High psychopathy is characterized by untruthfulness and manipulativeness. However, existing evidence on higher propensity or capacity to lie among non-incarcerated high-psychopathic individuals is equivocal. Of particular importance, no research has investigated whether greater psychopathic tendency is associated with better ‘trainability’ of lying. An understanding of whether the neurobehavioral processes of lying are modifiable through practice offers significant theoretical and practical implications. By employing a longitudinal design involving university students with varying degrees of psychopathic traits, we successfully demonstrate that the performance speed of lying about face familiarity significantly improved following two sessions of practice, which occurred only among those with higher, but not lower, levels of psychopathic traits. Furthermore, this behavioural improvement associated with higher psychopathic tendency was predicted by a reduction in lying-related neural signals and by functional connectivity changes in the frontoparietal and cerebellum networks. Our findings provide novel and pivotal evidence suggesting that psychopathic traits are the key modulating factors of the plasticity of both behavioural and neural processes underpinning lying. These findings broadly support conceptualization of high-functioning individuals with higher psychopathic traits as having preserved, or arguably superior, functioning in neural networks implicated in cognitive executive processing, but deficiencies in affective neural processes, from a neuroplasticity perspective.Continue reading “High psychopathy is characterized by untruthfulness and manipulativeness.”
In his 1921 article focusing on the psychoanalytic examination of the psychic mechanisms of jealousy, Freud distinguishes between three “layers or grades of jealousy [that] may be described as
(1) competitive or normal, (2) projected, and (3) delusional jealousy.” Freud, S. (1922). Some Neurotic Mechanisms in Jealousy,… In delusional jealousy, the subject and his object are of the same sex, its development requires a strong homosexual impulse, against which the subject defends himself by contradicting the fantasmatic statement that “may, in a man, be described in the formula: ‘I do not love him, she loves him!’.” Ibid., p. 224. In this perspective, Freud presents the case of a young man suffering from attacks of delusional jealousy, which
32[…] regularly appeared on the day after he had had sexual intercourse with his wife, which was, incidentally, satisfying to both of them. The inference is justified that after every satiation of the heterosexual libido, the homosexual component, likewise stimulated by the act, forced an outlet for itself in the attack of jealousy. Ibid., p. 224.
33Hence, for the subject, a crisis of delusional jealousy constitutes clinical incidence of sexual satisfaction. Freud then adds that the subject “had made no friendships and developed no social interests; one had the impression that only the delusion had carried forward the development of his relations with men, as if it had taken over some of the arrears that had been neglected.” Ibid., p. 226.
Freud attributes to the delusion the function of allowing the subject to assume what initially was missing. But what was it precisely? On the one hand, Freud speaks about the absence of the father and a strong attachment to the mother – an attachment he had already underlined in the 1915 case of the young professional woman – and, on the other hand, about the existence of a homosexual trauma dating from the subject’s childhood, a traumatic nodal element in his doctrine of the psychoses. The new observation corroborates Freud’s theorization, insofar as the persecutor would be the subject’s most loved object of the same sex.
In 1915, Freud reports another observation of the onset of psychosis. Embarrassed by one of his clients’ complaints about the persecution she has suffered at the hands of a former lover, a lawyer initiates a meeting with Freud, to whom the young woman tells her story. After she had been courted for a certain period of time by a colleague at work, she finally agrees to meet him in his flat. During their lovemaking she is surprised by a noise – “a kind of knock or click.” Freud, S. (1915). A Case of Paranoia Running Counter to the… On her departure she runs into two men who seem to whisper to each other as she passes them, one of them hiding a camera. The woman remembers the noise she heard in the room and imagines that the man must have taken intimate pictures of her. Concerned, she presses her lover with questions, but is not satisfied with his answers and eventually contacts a lawyer.
