The biggest difference between psychopaths and the rest of us is that psychopaths have no empathy, they see people in pain but they don’t feel that pain themselves, the way we flinch when we see someone hit their thumb with a hammer. Psychopaths aren’t all mass murders but can be successful surgeons, salespeople, CEOs and bankers, though perhaps that wasn’t the best idea.
This blog came about when I was trying to read up on the difference between empathy and compassion.* I came across research on what our brain scans look like when we feel empathy. As you might expect, psychopaths didn’t show an empathy response to people suffering, but neither did ordinary people if they thought the person suffering was cheating or was not ‘one of us’.
…the second wave of empathy studies has shown that this natural capacity for empathic resonance can easily be blocked – not…
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