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now socipaths are really trained to develop the required characteristics ...

Sociopaths

The terms sociopath or psychopath often bring to mind images of sadistically violent individuals such as Ted Bundy or the fictional character of Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter in the book and movie The Silence of the Lambs.  But I believe the defining characteristic traits of sociopaths actually cover a much broader spectrum of individuals than most of us would ever imagine.  The sociopath is that truly self-absorbed individual with no conscience or feeling for others and for whom social rules have no meaning.

Neurological causes - or are they effects? - of socio-pathology have been studied and there are strong correlations¹ between sub-standard manufacture/use of dopamine in the mesolimbic and mesocortical pathways.  

IF findings from longitudinal twin studies researching schizophrenia can be applied to socio-pathology² the genetic basis for the dysfunction is:

Evidence suggests that genetic vulnerability and environmental factors can act in combination to result in diagnosis of schizophrenia. Research suggests that genetic vulnerability to schizophrenia is multifactorial, caused by interactions of several genes.

Replacing "schizophrenia" with "socio-pathology."

Biology, even molecular biology, is not destiny.  But it is strongly indicative.  Coupled with external, social, reinforcement - from whatever source: parents, peers, ad hoc - completes the internal/external reinforcement cycles for Long Term Potentiation of the neural pathways resulting in full 'flowering' of a sociopath.

OK, my point here is, for FSM's sake, ANY discussion of sociopathy must include acknowledgement of the neurological side of the dysfunction apparent in the Brain/Mind Unity.

[Note:  I may be over-reacting here due to my own neurological Long Term Potentiation from massive external stimuli of Behavioral Psychology during my impressionable years.  :-) ]

¹  Correlation is not causation

²  My position is they can be with care and only as a starting point for further research

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sun Oct 17th, 2010 at 01:03:01 PM EST
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