Recent findings show that Psychopaths do not lack empathy

New Findings Spur Debate: Are Some Psychopaths Curable?

Cynthia Fox

A new study finds psychopaths do not lack empathy. They just possess the ability to turn it on and off—perhaps making some curable.

Critics say psychopaths only lack a certain form of empathy. Their ability to understand it is part of what makes them so dangerous.

“The findings are fascinating,” says Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door. The UK and Germany apparently agree, recently making a book by the new study’s author a Der Spiegel  bestseller.

Psychopaths can be alternately charming and brutal. There is something real in both their “faces.”

For the new Brain study, psychopathic criminals, lying in MRI’s, watched videos of a person being hurt by someone else. Only when asked to imagine the receiver’s pain did appropriate areas in psychopaths’ brains—involving pain response—ignite in a way mirroring controls’.

Professor Christian Keysers performing an fMRI scan. (Source: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)Professor Christian Keysers performing an fMRI scan. (Source: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)Without instruction, psychopaths displayed reduced activity in brain regions associated with both pain and pleasure. “The vicarious activation of motor, somatosensory, and emotional brain regions was much lower in the patients with psychopathy… The (standard) theory seemed right: their empathy was reduced, and this could explain why they committed such terrible crimes without feeling guilt,” wrote Groningen University neuroscientist Christian Keysers in aPsychology Today article about his new Brain study. (Keysers’ new book is The Empathic Brain.)

But when the team showed movies after mandating empathy, “this simple instruction sufficed to boost the empathic activation in their brain to a level that was hard to distinguish from that of the healthy controls. Suddenly, the psychopaths seemed as empathic as the next guy. Their empathy was switched on.”

The finding may bring hope, Keysers added by email. “There is a fundamental difference between the capacity for empathy, which psychopaths have, and the propensity to always be empathic by default. If we can turn capacity into propensity, we could really help them.”

Some supporters note many therapists try this with psychopathic children. They tell kids how “mirror neurons” light up in the same brain areas of people watching others—and those being watched. (Keysers’ team pioneered mirror neuron research.) Such therapists tell patients that brain synchrony indicates they can empathize.

Others are less sure.

“It’s very important people not misunderstand,” says Stout. “Sadly, I don’t think the results speak to a cure. “

Studies of “disorders of consciencelessness,” she says, show that “psychopaths/sociopaths are often exceedingly charming, can ‘read’ people when it suits their purposes, and can learn (with calculated effort) to recognize and imitate overt signs of emotion in others. I find it interesting but not surprising that functional mirror neurons are present. Psychopaths can read other people if they choose.”

This image shows the movies shown to the participants (left) and brain activation of the participants with psychopathy without instructions (behind) and with instructions to empathize (front). (Source: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)This image shows the movies shown to the participants (left) and brain activation of the participants with psychopathy without instructions (behind) and with instructions to empathize (front). (Source: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences)

But, says Stout, “They just don’t usually choose to, because the tragic deficit appears to be the maldevelopment of the paralimbic system (the brain’s emotional area). This more general deficit prevents psychopaths from forming bonds to others, prevents them from loving or caring. Where emotion is concerned, psychopaths can see it in others when they make a concerted conscious effort. They just don’t care to do so unless they can use it to their own advantage.”

This study may illustrate psychopathy’s danger, not its curability. “Eerily, in a sense, mirror neurons just make psychopaths more effective psychopaths when there’s a pay-off. Conscience is a sense of obligation based in the ability to form emotional attachments to others. It is this ability, not the ability to read or reflect, tragically missing in psychopathy/sociopathy.”

Says Columbia University forensic psychiatrist Michael Stone:  “One problem: the word “empathy” is used in different ways in the UK/Canada and the US.  There, they conflate “empathy” (the ability to cognitively grasp another’s emotional state) with “compassion” (the propensity to sympathize with another’s distress). In the US, we use “empathy” only in the latter sense.” The Brain study defines empathy “the combined way.”

Stone continues: “Many psychopaths, even serial killers, know if a kid’s crying, he’s distressed, probably got separated from his mom. But the compassionate person feels sad for the kid, and takes measures to reunite the two. The psychopath uses the opportunity to take the kid by the hand, andpretends to get him hooked up with his mom — but leads him instead to his car and kidnaps him. Zero compassion….Do I think psychopaths [at the edge of psychiatric scales] can develop genuine compassion? The likelihood is very, very low.”

