Like many folks, I find the study of the “dark” side of human behavior fascinating. I’m no expert, but my interest has definitely been, let’s say, encouraged by my years in the field. Yet, it has been a struggle to keep up with the evolving schools of thought. It was confusing enough with the battle of opinions on the differences between a sociopath and a psychopath, but now some studies say even those well-known terms and concepts may be outdated. Yikes! Just when you think you understand, it changes! To try and keep up with the science, I offer some suggested starting points below. I’ve also found that is a good place for the latest studies especially for those of us with a more casual interest in the area.

There are a multitude of articles out there for background. “The Criminal Psychopath: History, Neuroscience, Treatment, and Economics” is one and links to more specialized studies such as The Brain of Dexter Morgan: the Science of Psychopathy in Showtime’s Season 8 of Dexter or the Biological Explanations of Criminal Behavior. A more summarized version is “The Empathic Brain of Psychopaths: From Social Science to Neuroscience in Empathy” which focuses on the lack of empathy as one major determining factor of psychopathy.

At some point you might also wonder about “D” Factors and how one school of thought sees Psychopathy, Narcissism, and Machiavellianism as merely a triad of traits of a “Dark Personality“. This also follows a line of thought that a unifying Dark or “D” factor exists amongst all these.

If you wish, you can even take a test to determine your “dark factor” score. I give you the link for convenience only, and with no personal insight or recommendation because if you think I’m taking the test, no way. Some things are best left in the “dark”. Enjoy Exploring!



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