Are Psychopaths Born That Way?

Living 2011/02/26 12:00:00
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It has long been debated whether people become criminals or if they are born that way. But soon, there might be a way to figure it out once and for all.

Brain research may soon make it possible to identify future criminals and psychopaths in infancy, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Adrian Raine said, according to the U.K.'s Press Association.

One abnormality affecting the brain's limbic system showed up in 6-month-old babies, who later committed more crimes and displayed more signs of psychopathy and anti-social behavior than "normal" adults.

Three-year-olds with a poorly functioning amygdala, a key part of the limbic system, were also more likely to commit crimes 20 years later.

"The time is going to come when we are going to be able to predict reasonably well which individuals at a modest age, say eight to 10 years old, are predicated to become criminal offenders," Raine said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, D.C.

Pretty scary stuff. Do you believe that future criminals can be identified at six months old? Or even at eight or 10?

Read More: http://uk.news.yahoo.com/21/20110222/thl-criminali...

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Top Opinion

  • runningintriangles 2011/02/26 19:00:34
    Psychopaths/sociopaths, yes, they are. Criminals? Not exactly. I mean, there are many sociopaths who become successful lawyers and politicians rather than serial killers. So part of it IS nurture. At least, according to all the studies I've read concerning the subject.

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  • The Mother ∞ God Loves You 2011/02/28 11:26:57 (edited)
    The Mother  ∞ God Loves You
    i bet the bloom'n idiots will develop a pill that will 'curb' "infant psychopaths" into becoming "adult psychopaths" ... ie, dumb them down to blind fools that sit when told, like they do with the so called "adhd" kids.. bloom'n labels.. everyones got one, for someone else that is... argh!
  • TopShelf® (oyo) 2011/02/28 11:14:01
    TopShelf® (oyo)
    all psychopaths are not criminals.
    certain psychopathic behaviors have been
    found to be genetic in nature.while others
    have been learned through enviornment.
    it has even been diagnosed from head trauma.

