This video was produced by yBC.tv in conjunction with Harvey Thorneycroft Ltd.
When most people think about psychopaths, people like Hannibal Lecter or the Yorkshire Ripper spring to mind, but actually, when psychologists like myself talk about psychopaths, we’re actually referring to a distinct sub-species of individual, with a distinct sub-set of personality characteristics, such as: ruthlessness, fearlessness, coolness under pressure, charm, charisma, and of course those signature deficits in conscience and empathy.
Now, if you think about those characteristics that I’ve just outlined there as being the ‘dials on the studio mixing desk’, which you can twiddle up and down in various combinations, you arrive at a number of conclusions:
The first one, is that being a psychopath isn’t an all-or-nothing affair, it’s not black or white. A little bit like height or weight or intelligence, psychopathy’s on a spectrum along which each of us have our place.
The second conclusion that you can draw is that actually there is no one definitive correct setting on this ‘mixing desk’ dial, that the controls can be dialled up at, but rather it depends on the particular set of circumstances, the particular context in which you find yourself in.
And the third conclusion that you can draw, is that there are gonna be some professions out there which by their very nature are gonna demand that some of these ‘mixing desk’ dials are gonna be turned up a little bit higher than average than you might find in every day life. Demand that I call, precision engineered psychopathy.