Navigation Links
Psychopaths May Lack Understanding of Social Contracts: Study
Date:11/5/2010

FRIDAY, Nov. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Impaired understanding of how social contracts work and why people need to take precautions may explain why psychopaths cheat and take risks even though they know right from wrong, a new study suggests.

Although less than 1 percent of people in the United States are psychopaths, they account for 20 percent of the prison population because of their tendency for impulsive, destructive and harmful behavior, noted the University of New Mexico researchers.

Previous studies have shown that psychopaths know the difference between right and wrong and give typical responses when presented with an example of a moral dilemma. This study examined another type of reasoning -- thinking about precautions and social contracts.

The researchers presented 67 prisoners -- some psychopaths, some not -- with a series of problems based on three types of rules: descriptive rules (for example, "If a person is from California, then that person will be patient"); social contracts ("If you borrow my motorcycle, then you have to wash it"); and precautions ("If you work with tuberculosis patients, then you must wear a surgical mask").

The non-psychopath prisoners did about as well as non-prisoners on all three kinds of reasoning. While the psychopaths did fairly well on straight logical reasoning, they scored lower than non-psychopaths on problems that involved social contracts and precautions.

The study was published in the October issue of the journal Psychological Science.

"This work suggests that psychopaths don't understand cheating in the normal way, so they might not realize when they're cheating other people or when other people would react badly to cheating," study co-author Elsa Ermer said in an Association for Psychological Science news release.

She added that psychopaths' inability to reason about precautions may explain why they take risks and commit impulsive acts that land them in trouble. It appears they have difficulty "understanding when they can avoid negative consequences of a risk by taking a precaution," Ermer said.

More information

Oregon Counseling has more about the psychopathic personality.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Association for Psychological Science, news release, Nov. 3, 2010


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. An Underlying Cause for Psychopaths?
2. U of M researchers identify possible key to treating, understanding post-traumatic stress disorder
3. Breakthrough in understanding life-threatening childhood liver disease
4. Interactive media improved patients’ understanding of cancer surgery by more than a third
5. Microbiomes may hold key to better understanding of preterm birth
6. Better understanding of mapmaking in the brain
7. Sirius XM to broadcast Doctor Radio Reports: Understanding Autism -- Looking for Answers
8. FSU study takes novel approach to understanding pituitary function
9. Understanding Back Pain May Improve Management, Study Suggests
10. Rochester advances understanding of deadly form of malaria
11. Understanding the relationship between bacteria and obesity
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Psychopaths May Lack Understanding of Social Contracts: Study
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... TopConsumerReviews.com recently awarded their highest five-star rating ... Millions of individuals in the United States and Canada wear eyeglasses. Once considered to ... correct vision and make a fashion statement. Even celebrities use glasses as a way ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... Pixel Film Studios Released ProSlice Levels, a Media ... give their videos a whole new perspective by using the title layers in ... Studios. , ProSlice Levels contains over 30 Different presets to choose from. ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Clarkston, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 ... ... respect to fertility once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need ... but they also require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due ... up a new, often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away ... a common occurrence, but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... the "Pharmaceutical Excipients Market by Type (Organic Chemical ... Preservative), Formulation (Oral, Topical, Coating, Parenteral) - Global Forecast ... The global pharmaceutical excipients ... 2021 at a CAGR of 6.1% in the forecast ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Capricor ... ), a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, ... that patient enrollment in its ongoing randomized HOPE-Duchenne ... exceeded 50% of its 24-patient target. Capricor expects ... third quarter of 2016, and to report top ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. and INDIANAPOLIS , ... students receiving a Lilly Diabetes Tomorrow,s Leaders Scholarship is ... 2016 scholarship winners, announced today online at www.diabetesscholars.org ... let type 1 diabetes stand in the way of ... has supported the Foundation,s scholarship program since 2012, and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: