Probably no surprise if you’ve read the book, but new research by Pavel S. Blagov Ph.D. which is about to be published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science suggests that “people who scored higher on the psychopathic subtraits of meanness and disinhibition tended to show less interest in social distancing and hygiene”. (source)
Blagov is an Associate Professor of Psychology at Whitman College.
As the Black Lives Matter protests continue around the world, I’ve been doing a series of interviews on the Bullshit Filter podcast with members of our American audience, trying to get their perspectives on the causes and solutions of the current wave of anger towards police.
One of the fastest and simplest solutions I can see is to run every cop through a psychopath test to identify which of them need are more likely to do others harm. It doesn’t require entirely re-thinking policing or new kinds of legislation and it’s hard for anyone to argue with. By its very nature, policing is a career choice that would seem attractive to psychopaths, as it offers an enhanced level of personal power. While I’m sure most cops are good people, trying to help their community, it makes sense that a higher-than-average percentage of them are going to be psychopaths.
So I’d like to see a movement pushing for every police department to implement psychopath tests and then to come up with a range of strategies for what they are going to do with the cops that get a high score. Perhaps they could be required to have desk jobs; or be partnered up with someone who has a low psychopath score; or be subjected to regular review by a panel of confirmed non-psychopaths.
This isn’t going to solve all of the problems of police violence – not all racists are psychopaths – but it would have to make a huge difference and I think it would be a terrific place to start.
On December 15, 2015, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal tweeted: “Modi is a coward and a psychopath.”
This is one of the few times I’ve heard one politician refer to another as a psychopath. I’m not sure if he meant it in a clinical sense (Kejriwal is a mechanical engineer by training, not a psychiatrist) or if he was just attacking him, but it’s good to see the concept of politicians perhaps being psychopaths in the mainstream.
Most stories I see hitting the news about psychopaths are still talking about characters in TV shows.
According to the Guardian:
The oil and gas industry substantially rewards US legislators with campaign donations when they oppose environmental protections, according to a new analysis of congressional votes and political contributions.
This week in the United States, The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy amid “hundreds, if not thousands, of abuse lawsuits” involving sexual abuse. According to USA Today:
the 100-year-old organization had kept track of suspected and known abusers and failed to consistently report them to police or inform parents or the public of the extent of the problem.
The organization was sitting on “20,000 confidential documents, which became known as the “perversion files.” Those records named more than 1,000 banned volunteers…”
Now what kind of people do you think were in management of the Boy Scouts for all these years? For a century, the Boy Scouts wouldn’t allow homosexual children or leaders into their ranks, and taught that any sexual conduct, whether heterosexual or homosexual, is not allowed.
But protecting child rapists was okay.
“On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty, to God and my country, and to obey the Scout Law, to help other people at all times, to keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.” – Scout Oath