The headline makes it sound like the cure for being a psychopath is deliberately assessing thoughts of those around oneself.
Psychopaths can turn empathy on and off. Some of these people have families they love very much and are able to automatically empathize with, but "outsiders" aren't worth the mental effort and are mostly treated as a means to an end.
Read the Wisdom of Psychopaths, it's a fascinating book.
My daughter has an empathy disorder, and she recently wanted a plush porg. Her brother and I started taking about how sad it was when Chewbacca roasted one in the movie while two others watched sadly, and I found out my daughter thought they were sad because they wanted to eat some too, and Chewbacca wasn't sharing. I forget sometimes how alien her thinking is at times.
Psychopaths are good observers. They see the "norm" and try to adjust to it yet they know they aren't part of it. Part of survival is fitting in.
Are you still a psychopath if you just don’t care about the thoughts of those around you? Or is that a narcissist?
The number of people on Reddit willing to debate something like this with *zero* qualifications as if they were an outstanding authority in the field is astounding. You can have questions, doubts about the study--but don't *categorically* dismiss the evidence if you don't even have the learning to properly assess it.
Pro tip: you don't, I don't, there are very few people on Reddit who actually *do* and even *fewer* who can prove that.
Does this mean that the fictional depiction of the brilliant psycho killer who always knows what you're thinking is way off?
Cue a million redditors telling their friends they think they're a psychopath.
"fail to" and "lack the ability to" are not the same thing.
The article claims the former and that aligns well with a psychopath's lack of both empathy and general concern for what those around them are thinking
I appreciate this study. While yes, it's very well understood that psychopaths lack empathy, this goes a bit farther and discusses that they may not be able to automatically process the thoughts of others in social situations like most others can, but have the ability if they desire to. However, others might take this as inductive reasoning, thinking that the article stating psychopaths can't assess thoughts automatically, so if one can't automatically assess thoughts, they could be psychopathic.
I always enjoy these studies, no matter how redundant or asinine they may be to some. It's important to always remember we were damn sure that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around us.
It's hard to automatically do something when you couldn't care less about, but often easy when you're simply told to do so.
My ex, diagnosed as a Narcissist with [Oppressive Defiance Disorder as a child then turned/morphed into Antisocial disorder as an adult] ~~(ASD diagnosis as a child)~~, would repeatedly say to me "You are an unknown to me. I can't tell what you're thinking," then proceed to tell me what I was thinking. I didn't realize how everything came together until our couples counselor pulled me aside and let me know he was Narcissistic and was never going to change.
I remember times when he was angry and his eyes changed, like he himself was no longer present or behind his eyes; it always gave me the chills and I didn't understand *why*. He would laugh when retelling childhood stories where he physically harmed and manipulated his younger sister. I shrugged them off even though it bothered me deeply.
Sociopaths are freaking scary and *very* hard to leave. I fully believe he stalks me (gathering evidence when I can).
A good book to read is *The Sociopath Nextdoor* by Martha Stout, Ph.D..
It is also the same reason why when you see a child that is cruel to small animals they often grow up to be psychopaths. They never learn the connection between empathy towards someone else's feelings and think its just "fun" to hurt the animal and watch it cry/suffer.