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Being a psychopath can have advantages, according to a study

Being a psychopath can have advantages, according to a study

April 3, 2024

When talking about people with a high degree of psychopathy, we often think of individuals with a tendency to delinquency and destroy everything they touch. However, it is possible that the traits linked to a preference for the manipulation of others have been an advantage from the point of view of evolution.

In fact, recently an investigation has found indications that, in certain environments, psychopathy is something positive from the point of view of reproduction . In the end, what serves for the perpetuation of genes does not have to mean that society improves.

  • Related article: "Psychopathy: what happens in the mind of the psychopath?"

Psychopathy as an advantage

Psychopaths are usually seen as people with a mental disorder, individuals in whom there is something that "does not work well". But nevertheless, as a behavioral pattern, if something works or does not work depends on whether it fits the context and, although we can decide whether something is appropriate or not depending on its morality, there is another possible criterion: does it help to survive and reproduce?

Psychopathy may be expressed through undesirable actions, such as lying, emotional manipulation or even abuse, but the hard truth is that, in theory, this does not have to mean that you will live less, just as would be expected from someone who has a serious illness or, as it is usually understood, a personality disorder .

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Greater possibility of having offspring?

If psychopathy is a trait that is adaptive from the evolutionary point of view, that means that the variants of the genes that cause it to appear (the alleles of psychopathy) are favorably treated by natural selection, at least in some cases. contexts.

For this investigation, there was a sample of 181 prisoners from prisons in Serbia, and they were given psychological tests to measure psychopathic traits (Among the prison population, these characteristics tend to be more present than among the rest of humanity).

The results obtained showed a curious tendency: prisoners with higher scores in psychopathy were more likely to have more sons or daughters. Specifically, the psychological characteristics that seemed most advantageous when transmitting genes were the tendency to manipulate and inflated self-image, while insensitivity and coldness were only in men who had lived in hard and highly competitive contexts. .

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Why can it be advantageous?

This result does not indicate that being a psychopath is a good thing or that it helps to find a partner and have more offspring, without more. From the point of view of evolution, the value of a personal characteristic always depends on the place where one lives and the type of relationships that exist with the rest of individuals.

In the same way that in a place with little food the strong and big animals do not survive, in some places the psychopaths will have more problems to adapt. The question is whether, in practice, the most frequent is that the contexts that give a privileged treatment to psychopathy are more or less frequent.

It must be taken into account that, in the current contexts, the majority of people in Western countries live in places where co-operation and non-aggression pacts are the most important.

Thus, there are reasons to believe that in general terms, people with high psychopathy would not have to have it easier to extend their genes (and, specifically, those linked to the propensity to develop those behavior patterns).

Create more collaborative societies

This study serves to draw attention to an important fact: what seems morally undesirable does not have to be "punished " by nature.

If we do not create societies in which cooperation or good behavior is rewarded, manipulation, deception and individualism may be another option through which to live, something as valid as altruism. That is why we must do our part to do, together, that being collaborative is worthwhile.

There is no automatic mechanism that leads to punishing bad behavior, but there are ways to create contexts in which we all take care of each other. If the human being is famous for modifying the environment to adapt it to his needs, it should also be so to change the context in which he lives to modify the society in which he lives.

Psychopath Facts | Amazing facts | Benefits of being a psycopath | Psyco Theories (April 2024).

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