Since the woman’s account first seems to contradict his conception of paranoia, Freud asks her for another meeting. The young woman then changes her first version slightly and tells him that it was in fact only during the second encounter with her lover that she was disturbed by the strange noise, to which she then attached her suspicions: they have set up a trap in order to compromise her. Freud also learns that the day after their first meeting, the young woman saw her lover at work, in a conversation with her female superior. Observing the scene, she became certain that the man had revealed the secret of their love affair, or worse, that he is having a love relation with her superior as well. According to Freud, the superior represents a maternal figure and the lover, in spite of his young age, a paternal one. He thus refers the triad composed of the young woman, her lover and the superior to the Oedipus complex. Although the young woman is attracted to the paternal substitute, she remains no less under the domination of her maternal attachment, here figured by the superior, towards whom she harbors homosexual feelings. She is therefore confronted with an impossibility – her love for the man – which the delusion is trying to solve: “The [delusion] was at first aimed against the woman. But now, on this paranoic basis, the advance from a female to a male object was accomplished.” Ibid., p. 270.
Thanks to this observation, Freud finds a way to confirm his main theses: the subject and his persecutor are of the same sex and the triggering of paranoia functions as a setting up of a defense against an excessively strong homosexual attachment, the latter representing “the paranoic disposition in her.” [
Parent Alienation Syndrome occurs when individuals who have certain psychological characteristics manage internal conflict or pain by transforming psychological pain into interpersonal conflict. Divorcing parents often experience humiliation, loss of self-esteem, guilt, ambivalence, fear, abandonment anxiety, jealousy, or intense anger. These normal but very painful emotions must be managed. Usually people in crisis rely on characteristic relationship styles and pain management techniques. The Team has found alienating parents to have the following characteristics:
1. A narcissistic or paranoid orientation to interactions and relationships with others, usually as the result of a personality disorder.(2) Both narcissistic and paranoid relationships are maintained by identification, rather than mutual appreciation and enjoyment of differences as well as similarities. Perfectionism and intolerance of personal flaws in self or others have deleterious effects on relationships. When others disagree, narcissistic and paranoid people feel abandoned, betrayed, and often rageful.
2. Reliance on defenses against psychological pain that result in externalizing unwanted or unacceptable feelings, ideas, attitudes, and responsibility for misfortunes so that more painful internal conflict is transformed into less painful interpersonal conflict. Examples of such defenses are phobias, projection, “splitting,” or obsessive preoccupation with the shortcomings of others in order to obscure from self and others the individual’s own shortcomings. “Splitting” results when feelings, judgments, or characteristics are polarized into opposite, exhaustive, and mutually exclusive categories (such as all good or all bad, right or wrong, love or hate, victim or perpetrator), then are assigned or directed separately to self and other. (I am good, you are bad.) The need for such defenses arises because alienating parents have little or no tolerance for internal conflict or even normal ambivalence. The interpersonal result of such defenses is intense interpersonal conflict.(3)
3. Evidence of an abnormal grieving process such that there is a preponderance of anger and an absence of sadness in reaction to the loss of the marital partner
4. A family history in which there is an absence of awareness of normal ambivalence and conflict about parents, enmeshment, or failure to differentiate and emancipate from parents; or a family culture in which “splitting” or externalizing is a prominent feature. Some alienating parents were raised in families in which there is unresolved or unacknowledged grief as the result of traumatic losses or of severe but unacknowledged emotional deprivation, usually in the form of absence of empathy. More frequently, alienating parents were favorite children or were overly indulged or idealized as children.
If we were to get into the mind of the alienator we would find some very sick and disorganized psychopathology. (typically a narcissistic/borderline and for men accompanied by psychopathy and a persecutory delusional system, for women a narcissistic/borderline and/or histrionic features). These people, both men and, women, were arrested at a very early stage of development. There are no/weak boundaries, impoverished ego strength, weak impulse control and reduced and sometimes delusional reality testing. Their path through life often carries that of a persecutory delusion-that is, they are the victim of a punishing parent and then an evil spouse and world. To them, everything is everyone else’s fault; they take no ownership for their behavior unless it glorifies them. In fact, the rules that exist apply to everyone but them and following an illegal path is not unusual, especially in cases where psychopathy occurs (typically more in men). The typical dynamic is that of the narcissist/borderline where their sense of entitlement governs their behavior- a sense that is really to counteract the deep feelings of low self-esteem, unworthiness and, powerlessness.
