Posted in CHILDREN AND PSYCHOPATHY, Parental Alienation & Narcissistic Personality Disorder, PCL-R model of psychopathy, Psychopathy Checklist, the prevalence of psychopathy and narcissism in abuse

Cocaine, Moral Intuition, Psychopathy

Investigations into the neurobiology of moral cognition are often done by examining clinical populations characterized by diminished moral emotions and a proclivity toward immoral behavior. Psychopathy is the most common disorder studied for this purpose. Although cocaine abuse is highly co-morbid with psychopathy and cocaine-dependent individuals exhibit many of the same abnormalities in socio-affective processing as psychopaths, this population has received relatively little attention in moral psychology. To address this issue, the authors used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to record hemodynamic activity in 306 incarcerated male adults, stratified into regular cocaine users (n = 87) and a matched sample of non-cocaine users (n = 87), while viewing pictures that did or did not depict immoral actions and determining whether each depicted scenario occurred indoors or outdoors. Consistent with expectations, cocaine users showed abnormal neural activity in several frontostriatial regions during implicit moral picture processing compared to their non-cocaine using peers. This included reduced moral/non-moral picture discrimination in the vACC, vmPFC, lOFC, and left vSTR. Additionally, psychopathy was negatively correlated with activity in an overlapping region of the ACC and right lateralized vSTR. These results suggest that regular cocaine abuse may be associated with affective deficits which can impact relatively high-level processes like moral cognition.

read the complete article here:-

Posted in CHILDREN AND PSYCHOPATHY, Parental Alienation PA, PCL-R model of psychopathy, Psychopathy Checklist, the prevalence of psychopathy and narcissism in abuse

Psychopathic charm

Contemporary interest in superficial charm goes back to Hervey M. Cleckley‘s classic study (1941) of the sociopath: since his work it has become widely accepted that the sociopath/psychopath was characterised by superficial charm and a disregard for other people’s feelings.[6] According to Hare, “Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy, self-conscious, or afraid to say anything.”[7]

Subsequent studies have refined, but not perhaps fundamentally altered, Cleckley’s initial assessment. In the latest diagnostic review, Cleckley’s mix of intelligence and superficial charm has been redefined to reflect a more deviant demeanour, talkative, slick, and insincere.[8] A distinction can also be drawn between a subtle, self-effacing kind of sociopathic charm,[9] and a more expansive, exhilarating spontaneity which serves to give the sociopath a sort of animal magnetism.[10]


Main article: Narcissism

The term also occurs in Hotchkiss’ discussion of narcissists: “Their superficial charm can be enchanting.”[13] For such figures, however, there is no substance behind the romantic gestures, which only serve to feed the narcissist’s own ego.[14]

Narcissists are known as manipulative in a charming way, entrapping their victims through a façade of understanding into suspending their self-protective behaviour and lowering their personal boundaries.[15] Closely related is the way impostors are able to make people fall in love with them to satisfy their narcissistic needs, without reciprocating in any real sense or returning their feelings.[16]

Social chameleons

Social chameleons have been described as adept in social intelligence, able to make a charming good impression, yet at the price of their own true motivations.[17] Their ability to manage impressions well often leads to success in areas like the theatre, salesmanship, or politics and diplomacy.[18] But when lacking a sense of their own inner needs, such superficial extraverts may end up (despite their charm) as rootless chameleons, endlessly taking their social cues from other people.[19]

Similarly, for the histrionic personality, the attention seeking through superficial charm may only reinforce the splitting of the real self from the public presentation in a vicious circle.[20]

Charm offensive

A “charm offensive” is a related concept meaning a publicity campaign, usually by politicians, that attempts to attract supporters by emphasizing their charisma or trustworthiness. The first recorded use of the expression is in the California newspaper The Fresno Bee Republican in October 1956.[22]


Critics object that there are few objective criteria whereby to distinguish superficial from genuine charm; and that as part of the conventional niceties of politeness, we all regularly employ superficial charm in everyday life:[24] conveying superficial solidarity and fictitious benevolence to all social interactions.[25]

Superficial charm

Posted in CHILDREN AND PSYCHOPATHY, Parental Alienation PA, PCL-R model of psychopathy, Psychopathy Checklist, the prevalence of psychopathy and narcissism in abuse

Psychopathy – Hervey Milton Cleckley

Hervey Milton Cleckley (1903 – January 28, 1984) was an American psychiatrist and pioneer in the field of psychopathy. His book, The Mask of Sanity, originally published in 1941 and revised in new editions until the 1980s, provided the most influential clinical description of psychopathy in the twentieth century. The term “mask of sanity” derived from Cleckley’s belief that a psychopath can appear normal and even engaging, but that the “mask” conceals a mental disorder.[1] By the time of his death, Cleckley was better remembered for a vivid case study of a female patient, published as a book in 1956 and turned into a movie, The Three Faces of Eve, in 1957. His report of the case (re)popularized in America the controversial diagnosis of multiple personality disorder.[2] The concept of psychopathy continues to be influential through forming parts of the diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, thePsychopathy Checklist, and public perception.



