As a consequence, the psychopath exhibits a profound indifference to the suffering his actions cause others.
The implications of such a condition are predictably dramatic; freed from the ethical shackles imposed on behavior by conscience, the psychopath pursues his antisocial agenda of personal gain with abandon, uninhibited and untroubled.
This, in turn, leads to a wide variety of behavioral tendencies that can be captured by the tests experts use to diagnose psychopathy in individuals. These sound a lot like blood tests (e.g., PCL-R, which stands for Psychopathy Checklist – Revised), but actually check behavioral traits such as lack of responsibility and remorse, pathological lying, manipulativeness and cunning, sexual promiscuity, impulsivity and irresponsibility, superficial affect and charm, criminal behavior and so on.
While the behavioral manifestations of the psychopathic lifestyle can be bewilderingly diverse, they are all consistent with a disturbed emotional affect as the root cause. Neuroimaging studies suggest that this is indeed the case, as psychopaths show dramatic anatomical and functional differences – relative to controls – particularly in brain regions that together form the paralimbic system, which has been associated with and implicated in emotional processing.