A PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST OF 2013 STAFF PICK As M.E. Thomas says of her fellow sociopaths, “We are your neighbors, your coworkers, and quite possibly the people closest to you: lovers, family, friends. Our risk-seeking behavior and general fearlessness are thrilling, our glibness and charm alluring. Our often quick wit and outside-the-box thinking make us appear intelligent—even brilliant. We climb the corporate ladder faster than the rest, and appear to have limitless self-confidence. Who are we? We are highly successful, noncriminal sociopaths and we comprise 4 percent of the American population.” Confessions of a Sociopath—part confessional memoir, part primer for the curious—takes readers on a journey into the mind of a sociopath, revealing what makes them tick while debunking myths about sociopathy and offering a road map for dealing with the sociopaths in your life. M. E. Thomas draws from her own experiences as a diagnosed sociopath; her popular blog, Sociopathworld.com; and scientific literature to unveil for the very first time these men and women who are “hiding in plain sight.” Now with Extra Libris material, including a reader’s guide and bonus content
Author: M. E. Thomas
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2013-05-23
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
M. E. Thomas is a high-functioning non-criminal sociopath. She is charismatic, ambitious and successful. You would be charmed by her if you met her, might even be seduced by her. You would not realise that she is studying you to find your flaws, that she is ruthlessly manipulative, has no empathy and does not feel guilt or remorse. But she does like people - she likes to touch them, mould them and ruin them. She could be your friend or your boss. She could be you . . . Now she writes with breathtaking honesty about her life. She also draws on the latest research to explain why at least one in twenty-five of us are sociopaths - and shows why that's not a bad thing. By turns fascinating, shocking and funny, Confessions of a Sociopath is a gripping insight into the mind of a self-confessed predator.
“Compelling, essential reading for understanding the underpinnings of psychopathy.” — M. E. Thomas, author of Confessions of a Sociopath For his first fifty-eight years, James Fallon was by all appearances a normal guy. A successful neuroscientist and professor, he’d been raised in a loving family, married his high school sweetheart, and had three kids and lots of friends. Then he learned a shocking truth that would not only disrupt his personal and professional life, but would lead him to question the very nature of his own identity. While researching serial killers, he uncovered a pattern in their brain scans that helped explain their cold and violent behavior. Astonishingly, his own scan matched that pattern. And a few months later he learned that he was descended from a long line of murderers. Fallon set out to reconcile the truth about his own brain with everything he knew as a scientist about the mind, behavior, and personality.
Who is the devil you know? Is it your lying, cheating ex-husband? Your sadistic high school gym teacher? Your boss who loves to humiliate people in meetings? The colleague who stole your idea and passed it off as her own? In the pages of The Sociopath Next Door, you will realize that your ex was not just misunderstood. He’s a sociopath. And your boss, teacher, and colleague? They may be sociopaths too. We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people—one in twenty-five—has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in twenty-five everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt. How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They’re more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others’ suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win. The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know—someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for—is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game. It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know.
