This is one of the best-written books I have ever read. It is scientific, accurate, and an eye- and brain-opener. Recognize some mountain bikers?
Robert D. Hare, _Without Conscience -- the
Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us_. New
York: The Guilford Press, 1993.
"They have little resistance to temptation, and
their transgressions elicit no guilt. Without the
shackles of a nagging conscience, they feel free
to satisfy their needs and wants and do whatever
they think they can get away with. Any antisocial
act, from petty theft to bloody murder, becomes
possible." p.76. "When we used this laboratory
task with prison inmates, the nonpsychopaths
showed the normal pattern of responses -- quicker
decisions and larger brain responses to emotional
than to neutral words -- but the psychopaths did
not: <i>They responded to emotional words as if
they were neutral words.</i>" p.130. "The social
and financial costs to society of failing to
solve the deadly mystery of the psychopath will
be staggering. It is imperative that we continue
to search for clues." p.220.
A friend wrote:
"It's funny to get this because the other day on Tam, a ranger stopped some
bikers who had ridden across a meadow, leaving deep ruts in the very wet
soil (just to avoid going through a fire road gate). Their response was so
calm and lackadaisical as if nothing had happened. I have seen this every
time bikers are stopped on trails for riding illegally. They go into a
psychological denial of any wrong, extend that into an area of logic where
they feel they are the ones being wronged and ergo, they can do what they
want. It would make a great study for a masters or Ph.D. thesis."