Regardless, says Stout: “I hope these findings will increase our understanding.”


42 thoughts on “Recent findings show that Psychopaths do not lack empathy”

  1. So….they are saying the guy who murdered my cousin(the trial by jury is going on right now) and than proceeded to murder her boyfriend,and his new girlfriend..2 years after her murder…is not a psychopath???? I’ve been at the trial…I’ve been studying this guy,paying attention to the psychology of the court room,etc…..I watch his every move. If I felt “empathy” via a switch in my brain…I could not sit there,with my dream team of attorney’s around me…with pictures of a delicate,lovely dead girl,plastered on a screen the size of texas….and switch off my emotions,knowing I killed that lovely girl,with her brains blown out,on the screen. Sorry so graphic…but I have had it with evil people and these studies. I do not agree with these studies. Do you POS?

    1. I am sorry that this has happened to your cousin B. 😦 What a horrible thing to go through for your family. I hope that there will be justice. But – what justice will there ever be when life has been taken?

      1. Ya know POS,I thought that very same thing until I went to the trial(this is the 2nd trial btw,1st one was a mistrial) and the moment I got to the trial…I understood the feeling of NEEDING justice,for someone whom is not there to defend herself,and for my family. I really felt like “this is not going to bring my family member” back…but I tell ya,the first day of the trial…I got it. I got that my lovely cousin was not there to defend herself,that my aunt and uncle needed this beast to be found guilty,after all the years of spending the money to place large reward billboards all over town,after my family getting tips about where the murder weapon was,only to waste money renting metal detectors on our own,and scouring fields for hours….only for it to turn up as a false tip,and for the local law enforcement(whom I think are a bunch of sociopath’s) who didn’t do their job,who didn’t take the loss of my family member seriously. The first trial was a death penalty trial….the defendant had one of casey Anthony’s death penalty juror’s on his side. I,myself,do not believe in the death penalty…it was a mistrial,as I said,so we took the death penalty off the table,and I feel good about us getting justice in her case. The trial resume’s today…..defensive side to do their “show” than we should hopefully know by the end of the week!

    2. Do I agree with these studies? I think that there are varying degrees. That some are worse than others. Just as everyone is an individual so are sociopaths. Some could be violent. Others would never lift a finger to anyone. Everyone on this planet is an individual. I think that this is the danger with these studies, in that the sample experiment, is limited only to the people who have taken part, and who were those people, were they reflective of the sociopath population as a whole? Therefore research studies like this, are always going to be limited.

  2. .My Pinocchio have an emotional age of a 3 years old, tantrums included. I remember the long conversations we had about things I thought were natural, but he was unable to understood. ..when I finally thought he understand it was as it never happened, because he repeated the same hurtful conduct, like he was unable to learn the lesson and apply it to other scenarios. He had a big accident last summer and he had to went to differents MRIs the results were significant to me, because he have 5 ventricules, not 4 as themajority of people had. There are some investigations that pair this characteristic with some mental illnesses.

    1. Do you have copies of these MRIs? It would be very useful to submit these to neuroscientists who track sociopaths, like Dr. James Fallon of UC Irvine. Dr. Daniel Amen, CA psychiatrist and neurophysiologist, uses Spect graphs, not MRIs, and he doesn’t work specifically in sociopathy, but it would be interesting to submit the MRIs to him and to as many researchers as possible. Dr. Hare, Dr. Stout, and all the rest.
      This finding that your sociopath has 5 ventricles may be an important piece of the puzzle.
      Was he abused as a child? Was his mother under duress from maybe an abusive father when she was pregnant with him? Did he witness domestic abuse between his parents? Was he a target of abuse, like childhood sexual abuse, during key brain development times? Did the abuse skip generations? For example, were his grandparents or parents traumatized which maybe caused epigenetic mutations?
      While it’s important to understand cause and effect in order to hopefully prevent the generation of new sociopaths, it is equally important to not shift empathy and validation away from their targets (victims) and back onto them. As Dr. Martha Stout cited, a sociopath’s greatest desire is to effectively play the pity ploy, while (s)he craftily omits the death and destruction (s)he dealt to his/her target first.
      “Abusers always try to appeal to me on the basis they were abused as children. The problem with that, is there’s thousands who’ve emerged from the same abyss, and yet they’ve specifically chosen to not imitate their oppressors. They, of course, are the true heroes.” ~ Andrew Vachss, author and attorney for children

      1. I agree with you why do some people get affected by childhood and not others? Why do some use this as an excuse yet others are not like this? I guess we are all unique individuals, therefore impacted differently by different things. Unless of course, its just an excuse?

