Psychopathy: It’s complicated


Psychopaths. They’re often depicted as smooth-talking liars, devoid of guilt and empathy and immune to healthy fears and stress. Many mass murderers have been considered psychopaths, as are some successful business leaders and Wall Street employees. Our prisons are filled with them, but not all of them are in prison. So who are they, what are they, and what makes them tick?

Dan Gottlieb and his guests explore the meaning of psychopathy. They’ll help us identify personality traits and behaviors, understand the nature of predatory relationships, discuss underlying causes, and look at the debate in the mental health community–can psychopaths be treated or should they be? Dan’s guests include: William Hirstein, Sandra Brown, and Michael Caldwell.

William Hirstein, Ph.D., is both a philosopher and a scientist, having published numerous scientific articles, including works on phantom limbs, autism, consciousness, sociopathy, and the misidentification syndromes. He is the author of several books, including Brain Fiction: Self-Deception and the Riddle of Confabulation and Mindmelding: Consciousness, Neuroscience, and the Mind’s Privacy.

Sandra Brown, M.A., began her career in victimology following the murder of her father in 1983. She is the founder of The Institute for Relational Harm Reduction & Public Pathology Education. She writes for Psychology Today. Her books include How to Spot a Dangerous Man, Women Who Love Psychopaths, and Counseling Victims of Violence.

Dr. Michael Caldwell is Senior Staff Psychologist at Mendota Mental Health Institute for serious and violent juveniles offenders in Wisconsin.

Iago on the Couch

Explore what fuels the evil deeds of Iago, of Shakespeare’s Othello, performed live at WHYY’s Dorrance H. Hamilton Public Media Commons, March 30, 2013, in cooperation with The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre. In this video, Dan Gottlieb holds a therapy session with one of the Bard of Avon’s most twisted characters, played masterfully by J Hernandez of The Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre.

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