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Paperback The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain Book

ISBN: 0631233369

ISBN13: 9780631233367

The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

Psychopaths continue to be demonised by the media and estimates suggest that a disturbing percentage of the population has psychopathic tendencies. This timely and controversial new book summarises what we already know about psychopathy and antisocial behavior and puts forward a new case for its cause - with far-reaching implications. Presents the scientific facts of psychopathy and antisocial behavior. Addresses key questions, such as: What is psychopathy?...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

Serious stuff

Forget about Dexter or Hannibal Lecter, the fictional characters created by Hollywood. If you want to learn serious and real stuff about psychopathy, then you'll find this book very helpful. With only 155 pages of actual text, it's a quick read. The book is well organized and draws on contemporary research in psychology and neuroscience. I will certainly use it when teaching a class on psychopathology.

Advanced, but excellent!

The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain is the latest research on psychopaths. While it is not as accessible as Robert Hare's work (Without Conscience, Snakes in Suits), it is an in depth and lucid account of the latest studies on psychopathic individuals. Specifically, Blair et al., demonstrate that "Antisocial Personality Disorder" is not a synonym for psychopathy. Most antisocials are NOT psychopathic. This is perhaps the most important point made in this book. Psychopathy is a genetic, biologically determined disorder that affects emotional makeup. Blair et al.'s work provides an excellent background for other works, like Andrew Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology, which describes the larger effects psychopaths have on society, especially when in positions of political power. The new research only confirms what Lobaczewski and his colleagues learned generations ago under the Polish Communist regime. If you have a handle on psychological terminology, and want to learn something TRUE about psychopaths, check out these books.

Get to know your Amygdala better

If that statement does not mean anything to you, then you should not attempt to read this book. It is an excellent work and if you are into the the conjectures of the neural causes of psychopathology I would highly recommend it. But if you are just interested in learning about psychopaths at a more elementary level, you will be better served by reading one of Bob Hare's works first. It would also serve you well to read some of Restak's books on the organization of the limbic system before you launch off into this if you do not know anything of the subject matter. If however, you are aware of the physiology of the brain and the manifestations of sociopathic or psychopathic behaviour, I think this book is an excellent read.

Do not get this book if you have no background in Psychology

This book does not examine the behavioral methodologies of a psychopath. Don't expect to read this and be on the edge of your seat as you hear about a psychopathic rampages or case studies into previous criminal activities. It is an extremely well researched book documenting the relationship between psychopathy and emotion. With an intimate use of research to prove theoretical points, James Blair does an excellent job trying to find the underlying cognitive and biological causes of anti-social behavior and the lack of empathy most psychopaths employ. If you don't have a good grasp on psychology or the research methodologies (and lingo) I wouldn't recommend this book. However, if you plan on doing research in the field of criminal psychology or are writing a paper on psychopathology, this is a must have.
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