Disordered characters, especially predators, don’t really want us to know who they really are. They tell us what they think we want to hear so that we will think them more like us.
Research continues to demonstrate how different the Predatory Aggressive Personality is from most of us (see “Understanding the Predatory Aggressive Personality”). Some recent research even suggests that the brains of individuals diagnosed as having psychopathic or sociopathic personalities operate very differently from the brains of normal individuals.
Some areas of the human brain are particularly involved in the production of emotion, in responding to emotionally-charged situations, and in the recognition of material that carries emotional connotations. Other areas of the brain are more specifically involved in language, and there are particular portions of these areas that are very involved in the recognition of words and their meanings.
One relatively recent study exposed both normal individuals and psychopaths to words (flashed before them visually) that were thought to be either emotion-neutral (i.e., having no significant emotion-evoking character) or emotionally-charged in some way. Words for inanimate objects like door or shelf would be examples of emotion-neutral words. Words that typically involve human activity and emotional interplay such as marriage, divorce, loneliness, etc., were considered emotionally-charged.
Normal individuals experienced activity in the brain associated with language and recognizing word meaning when they were presented with emotion-neutral words. The brains of psychopaths behaved in a similar way when they were presented with the emotion-neutral words. But when the emotionally-tinged words were displayed, the activity in the brains of the psychopaths was very different from that of normal individuals. In the normal individuals, brain activity occurred both in the areas associated with language processing and word meaning as well as the areas involved in emotion. In the brains of the psychopaths, however, there was no activity in the areas typically associated with emotion. It was as if the brains of the psychopaths processed information that has some emotional impact on most of us as if it had the same quality as an inanimate object.