It has be a question for many years about psychopaths, “Is it Medical or Learned?” These sort of studies continue in the medical field for all types of mental illness, which always becomes a debate.

Many break troughs have happened since we have acquired things like scans and MRI’s.  Research shows that psychopathy appears to be linked to specific structural abnormalities in the brain.  Brain scans showed a psychopath has levels in the cerebral cortex, which displayed significantly reduced grey matter volumes in the anterior rostral prefrontal cortex and temporal poles.  These are areas that are associated with empathy, morality, and self-control. These areas are important in understanding other people’s emotions and intentions and are activated when people think about moral behavior.  Damage to these areas is associated with impaired empathizing with other people, a poor response to fear and distress, and a lack of self-conscious emotions such as guilt or embarrassment.

According to a study persons who are psychopaths have a reduced empathy that is measurable. In fact, these individuals can turn their empathetic feelings off and on at will. This could be the reason why they can be both heartless and socially charming at the same time.  Typically, a psychopath will initially seem charismatic and friendly. The first impression is that the psychopath is a genuine and respectable person. This personality is artificial and is revealed after a period of time.

The impression that a psychopath has no empathy at all seems to be incorrect and not so simple.  It just seems they are able to shut it off and on at will.  In most cases it is OFF.  Which leads to another issue, in most mental illnesses, they cannot help what they do, they are sick.  But for the psychopath, if they can turn it off and on, then they do have some degree of control and know what they are doing.  If they carry a large degree of narcissism, which most do, this is nothing but giving them a huge power over others that they use.  This is no different than a person born with a high degree of creativity, which allows them easily to be great artist, creators, designers or inventors.

Psychopaths have a lot of good things going for them. They are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused. This is tailor-made for success in society.  When a psychopath sets their sights on an individual, their obsession toward hurting that person can be incredible. This goes without a conscience, remorse or empathy. The psychopath will do the inexplicable without consideration of how their actions will cause damage or pain for others.

In the end to my personal conclusion I still do believe both learned, personal image and medically developed is all connected.

Traits of a psychopath in scans that were taken seemed to carry these traits:

• Makes self-serving moral choices
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Lies repeatedly and unnecessarily
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Is a master manipulator
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Deflects blame
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Shows no remorse for their actions
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Is two-faced
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Ignores their responsibly to loved ones and everyone around them
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Surrounds themselves with people who are useful to them
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Superficially charming and feigning sincerity for others for popularity

 

Resources:

https://occupycorporatism.com/10-facts-psychopaths-discovered-uc-brain-scan-study/

http://psychcentral.com/news/2012/05/11/scans-show-psychopaths-have-brain-abnormalities/38540.html