Psycho-killer, qu’est-ce c’est?

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

                                                            – Pogo

An American psychologist who specialized in the study of  psychopaths was surprised to find that his own family tree had a few killers in previous generations. 

Curious to know if genetic markers for psychopathic traits might be found among his generation, he ran tests on his family members and found the markers…in himself! 

On reflection, the psychologist saw he had personality traits associated with psychopathy.  He was a high risk taker – had even put his children in danger on one occasion.  Also, emotionally, he had a “low engagement level”.  Some things began to make sense.

His research told him that if he had had a violent, abusive childhood, it may have triggered his inner pit bull.  Luckily, he didn’t.

What’s interesting is that – all his professional life, people must have asked this man what attracted him to the study of psychopaths.  The psychologist probably had several answers, except the real one – which was that, on some level, he identified with their behavior patterns.  

I find this a fascinating example of how people live their lives unconsciously, without a real idea of what is motivating them.  It’s particularly satisfying to see this happen to a psychologist.


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