      2. @Danna, I have a cd with the mri. The doctor said to me with curiosity that this is an anatomic difference that no many people had, it has to do with the prenatal development of the brain.The hemispheres are the fluid filled cavities within the brain. There are scientific studies that said that on schizophrenia the ventricles are larger than average. He went to the army and he was disharged after less than 2 years with a schizophrenia and personality disorder diagnostic (I learned it with the OW and his mother confirmed it to me, remember he told me that he had an PSTD diagnostic after his time at Panama, Iran and Afghanistan, the truth was that after his basic training he spend all his time in and out of the military jail an the military psychiatric ward) I’m not a doctor, but I’m sure that if a doctor really knows what a psychopath is, that will be his real diagnosis.
        He grow up with both parents and two sisters. His dad was a highly functional passive alcoholic. He came from work, put his booze on a milk carton, watch the tv, drink all the carton and went to sleep (he doesn’t talk about it, but I remembered it from the first time we were together more than 20 years ago, and their sisters talk about it too). His mom was abandoned as a child by their parents and was raised by one of her aunts as her own, she is a really good mom . I don’t know how this affected him, both sisters are lovely and sucessful womans.
        His mom always said that when he was 8 years old it was when everything started to change, he doesn’t seem interested on school, was cruel with animals, had a fascination with fire…they started to search for help when he was 11, but she said that he learned how to manipulate his doctors and they started to say that they were the problem.
        I don’t know if he was sexually abused as a child, but I know that he says with pride that his first sexual encounter was when he was just 11, to me that is abuse.
        He is also an homophobic, sometimes I thought it was from something that he is hiding that happened to him as a child, other times I thougt that he is afraid of trait of his personality that have something to do with homosexualism.
        As I said before he is a grown man with the emotional age of three, tantrums included. He doesn’t have any emphaty and he is unable to learn from his experience

    2. I always saw it as a mental illness. As the same thing repeated, despite the consequences of the action. Most people would understand, learn and realise. Yet they repeat over and over again, despite that the outcome will be the same. Wasn’t it Einstein who said that the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over, and expecting different results?

      1. @Positiva, this is one of the traits of my SP that most amazes me. He was really unable to understand how his words and actions can hurt others. He had to dissect the most simple things, and when at last I thought he understand it, it was a matter of time (sometimes seconds) to him to repeat the same actions and omissions. Instant gratification wins over the consequences. An eternal 3 year old wood man, without a heart, without a conscience, the real Pinnochio.

      2. Yesterday he contacted me with a text asking me for some infirmation that he needed for his taxes. I have the information, so I texted back the information, just that. He send a new text asking me how I am and if he can talk to me, because he hate to put a voice message. He said he just needed to hear my voice. I didn’t answered the text. His next message. ” Please, lets talk, why we can’t try to be friends?” His last message answered his question”I always knew that you are a slut. I write to you only to be kind to you, but this is what you deserve…(he accompanied his text with a photo of his middle finger)
        OMG! I’m stronger now and didn’t react, but I can’t deny that I cry again as I deleted the messages releating to me as a mantra, ” no contact, no contact…”

      3. I’m so sorry @ no more insanity. Good for you for not giving in, it is sometimes the hardest thing to do! Applause!

      4. @Blue and It is done, thank you!
        I’m on the phase that I just wait until he shows who he really is. Yesterday he did it on just 2 hours.
        His mom warned me, because he called her asking about me, if I obtain my promotion and if I had changed my number, because I didn’t answered his calls. His mom kept silent called me immediately and told me to be careful.
        He “tries” to be emphatic, but when he didn’t get what he wanted, he became again the almost 50 years old whining baby with a big tantrum trying to make me insane. Ughhh!