    while it can be part of a person from birth,it's
    wrong to generalize it for all cases.
    enviornment diagnosed head trauma person birthits wrong generalize cases body language
  • Jonas Le Miserable 2011/02/28 11:03:35
    Jonas Le Miserable
    While some people may be born .. a little different, I do believe your surroundings can result in something going wrong. Take a look at Hitler for example. His father being violent at times, and driving with strong authority, while he didn't get much from the school either. Didn't find anything about his mother. Just that could change some if not a lot. Later, when taking part in the incredible bloody and rough World War 1, it might change him even more, resulting in what we know him for today. A mad man who started the most destroying war the world yet has seen. In the quest of taking the control of several countries.. I guess he was made psychopath, not born as. mad destroying war world quest countries guess psychopath born http   da wikipedia org wiki Fil Bundesarchiv_Bild_183 1989 0322 506 _Adolf_Hitler _Kinderbild jpg
    Does he look like a psychopath as child? I don't think so. :P
  • dman278 Jonas L... 2011/02/28 14:26:08
    Agreed. Regardless of the factors that influenced his disposition, it was Hitler's choices that resulted in the holocaust.
  • No Reality Jonas L... 2011/02/28 15:46:48
    No Reality
    I read once on the Internet, that Hitler used to yell and scream at demons that only he could see. It also stated that sometimes he would be afraid to go to bed at night, in fear that the demons would torment him. Sorry, I read that a long time ago, and couldn't tell you the source of that information.
    demons afraid bed fear demons torment read source information hitler
  • midn8ex... Jonas L... 2011/03/01 11:08:01
    Your point is not a valid one.Most psychopaths (we say sociopath these days) don't look like psychopaths! They are usually really pleasant individuals, hence the danger...because you wouldn't think they are sociopaths! They usually extremely intelligent and dangerously manipulative.
  • Jonas L... midn8ex... 2011/03/02 09:39:36
    Jonas Le Miserable
    Well, if he - according to 'No Reality' - he yelled at Demons only he saw and such, obviously something was wrong. However, the question is "Are psychopaths born this way" and I still vote for no, because it is your own choices, not something you just suddenly do, because your brain activity isn't as it should be.
  • Emily 2011/02/28 09:50:07
    I think it's really just the way they're brought up. For example, if a kid is born into a mainstream family, they most likely will see mainstream as "normal". Unless they have an exceptionally strong will.
  • midn8ex... Emily 2011/02/28 10:48:05
    What you 've just said is true as far as criminals are concerned. But it's not true for sociopaths/psychopaths.
  • Emily midn8ex... 2011/03/01 11:02:28
    Oh, yeah good point.
  • Bob DiN 2011/02/28 08:25:08
    Bob DiN
    I don't think it is environmental as 2 offspring in the same family grow up together one is normal and the other a psycho.
  • Crystal Bob DiN 2011/02/28 18:05:11 (edited)
    Just because 2 children grow up together in the same family, it doesn't mean that they are treated the exact same way by their parents. I have known of many cases where one of the siblings was beaten, while the other was not, one was made to take care of the other, help in the household etc.
    This is something that psychologists should ALWAYS keep in mind when they are researching nature vs. nurture.
    Yet I am surprised that most of the time they (like most people) oversimplify and do not consider these things.
    Also, just because the parents say they are treating both children exactly alike, that doesn't mean they do. Parents lie, too.
    That is not to say that they may not have inborn tendencies. But this is definitely not a yes/no question or a matter that has been settled or is even close to being settled.
  • The Albertan 2011/02/28 07:37:53
    The Albertan
    some people are born with serious medical conditions, BUT they way you were raised may also have a huge impact on how you act in the future for example someone that was sexually abused as a child will most likeley grow up to be a sex offender.
  • midn8ex... The Alb... 2011/02/28 10:49:41
    Yes, you are right about sex offender but most sociopaths are not sex offenders.
  • The Alb... midn8ex... 2011/03/01 03:28:02
    The Albertan
    some are, it really depends it could be either. there have been crazy serial killers that have grown up with good families. however you'll see most criminals are those who are born poor and into a broken social scene.
  • riceroni ~ POTC**FUKU2** 2011/02/28 07:14:33
  • Myrle Hulme 2011/02/28 07:11:16
    Myrle Hulme
    Not been a doctor there must be something in them to become a psycopath
  • MetalDragonessBN-0 2011/02/28 06:52:27
    Not sure there is truly a way to tell if they are indeed born that way. I guess some are and some are made that way. The way you are raised can turn you into a psychopath, but still there are some people that are born without a moral compass, still if they are not taught different young in life they are sure to only get worse. But then there are those people who are born mentally incompetent, who may not be able to learn otherwise, so they do definitely fit into those that are born that way. A little worried about what will happen when they do figure this out once and for all. I believe it has been said before, what to do with children who may or may not commit crimes against humanity later on in life?
  • AlexanderMontalvo 2011/02/28 06:38:54
    Why, do need help?
  • jams 2011/02/28 05:23:14
    Give them some Omega 3. Try to stay married, sober and gainfully employed. Play with them and pay attention to them when they are discovering life below the beltline.

    Chances are your're little psycho will turn out fine. Keep an eye on the pets. Try to keep them our of politics. Just in case

    chances yourre psycho turn fine eye pets politics case GW bush psychopath
  • Zachary Knight 2011/02/28 05:00:08
    Zachary Knight
    I believe both nature and nurture contribute to psychosis, but genetics plays a far greater role. All sorts of mental disorders have been shown to be heavily influenced by genetics. That fact doesn't change because someone killed someone else.

