Friday, January 03, 2014

Is American culture a breeding ground for sociopaths?

Martha Stout writes,
the prevalence of sociopathy in the United States seems to be increasing. The 1991 Epidemiologic Catchment Area study, sponsored by the National Institute of Mental Health, reported that in the fifteen years preceding the study, the prevalence of antisocial personality disorder had nearly doubled among the young in America, It would be difficult, closing in on impossible, to explain such a dramatically rapid shift in terms of genetics or neurobiology.

Some theorists propose that North American culture, which holds individualism as a central value, tends to foster the development of antisocial behavior, and also to disguise it. In other words, in America, the guiltless manipulation of other people "blends" with social expectations to a much greater degree than it would in China or other more group-centered societies.

Sociopaths do not care about their social world, but they do want, and need, to blend in with it.

Chateau Heartiste writes that
There’s a growing consensus in the social sciences that women swoon uncontrollably for men who possess the suite of psychological traits known colloquially as the Dark Triad.

What is the Dark Triad?
subclinical psychopathy, subclinical narcissism, and Machiavellianism-
Subclinal denotes
a disease that is not severe enough to present definite or readily observable symptoms.

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