Author: Kent A. Kiehl, PhD
Release Date: 2014-04-22
A compelling journey into the science and behavior of psychopaths, written by the leading scientist in the field of criminal psychopathy. We know of psychopaths from chilling headlines and stories in the news and movies—from Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy, to Hannibal Lecter and Dexter Morgan. As Dr. Kent Kiehl shows, psychopaths can be identified by a checklist of symptoms that includes pathological lying; lack of empathy, guilt, and remorse; grandiose sense of self-worth; manipulation; and failure to accept one’s actions. But why do psychopaths behave the way they do? Is it the result of their environment— how they were raised—or is there a genetic component to their lack of conscience? This is the question Kiehl, a protégé of famed psychopath researcher Dr. Robert Hare, was determined to answer as he began his career twenty years ago. To aid in his quest to unravel the psychopathic mind, Kiehl created the first mobile functional MRI scanner to study psychopaths in prison populations. The brains of more than five hundred psychopaths and three thousand other offenders have been scanned by Kiehl’s laboratory—the world’s largest forensic neuroscience repository of its kind. Over the course of The Psychopath Whisperer, we follow the scientific bread crumbs that Kiehl uncovered to show that the key brain structures that correspond with emotional engagement and reactions are diminished in psychopaths, offering new clues to how to predict and treat the disorder. In The Psychopath Whisperer, Kiehl describes in fascinating detail his years working with psychopaths and studying their thought processes— from the remorseless serial killers he meets with behind bars to children whose behavior and personality traits exhibit the early warning signs of psychopathy. Less than 1 percent of the general population meets the criteria for psychopathy. But psychopaths account for a vastly outsized proportion of violent crimes. And as Kiehl shows, many who aren’t psychopaths exhibit some of the behaviors and traits associated with the condition. What do you do if you discover your roommate, or boss, or the person you are dating has traits that define a psychopath? And what does having a diminished limbic region of the brain mean for how the legal system approaches crimes committed by psychopaths? A compelling narrative of cutting-edge science, The Psychopath Whisperer will open your eyes on a fascinating but little understood world, with startling implications for society, the law, and our personal lives. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Jon Ronson
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2011-06-03
What if society wasn't fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity? This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness. Along the way, Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting. A skill which seemingly reveals that madness could indeed be at the heart of everything . . . Combining Jon Ronson's trademark humour, charm and investigative incision, The Psychopath Test is both entertaining and honest, unearthing dangerous truths and asking serious questions about how we define normality in a world where we are increasingly judged by our maddest edges.
Author: Robert D. Hare
Publisher: Guilford Press
Release Date: 2011-09-20
Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath. Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong, yet they are terrifyingly self-centered, remorseless, and unable to care about the feelings of others. Perhaps most frightening, they often seem completely normal to unsuspecting targets--and they do not always ply their trade by killing. Presenting a compelling portrait of these dangerous men and women based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D. Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognized? And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition.
I’m scum. Yes, I always have been. . . . I know what I did, and what I should have done. A spellbinding and provocative psychological thriller that shows just how far a man will go to win the most enduring and ruthless of games: the game of power. Raised in the upper echelons of elite New York society, Thomas Spencer has never wanted for much. But much is hardly enough for a man whose greatest satisfaction lies in shattering the happiness of others. Thomas, the black sheep of his family, harbors only resentment toward those closest to him for what they have more of: good looks, good cheer, good social graces. But what Thomas may lack in charm, he makes up for in cunning. And it is this that will serve him best when he trades in his glittering world of privilege for a chance to claw his way to the top—on his own terms, and at any cost. As Thomas achieves fame and success as an ad man, he becomes ever more deeply entrenched in an insidious underworld of media, politics, and women, and an astonishing picture emerges of a complex, destructive personality who will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Shameless and electrifying, Story of a Sociopath illuminates the true nature of power through the mind of a master psychological manipulator. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Author: Ian Leslie
Publisher: Hachette UK
Release Date: 2011-05-11
In Born Liars, Ian Leslie takes the reader on an exhilarating tour of ideas that brings the latest news about deception back from the frontiers of psychology, neuroscience, and philosophy, and explores the role played by lies - both black and white - in our childhoods, our careers, and our health, as well as in advertising, politics, sport and war. Drawing on thinkers as varied as Augustine, Charles Darwin, Sigmund Freud and Joni Mitchell, the author argues that, far from being a bug in the human software, lying is central to who we are; that we cannot understand ourselves without first understanding the dynamics of deceit. After reading Born Liars you'll never think about lies - or life - in quite the same way again.
Psychopath. The word conjurs up images of serial killers, rapists, suicide bombers, gangsters. But think again: you could probably benefit from being a little more psychopathic yourself. Psychologist Kevin Dutton has made a speciality of psychopathy, and is on first-name terms with many notorious killers. But unlike those incarcerated psychopaths, and all those depicted in movies and crime fiction, most are not violent, he explains. In fact, says Prof Dutton, they have a lot of good things going for them. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic and focused--qualities tailor-made for success in today's society. The Wisdom of Psychopaths is an intellectual rollercoaster ride that combines lightning-hot science with unprecedented access to secret monasteries, Special Forces training camps, and high-security hospitals. In it, you will meet serial killers, war heroes, financiers, movie stars and attorneys--and discover that beneath the hype and popular characterization, psychopaths have something to teach us. Like the knobs on a mixing deck, psychopathy is graded. And finding the right combination of psychopathic traits, sampled and mixed at carefully calibrated volumes, can put us ahead of the game.
