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Behavioural Traits of Psychopaths “Psychopaths, also known as sociopaths, are manipulative, deceitful, impulsive and

inclined to take risks”.

While most people’s actions are guided by a number of factors, such as the desire to avoid hurting other people, the psychopath selects a course of action based on only one factor—what can he get out of it. This cold-blooded mode of reasoning enables the psychopath to commit acts that most people’s consciences would not allow.
Manipulative and Deceitful

Psychopaths lie easily and because they don’t feel anxious when doing so, many can pass lie detector tests. They manipulate those around them to get money, free places to stay, sexual favours and sympathy. Those who are jailed for crimes continue the pattern of manipulation and deceitfulness. Psychopaths often claim to have suffered from amnesia, temporary insanity, multiple personality disorder or blackouts to justify their crimes. In addition to lying outright, psychopaths are inclined to evade, providing responses that do not answer the questions put to them. This is done as a smokescreen, an attempt to trick people into thinking they’ve received an answer. Most psychopaths are very proud of their ability to lie convincingly, and in addition to lying to evade consequences, they lie to get sympathy. When caught in a lie, they simply move on, leaving shattered lives in their wake. Or they promise to change, and in some cases do change for long enough to worm their way back into the lives of their targets, after which they inevitably revert to their old ways. While psychopaths tend to engage in fewer criminal activities once they pass the age of 40, most continue to manipulate and deceive those around them. A common deception is obtaining phony credentials to pose as doctors, psychiatrists, real estate agents, lawyers or teachers. One psychopath posed as a doctor and performed surgeries, severely botching operations and leaving his patients emotionally and physically damaged. He disappeared when his credentials were questioned, and was found later in England posing as a psychiatrist.
Impulsive and Lacking Self-Restraint

Inability to delay gratification combined with a lack of fear and other constraints on behaviour leads to impulsivity. This, along with a lack of empathy, causes psychopaths to be selfish and irresponsible. They are like infants in adult bodies, demanding that others gratify their immediate needs while not understanding that they should offer anything in return. They take what they want when they want it through manipulation, threats or force. Because they lack inhibition, psychopaths tend to be short-tempered, becoming emotionally abusive or even violent in response to minor frustrations, criticism and failure. Quick to take offense, they are inclined to blow up at people, but because their emotions are shallow, such

and many others who brag because they actually have low self-esteem and are attempting to bolster themselves. and the complete lack of empathy that characterizes the psychopath. irresponsibility. take drugs. Of course there are people who like themselves who are not psychopaths. Behaviour Problems in Childhood Even if he comes from a good. He lies continuously and appears unfazed when caught in a lie. However. it’s not a good idea to assume that a child with behavioural problems is a psychopath. cut school. The rules of society are considered inconvenient and unreasonable. start fires. Afterward. . who murdered her own children. The psychopathic child is indifferent to the feelings of other people and animals. most are prone to bragging. A surplus of physical courage is only a marker of a personality disorder when there are many adverse symptoms present. Threats of punishment (and even actual punishment) don’t usually deter him from doing what he wants. the psychopathic child will usually steal. Bragging Because psychopaths think very highly of themselves. whom she claimed to love. leave their families behind without a backward glance and pursue their own interests at everyone else’s expense. fail to fulfill their financial obligations.outbursts are usually short-lived. many psychopaths jump from job to job and relationship to relationship. which is characterized by many of the same behaviours. these can be distinguished by their ability to feel guilt. inability to experience guilt and remorse. Of course there are many naturally brave or sensation seeking individuals who are not psychopaths. so that she could pursue a relationship with a man who didn’t want kids. remorse. vandalize and be cruel to animals and other children by the time he is just 12 years old. have sex. A chilling example of this cold-hearted irresponsibility was the case of Diane Downs. manipulation. lying. Many psychopaths talk obsessively in an attempt to convey their toughness and importance to others. the psychopath will behave as though nothing has happened. However. bragging in conjunction with extreme risk taking. Risk Taking Psychopaths take extreme physical and psychological risks due to their exaggerated need for excitement. Some children have conduct disorder. Because they are impulsive and irresponsible. nurturing family. but does not include the egocentricity. empathy and shame. They break their promises. impulsiveness and a lack of self-restraint indicate that there is something seriously wrong. leaving the victims of his tirade feeling hurt and bewildered. These can range from driving too fast to substance abuse to crime. However.

Causes of Psychopathy and How Psychopaths Exploit Others. For more information on psychopathy. visit Dr. . see Personality Traits of a Psychopath.Further Reading For a comprehensive list of references on psychopathic personality disorder. Robert Hare’s website.