    A mentally healthy person is able to cope with a bad upbringing. They are able to put it behind them and not let it affect them. A person who is born with a genetic anomaly that leads to mental illness is not, and if they don't get the help they need in coping with it, they become seriously messed up as adults.
  • MetalDr... Zachary... 2011/02/28 06:58:04
    I agree with you, but to what degree? You can't say they are going to go out and commit terrible acts of violence. I know some people who are mentally unstable had terrible upbringings and don't go out and kill and steal. They may very well be seriously messed up, but we cannot predict the future. I fear for what will become of us, if we decide that a genetic anomaly predetermines whether or not we will be productive members of society, or become psychopath's.
  • Arty 2011/02/28 04:50:55
  • D O M O 2011/02/28 04:24:45
    D O M O
    Some could be born that way, but in some cases, people can be driven into psychotic-ness with events in their lives. But most would be born that way.. in my opinion =P
  • Caity 2011/02/28 04:22:21
    I think it's both genetics and people's experiences as they grow up. But I find it hard to believe that a person is just automatically going to be a psychopath if they are born with a certain gene.
  • 2226693 2011/02/28 04:11:45
  • Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC 2011/02/28 03:41:37
    Nam Era Vet #1 DNA TLC
    I am still waiting for the "Outer Limits" logo to come up and say they are going to control the vertical and horizontal on my TV. So what do we do then? Put 'em in prison at ten or babies or just drug 'em up before we even know for sure they are actually going to do anything criminal?
  • Rockies Man 2011/02/28 03:32:56
    Rockies Man
    Sometimes they are, but it is more a product of their environment and their association with liberalism.
  • Bob DiN Rockies... 2011/02/28 08:21:26
    Bob DiN
  • possiblymaybe 2011/02/28 03:21:10
    No. Social standards are totally subjective. Being anti-social isn't a sign of psychopathy. Maybe a person is anti-social because society is psychopathic!

    And laws change and differ from place to place. Being criminal is also subjective. A person cannot BE a criminal. A person is a person, it's the laws that make a person a criminal. Remove the law, suddenly they are not criminals.

    Normal is also an ameliorating idea.

    So I think these people that come up with these ideas are just as psychopath. Either that or they have a brain of a cheeseburger.

    This kind of research is nonsense and reminds me of that movie Minority Report.

  • Assault 2011/02/28 03:19:55
    Thats a hard split with 184/184 wow, well science will tell.
  • Bob DiN Assault 2011/02/28 08:28:17
    Bob DiN
    Maybe not, science doesn't always know all the answers.
  • Assault Bob DiN 2011/02/28 13:28:10
    Until they find the answers.
  • Tryniti 2011/02/28 03:15:31
    I believe that some are, and some are not. The ones where they're brain does not allow for emotional feeling were probably born that way, as opposed to the ones that went through traumatic experiences and they simply lack the ability to interact correctly with other people.
  • Lerro DeHazel 2011/02/28 02:06:54
    Lerro DeHazel
    Absolutely NOT! It's not like being a Diabetic . . . You have to DEVELOP certain Mental Afflictions such as Alcoholism, Homosexualism, Psychopaths, and Drug Addicts . . . It's similar to those who develop extremely bad driving habits and a tendency NOT to learn Algebra. The main thing to remember is Politics DOES NOTHING but make the prob worse than what the subject has already . . .
  • Brother Bo 2011/02/28 01:07:35 (edited)
    Brother Bo
    While nature or genetics may play a part, Nurture is even more influential in psychopaths. Most serial killers, for example, have domineering single mothers, many of whom forced their boy child to wear girls clothing. These boys would then take out their anger and frustration on small animals, torturing and killing puppies and kittens or other creatures. Later in life, they take it out, usually on women who remind them of their mothers. They couldn't kill mother directly, so they seek out women who look similar. But, then there are just the regular, run-of-the-mill psychos who are warped for some other reason. (I just hit on serial killers because i have studied many of them)

    regular run-of-the-mill psychos warped reason hit serial killers studied
    Ted Bundy and George Bush, Separated at birth?

    Exhibit "A"
  • Lerro D... Brother Bo 2011/02/28 02:08:28
    Lerro DeHazel
    You just described Homosexualism, Alcoholism and Drug Addiction to the T.
  • Unusual... Brother Bo 2011/02/28 03:40:56
    That's right.

    I remember hearing the Bushs' gave up one son for adoption...too much to handle...maybe it was Bundy...LOL...

    Just kidding, folks...LOL...
  • Hales 2011/02/28 01:03:27
    Some are made, not born.

    Some are raised to be around arguments and fights between parents, some just committ crimes period.
  • Delta 2011/02/28 00:52:21
    I believe this because in my mind some are just born from a bad seed (so to speak). The child may not be knowledgeable of what his/her capabilities are as a infant or child but I believe it is there waiting to be sparked or triggered.

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2016/02/07 01:31:26

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