Re: Sociopaths (was Re: Reforming Education)

Patrick Wilken (
Mon, 11 Oct 1999 12:20:28 +1000 (EST)

> The only thing I can't figure out is why so many sociopaths lack
> responsibility, and a respect for the rights of others (i.e. why they often
> end up becomming mass murderers). As an aspiring sociopath, I haven't had
> any problem resisting the urge to murder or rob from people. Would any
> responsible sociopaths like to comment on this?

Somewhat surprisingly -- or perhaps not once you think about it -- one of the defining characteristics of sociopaths is a lack of play activity in childhood. It is thought that without proper play with others as a child they fail to learn empathy with others. It may well be that there is a developmental stage that children pass through where they learn to empathise with others and if they fail to have this stage they are unable to learn to treat people as other living beings like themselves (as opposed to objects to be manipulated).

best, patrick