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When you hear the word psychopath, scary people come to mind. In extreme cases, psychopathy can be associated with torture, murder, and complete indifference to the well-being of others.
However, the open questions are: why Psychopaths show no empathy or remorse for the suffering they cause others. One possibility is that they have low emotional awareness. In other words, we may not show empathy simply because we are not aware of or paying attention to how others are feeling.That is, it may not actually be know About or understanding the feelings of others. But another possibility is that they really aren’t careIn other words, they may be very aware that others are suffering, but simply have no desire to help them (and probably don’t even enjoy it).
In recent research we attempted to answer this question by measuring both emotional awareness and psychopathic tendencies in the same individual. Or we could test whether people with high psychopathy perceive emotions in the same way as others.
what did we find? As is often the case in research, the answer was not a simple yes or no. Instead, it appeared to depend on whether the individual experienced childhood abuse, such as abuse or neglect, as discussed below.
Before I conducted my research, I didn’t know what I would find. This is because some psychopath traits seem to indicate high emotional awareness, while others suggest low emotional awareness. and manipulative.This suggests that they know how others feel and are good at using that knowledge to their own advantage. ” can also take leadership positions in companies that require excellent social and emotional skills .
On the other hand, many psychopaths are bad at paying attention to things that don’t help them achieve their selfish goals. As such, they may think they are simply oblivious to other people’s emotions due to their lack of attention. Psychopaths also exhibit other traits associated with low emotional awareness, such as impulsiveness and lack of reflective thinking. [4, 5].
But there is also a third possibility. Some types of psychopaths are associated with low emotional awareness, while others are not. Although not much discussed outside of research settings, the psychologist actually distinguishes between his two types of psychopaths, the so-called “primary” psychopaths and “secondary” psychopaths. The main difference between these two types of psychopathy lies in how a person’s characteristics are acquired.
Definition of primary and secondary psychopaths
People with primary psychopaths may be ‘born that way’. In other words, they may have genes that foster psychopathic personality traits, and certain events may have caused them to start behaving that way.
In contrast, secondary psychopaths can be caused by childhood trauma such as abuse/neglect. In other words, psychopathic tendencies in such individuals may develop in response to traumatic events as a coping mechanism. does not become a psychopath, but this seems to happen from time to time.
People with primary and secondary psychopaths also exhibit important behavioral differences. For example, individuals with primary psychopaths tend to be more socially successful, deceitful, ruthless, and manipulative, and appear to be less emotionally responsive. Individuals with secondary psychopaths may experience intense negative emotions (anger, frustration, etc.), leading to greater risk-taking, impulsiveness, short-term thinking, and antisocial/violent criminal behavior. shows and often goes to jail. Therefore, given these differences, one might think that secondary psychopaths are more likely to be accompanied by reduced emotional awareness.
To examine this possibility, our study investigated whether individuals experienced childhood abuse, whether they felt strong negative emotions, and other traits and behaviors consistent with primary and secondary psychopathy. We also collected information about whether they showed
Role of Child Abuse and Neglect
Our findings showed that people with higher psychotic tendencies had lower emotional awareness, but only if they experienced childhood abuse/neglect. Emotional awareness was suggested to be low only in those with secondary psychopaths. In contrast, many people with primary psychopaths (that is, advanced psychopaths without childhood trauma) still exhibited high levels of emotional awareness.
These results help us understand certain aspects of psychopathy that seem contradictory. For example, one might ask why psychopaths can manipulate the emotions of others so well that they are unaware of those emotions. Our research suggests that both of these probably do not apply to a single psychopath and that specific types of psychopaths are important. This allows them to ruthlessly “manipulate their way to the top” in corporate positions through charm and deception (primary psychopaths). Another type of psychopath has low emotional awareness, acts without reflecting on their emotions, and may end up in prison for making risky and impulsive choices (secondary psychopaths).
Our findings are also relevant to other studies, highlighting that the low emotional awareness of secondary psychopaths may result from early learning processes.If a child is left alone all day (parental neglect), or observes anger and most often feels fear/shame (in the context of abuse), it is to be expected that they will have trouble understanding emotions This is because they are unable to see and experience a sufficient range of emotions to learn from themselves and others.  Lower emotional awareness was especially shown in those who experienced abuse or neglect. From this perspective, we may gain a little sympathy for individuals with secondary psychopathy.
It is important to remember that this was a single study and recruited volunteer participants from around the university. More research is needed to confirm that the same patterns are seen when studying such individuals. It is helpful to understand how the puzzles of the world fit together and how childhood abuse leads to these dangerous patterns of behavior. Exploring ways to improve the emotional awareness of individuals with secondary psychopaths may also be important in exploring ways to minimize their negative effects.