxes. Instead, corporations attempt to pass their tax assessment to the consumer through higher retail prices. However, foreign companies with lower corporate tax rates and / or lower labor rates tend to have a competitive advantage in pricing that in some cases results in US companies being forced to absorb their inefficient cost structure. So, what does this mean? 1. If the corporation is able to pass 100% of its tax into its retail prices, the end consumer is the one who actually pays the "corporate" tax. This pass-through has no bias among economic classes which results in the poor shouldering a disproportionate amount of the "corporate" tax (wealthier individuals have a much higher savings / spending ratio) 2. If the corporation is not able to have 100% of its tax included in its retails: a) Other internal costs will be reduced (i.e. labor reductions through pay increase limitation / freezes, higher production standards, changing to an overseas-based operation) and/or b) Earnings will be decreased resulting in lower stock values and a higher capitalization rate (higher costs) for public corporations. These higher costs result in greater inefficiency. c) Of course lower stock values / returns also have a significant impact upon a company's (and state's) ability to fund pensions through investments, insurance rates (including health care cost), and an individual's ability to retire, and many other issues. These are just a few issues related to corporate taxes. In reality, there is an extremely complicated relationship between individuals and corporate entities but there is no denying that this relationship does exist. The old saying "What is good for GM, is good for America" is very much as true today as it was during the time of its origin.
Having studied religion and spirituality for 50+ years, I've found there is a lot to be questioned about "Christianity" There was a man named Jesus and that's about all we can be sure of. Most "Christians" are followers, content to believe what is passed on to them by a self serving hierarchy.True spirituality has nothing to do with religion.