With an introduction by Irvine Welsh A cult classic, adapted into a film starring Christian Bale. Is evil something you are? Or is it something you do? Patrick Bateman has it all: good looks, youth, charm, a job on Wall Street, reservations at every new restaurant in town and a line of girls around the block. He is also a psychopath. A man addicted to his superficial, perfect life, he pulls us into a dark underworld where the American Dream becomes a nightmare . . . Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho is one of the most controversial and talked-about novels of all time. A multimillion-copy bestseller hailed as a modern classic, it is a violent black comedy about the darkest side of human nature.
Author: Dr. Paul Babiak
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: 2009-10-13
Genre: Business & Economics
Let's say you're about to hire somebody for a position in your company. Your corporation wants someone who's fearless, charismatic, and full of new ideas. Candidate X is charming, smart, and has all the right answers to your questions. Problem solved, right? Maybe not. We'd like to think that if we met someone who was completely without conscience -- someone who was capable of doing anything at all if it served his or her purposes -- we would recognize it. In popular culture, the image of the psychopath is of someone like Hannibal Lecter or the BTK Killer. But in reality, many psychopaths just want money, or power, or fame, or simply a nice car. Where do these psychopaths go? Often, it's to the corporate world. Researchers Paul Babiak and Robert Hare have long studied psychopaths. Hare, the author of Without Conscience, is a world-renowned expert on psychopathy, and Babiak is an industrial-organizational psychologist. Recently the two came together to study how psychopaths operate in corporations, and the results were surprising. They found that it's exactly the modern, open, more flexible corporate world, in which high risks can equal high profits, that attracts psychopaths. They may enter as rising stars and corporate saviors, but all too soon they're abusing the trust of colleagues, manipulating supervisors, and leaving the workplace in shambles. Snakes in Suits is a compelling, frightening, and scientifically sound look at exactly how psychopaths work in the corporate environment: what kind of companies attract them, how they negotiate the hiring process, and how they function day by day. You'll learn how they apply their "instinctive" manipulation techniques -- assessing potential targets, controlling influential victims, and abandoning those no longer useful -- to business processes such as hiring, political command and control, and executive succession, all while hiding within the corporate culture. It's a must read for anyone in the business world, because whatever level you're at, you'll learn the subtle warning signs of psychopathic behavior and be able to protect yourself and your company -- before it's too late.
Author: David S. Kidder
Release Date: 2008-10-14
In the tradition of the instant bestsellers The Intellectual Devotional and The Intellectual Devotional: American History comes the third installment in this indispensable series. In The Intellectual Devotional: Modern Culture, the authors explore the fascinating world of contemporary culture to offer 365 daily readings that provide the essential references needed to navigate the world today. Quench your intellectual thirst with an overview of the literature, music, film, personalities, trends, sports, and pop references that have defined the way we live. From the Slinky to Star Wars; Beatlemania to Babe Ruth; flappers to fascism--refreshing your memory and dazzling your friends has never been easier, or more fun. Whether you're a trivia genius, pop-culture buff, or avid reader, you'll be riveted by this comprehensive journey through contemporary culture.
You are an idiot. Don't get defensive! It's not your fault. For decades your teachers, authority figures and textbooks have been lying to you. You do not have five senses. Your tongue doesn't have neatly segregated taste-bud zones. You don't know what the pyramids really looked like. You're even pooping wrong - Jesus, you're a wreck! But it's going to be okay. Because we're here to help. Packed with more sexy facts than the Encyclopedia Pornographica, the Cracked De-Textbook will teach you about the true stars of history, why you picture everything from Velociraptors to Ancient Rome incorrectly, and finally, at long last - how to pop a proper squat. This book was built from the ground up to systematically seek out, dismantle and destroy the many untruths that years of misguided education have left festering inside of you, and leave you a smarter person...whether you like it or not. The De-Textbook is a merciless, brutal learning machine. It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are informed.