      5. NMI, I second blue. Good for you girl. That last text really shows what kind of arse he is. It’s ok to cry my friend, it’s actually good for you. You didn’t deserve this. He is a mean man. Stay no contact and soon he will be nothing but a distant memory and your life will be ten times fuller and happier than its ever been xxx

  3. Do psychopaths tend to have a lot of emotion for animals?
    Would a psychopath trust you with their social and bank account?

    1. Hi jessica there is research that some psychopaths were cruel to animals particularly as children. As for trusting you with private information no not usually. Normally they want access to your private information whIle keeping their own private.

    2. @Jessica, no they dont have emotions for the animals. I have cats and dogs on my house and he said that someday he can got a surprise for me on the fridge. He had told me horrible stories of what he did to his pets at first he says it to bother me, now I know that it was real.

    3. Hi Jessica,
      My exsoc. gave me access to his credit/debit cards, and Merchant accounts, bank accounts etc. He knew he could trust me and I thought this solidified, in my mind, my belief that we were a couple working toward a future. Mind you, he’d assessed me very early in our relationship and knew exactly what I needed from a man based on what I revealed about past relationships.
      However, it was just a part of his long term goals toward which I played an instrumental part for 2 years. I was the backbone for most of his business ventures – he’d even added me to one of his corporations and told me after the fact. And while this compromised my full time job and personal life – I never asked, and he never offered to pay me a dime.
      When I tried to cut back on how much I was doing – he cursed me out. I was not loyal and he really thought I was different from all the others who’d stiffed him in the past. He preached how relationships couldn’t survive on love alone and that he believed both partners should support each other in personal ventures – boy was I sold on supporting my man.
      When things began to unravel and I found out how many dating/social sites he was on, the other women in other states that he had also gone into business deals with as well as making promises to move and live with them – shit hit the fan. Over the years, I loaned him thousands of dollars to help shortfalls (I was told). Never got a dime back. He was sending money to another woman who was playing the same role I was, in a different country where he tried to start two other businesses. Suddenly I was the most conniving woman he’d ever met, he’d call me a thief, evil, a bitch, and said how he was stupid for trusting me with his card because I probably stole from his customers. Merchant accounts I’d established based on my credit, he no longer wanted because I was dumb enough to not read fine prints and he wasn’t going to pay cancellation fees (mind you I opened the accounts when he lost his because of charge backs). So as he ruined my credit and left me in debt, he already had another woman in line to start the cycle all over again.

    4. Sorry, I made a full comment below but forgot to add, my exsoc said animals and children were exempt from his contempt, because they don’t function as adults do. He always spoke of how kids enjoyed his company because he made them laugh and he also talked about how his neighbor’s dog would love to come to his room.

    5. jessica, in my recent expierence with an ex soc, he immediatly took a :liking” to my pets, especially a dog of mine who is very friendly and clingy. at the time i thought it was cute. but i remember he was possessive of her. if she was with me, he would call her away and then look at me and laugh if she would leave my side and go to him, or get frustrated if she didn’t chose him. he would interact with them a lot when i was around, but my mother who was living with me told me she noticed he totally neglected them when i wasn’t around. he believe he was jealous of them. i remember when there was snow on the ground and he had a foot injury and wasn’t able to wear shoes. i came home and the dogs had gone to the bathroom all over the floor. i asked him if he took them out and he didn’t. his excuse was snow on the ground and he couldn’t walk around outside. YET he found himself perfectly capable of walking out to my car and driving around doing god knows what while i was at work. his needs before the dogs. also, towards the end, i noticed my dogs loosing a lot of weight and throwing up a lot. when i was out of town with the dogs without him, they started to get better. i came home and they were around him again and they started to get sick again (same pattern with myself actually) and now that i kicked him out of my life, we are all feeling better. it may be a coinsidence but i’m pretty convinced its not, considering his jokes about poisoning us and his interest in the topic of munchhausens syndrome when i informed him of the condition when watching a movie or something.

      i think that with the rest of us being emotionally bonded with our animals, and a sociopath finding any way to appeal to us by mocking us and finding our weaknesses, they will pretend to like our pets knowing it will impress us and gain our trust. thats what he did, and he did it with my mother as well. they use and exploit, humans and pets alike.

      that was my expierence anyways.

