Are You Dating a Psychopath?
Kevin Dutton walks through the characteristics of psychopathy, and how these behaviors play out in relationships.
Are you dating or have you ever dated a psychopath? There are actually clear signs, or "tells," to use a poker analogy, according to Kevin Dutton, the Oxford psychologist and author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.
Regular readers of this blog will be familiar with Dutton, whose book looks at both the dark side and the useful traits of psychopathy. We need psychopaths in our society, Dutton tells us, to do the dirty work that no one else wants to do. Psychopaths are particularly disposed to leadership positions, for instance, because they are good at making ruthless decisions that might hurt some people, but are nonetheless better for the group as a whole. CEOs tend to register high levels of psychopathy, Dutton tells us.
But what about the dark side? We are all familiar with the figure of the violent psychopath that abounds in popular culture. And yet, there are plenty of other functioning psychopaths who may not be killers, but display other abhorrent behaviors.
These psychopaths are lady killers, for instance, like James Bond. So what characteristics do these people possess?
"They tend to play on our pity a lot," says Dutton. There's always an excuse for their bad behavior. Psychopaths are heavily narcissistic. The world centers around them. "And although psychopaths don’t feel emotions like us," Dutton says, "they are masters at pushing those emotional hot buttons that elicit emotions in others."
Psychopaths tend to get away with their bad behavior because they tend to be very charming. In the video below, Dutton walks through these characteristics, and how psychopathic behaviors play out in relationships.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
Universities claim to prepare students for the world. How many actually do it?
- Many university mission statements do not live up to their promise, writes Ben Nelson, founder of Minerva, a university designed to develop intellect over content memorization.
- The core competencies that students need for success—critical thinking, communication, problem solving, and cross-cultural understanding, for example—should be intentionally taught, not left to chance.
- These competencies can be summed up with one word: wisdom. True wisdom is the ability to apply one's knowledge appropriately when faced with novel situations.
This is what the world will look like, 250 million years from now
To us humans, the shape and location of oceans and continents seems fixed. But that's only because our lives are so short.
As a doctor, I am reminded every day of the fragility of the human body, how closely mortality lurks just around the corner.
Tyson dives into the search for alien life, dark matter, and the physics of football.
- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joins us to talk about one of our favorite subjects: space.
- In the three-chaptered video, Tyson speaks about the search for alien life inside and outside of the Goldilocks Zone, why the term "dark matter" should really be called "dark gravity," and how the rotation of the Earth may have been the deciding factor in a football game.
- These fascinating space facts, as well as others shared in Tyson's books, make it easier for everyone to grasp complex ideas that are literally out of this world.
SpaceX's momentous Crew Dragon launch is a sign of things to come for the space industry, and humanity's future.