Narcissists, being remarkably resistant in treatment, are often unable to “get it” and cannot see what helping professional, judges and authority figures during the divorce are telling them: they are right and everyone else is wrong. Their need to vindicate themselves and see themselves as the perfect parent is a strong survival issue and they will go to any lengths to do that, even it means hurting the child in the process.
That said, these parents who pretend to be perfect show themselves in the legal system. They ask for more visitation, sometimes 100% visitation (finding any reason for the child not to visit), ask the child to testify (“hear my child, hear me”), cut off communication and show no co-parenting, cooperation and accountability with the targeted parent yet firmly adhere to the notion that they strongly encouraged visitation and the child refused.
One parent even sent the judge texts where he attempted to turn the child away (who was not yet turned away) that had harsh denigrating language about the other parent; in this case, the delusional system was so strong that he was even unable to see that this would work against him. There is no end to their mission. Unfortunately, this is not a custody issue but a child protective issue; it is an issue of child abuse. https://drbarbarawinter.com/2015/03/01/parental-alienation-2-when-your-child-turns-away-inside-the-mind-of-the-alienator/
Imagine your child is on a boat, and that you are in the water below. See your son or daughter dropping all sorts of poison off the back of the boat. Imagine the angry, stinking words they have flung at you. See those poisonous words hitting the water with a splash. Acrid smoke rises from them. It stings your eyes, fills your lungs so you can barely breathe. You feel as if you’ll choke.
You cough and gag. But your child isn’t done yet. A net rises from the murky depths, stretching across the open water. You can’t swim toward the boat without getting caught, tangled in a hurting web you don’t understand. Your child throws out hooks, spills out chum that attracts vicious sharks.
Dazed and confused, you call out. “Wait. Help. Can’t we talk?” But your child takes the helm. The boat speeds away.
See the wake of the boat, feel the choppy waves, smell the acrid fumes rising from their spiteful words, and see those sharks. . . . Now, what do you do?
Do you stay in that spot, paralyzed, barely able to hold your head above water as the sharks lunge and bite at the net?
Do you wait there, expending precious energy as you tread water, determined you can fix this no matter what? The horrible toxic clouds fill your lungs. . . .
Do you swim toward the net, determined to cut through, and put yourself in shark-infested waters to follow despite your grown child’s rejection of you?
Or … do you turn, and look for a way to save yourself?
You see a shore in the distance. The beach looks lonely, and uncertain. It’s a brand new world there. Not what you expected to be facing at this point in your life. You don’t know what a future there holds.
When you discover your adult child has been using you and abusing you behind your back for several years.
When you discover all the lies they have told people about you.
When you are told the truth about the vindictive, malicious things they have done to you.
When you discover they have been lying and manipulating you for years and have the audacity to accuse you!
When you finally discover the TRUTH. 11.11
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the behavior or perception of others through indirect, deceptive, or underhanded tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at another’s expense, such methods could be considered exploitative and devious.
Social influence is not necessarily negative. For example, people such as friends, family and doctors, can try to persuade to change clearly unhelpful habits and behaviors. Social influence is generally perceived to be harmless when it respects the right of the influenced to accept or reject it, and is not unduly coercive. Depending on the context and motivations, social influence may constitute underhanded manipulation.
Treatment and therapy for manipulative behavior may depend largely on what underlying issues are causing the behavior. If, for instance, the manipulation is being caused by an underlying mental health issue, individual therapy may help that person understand why their behavior is unhealthy for themselves and those around them. A counselor may also be able to help the manipulative person learn skills for interacting with others while respecting their boundaries and address underlying insecurities that may be contributing to the behavior.
Certain mental health issues such as borderline personality may cause people to feel anxiety in relationships, causing them to act manipulatively in order to feel secure. In these instances, a therapist may help the person address their mental health issue, which in turn can reduce their anxiety and help them feel secure in their relationships.