In 1941, Cleckley authored his magnum opus The Mask of Sanity: An Attempt to Clarify Some Issues About the So-Called Psychopathic Personality. This became a landmark in psychiatric case studies and was repeatedly reprinted in subsequent editions. Cleckley revised and expanded the work with each edition published; the second American edition published in 1950 he described as effectively a new book.[citation needed]

The Mask of Sanity is distinguished by its central thesis, that the psychopath exhibits normal function according to standard psychiatric criteria, yet privately engages in destructive behavior. The book was intended to assist with detection and diagnosis of the elusive psychopath for purposes of palliation and offered no cure for the condition itself. The idea of a master deceiver secretly possessed of no moral or ethical restraints, yet behaving in public with excellent function, electrified American society and led to heightened interest in both psychological introspection and the detection of hidden psychopaths in society at large, leading to a refinement of the word itself into what was perceived to be a less stigmatizing term, “sociopath“.[citation needed]

Hervey M. Cleckley

Posted in Adult Children Of Psychopaths, Alienated children psychopathic parent, Are there psychopathic children?, CHILDREN AND PSYCHOPATHY, Definition Of Psychopath, Dr. Patricia McKinsey Crittenden - biography Developmental psychopathologist - Family Relations Institute, Educating the public on psychopathic personalities, Parental Alienation PA

My mother, the psychopath

Psychopathy is so hot right now—or so popular culture would have you believe.

In the past 15 years, public awareness of psychopathy and other antisocial personality disorders has rocketed. From the lethal-yet-likeable serial killer we saw in Dexter to the now-iconic Patrick Bateman of American Psycho, it seems both the media and public are drawn to the image of the “elite psychopath.”

The popularity of the elite psychopath trope has preserved the idea thatpsychopaths are almost a kind of anti-hero; they are crafty, attractive, charming savants, always one step ahead. But the reality of psychopathy is far from glamorous.

My mother, the psychopath click here to read the full article

Posted in CHILDREN AND PSYCHOPATHY, Parental Alienation PA


Recently a British official in the criminal justice system had what he thought was a very good idea. He suggested that children who exhibit early indications that they might grow up to be psychopaths should have their DNA put into a database; later, I suppose, he thought that this would make them more readily identifiable when police are looking for suspects in criminal cases.

Most experts agree that there are in fact some children who look very much like young psychopaths. A recent study lists some of the commonly agreed-upon traits, as follows:

  1. Makes a good impression at first but people tend to see through him/her after they get to know him/her
    2. Shallow emotions.
    3. Too full of his/her own abilities.
    4. Is not genuinely sorry if s/he has hurt someone or acted badly.
    5. Can seem cold-blooded or callous.
    6. Doesn’t keep promises.
    7. Not genuine in his/her expression of emotions.

According to the article in Mindhacks, however, “the recent studies that looked at these traits in the general population found that these traits reliably, but only very weakly, predict antisocial behaviour during the following years.”

What does this mean? Well, it really just means that these early traits do not strongly indicate that the child will be readily identifiable as “antisocial” in adulthood. But it should be noted that a diagnosis of “antisocial personality disorder” in an adult almost always occurs only in individuals who are caught up in the criminal justice system. It appears that these “kiddie psychopath” children are not necessarily going to become criminals.

However, the results of these studies do not say anything about whether the child is likely to grow up to be a person who could be diagnosed as a psychopath. Not all psychopaths (or “sociopaths,” as they are still sometimes called) are criminals. Many of them are what we call “successful” psychopaths, those who enter legitimate occupations (and often do so very successfully).

Take another look at the list of characteristics, just above. In your own work (and social) lives, have you ever met anyone (not a “criminal”) who displays a lot of these characteristics? Most people would likely respond in the affirmative. There are plenty of people who are highly psychopathic in mainstream occupations such as business, academia, politics, and law. Some of them manage to get ordained, and they can rise high in the church hierarchy. They “get by” with a lot, because they are masters at manipulating people and systems for their own ends, while portraying themselves as good and caring individuals. An early phrase used to describe their interpersonal and emotional characteristics was “the mask of sanity,” meaning that although they are highly abnormal, they are able to study normal human emotional responses, and to mimic them (more or less) successfully.

So, how about that database idea? I tend to agree that it would not be helpful in the criminal justice system, for the reasons stated, as well as many other reasons (civil liberties and privacy issues are no small matter, here!). Some of us might wish there were such a database against which to compare names of individuals who we are dating, or thinking about voting for, or interviewing as potential nannies… but, no. Never mind. It was just a thought… We are always wanting to find ways to solve the problem of human brutality (whether it be inflicted by physical violence, or by more covert and “civilized” means). I am not very optimistic that databases will provide us with any more relief than does retaliation.