  4. Sounds to me like they are saying they can switch it on and off, the ACT of empathy, but that’s not TRUE empathy, imo. I think they target empathic people to learn from them. That’s how I see what happened to me. I think mine used me to learn how to ACT empathic, not learn how to BE empathic. Ugh. I don’t believe they have empathy–that’s what makes them a sociopath in the first place, lack of conscience and empathy.

    1. It does make me think though, is empathy learned? Or are these results, just a manipulative con… ie, show me what you expect from me, and I will give you what you want to see?

      1. they are a manipulative con. Propoganda if you will. The cause and effect of this manipulative study…I am not sure. I believe to every questionable study/news report/illogical law…there is a cause and effect…put forth by manipulative people….propaganda……Just look what we were taught in history class what thanksgiving is? google what the real thanksgiving WAS. To this day,it baffles me…that people in the stated have no clue…that the dissemination(sp?) of the native American’s was no different than the holocaust. Reservations,are actually called concentration camps. I am half native…I have my tribal card. Just recently got it…I attend powwow’s,I get native country weekly magazine……through my readings,and spending ime with full blooded American Indians,I learned…that most of what we read,see in the news,etc…are lies,manipulative cons. I could go on and on about the subject of propaganda. We started out,as a country,taken over,by a bunch of sociopaths/psychopaths.

      2. I would suggest that empathy is learned, but that the SP child is somehow incapable of learning it. Babies/toddlers are very sociopathic really..LOL (ME ME & MINE!) But through natural development and play they learn right from wrong and to have empathy for others. It seems in the SP brain that this is either broken from birth, or somehow broken or missed during childhood development. Perhaps the scientists will figure it out someday. Or perhaps we will break out the SP into categories of “genetic” SP and “developmental delay” SP? I wager the nature/nurture debate will continue for a while regarding the cause of Psychopathy/Sociopathy.

    1. Like racism is learned from childhood? Someone can learn racism as a child,and not run out and kill a bunch of people of a different race…than go grab a burger afterwards? I believe,it is a neurotransmitter gone haywire,combined with what that person(the sociopath) does with that knowledge. Some of them state”I feel different” So instead of mirroring off of us to learn empathy for that time they are with us….surely,if they know something is different….they should have the self actualization to make it undifferent? So,is it up to the psycho/sociopath to get help?….I have a friend that had the worst childhood imaginable…..she has more empathy than anyone I have ever met!?!?

  5. Hi Pos & everyone else here, blessings to all. A question: Is sociopath the same as mysogynists? as i see my ex spath or narc also has many mysogynist traits. I saw a medium & she tuned into spirit world & set me straight about my spath, said i would be imprisoned by him & he would get violent, maybe punch me, situation would get worse, volatile increase, if we got married & he was a ‘gonna guy’ gonna do this gonna do that, but hardly ever ‘do it’ in reality

    1. Wow it looks like you got out just in time, what a relief that must be now that you look back and see how awful things could have been. What a blessing that you found someone who could shine that light that you needed to see the truth.

      My non-expert opinion is that unfortunately not all racists, bigots or misogynists are sociopaths, even though that would seem a natural conclusion. They certainly have terrible issues and should be avoided as well, but it is not necessarily a SP issue.

  6. My mri shows grey matter,white matter,I’ve got 6 lesion’s on my brain…that’s multiple sclerosis. However,after being diagnosed,I feel that through my crazy MRI findings…I gained more empathy….as I was able to put myself,in my patients shoes…literally understood what it was like for them to be in the medical system,to have md apt after md apt….to be depressed because they couldn’t do the things they used to. So im gonna go ahead and say this article…IS WRONG. Interesting,but wrong. I,and this may sound out there…believe these soc’s/psychopath’s have the devil in them. Like,they need an exorcism or something. And I am in no way,shape or form…a religious fanatic. Just sayin’. Like they are a FORCE.

    1. The example you cite is more one of “learned sympathy” than of authentic original empathy. A sociopath who had gone through the same experience would be able to empathize in this scenario as much as he would be able to empathize with someone in physical therapy recovering from a car wreck, had he recovered from one himself.

      I think, though the article doesn’t say it, with the capability to turn on/off the empathy, it may make it largely experiential. It is a supposition, but I also theorize that empathy would vary by degree and intensity according to the sociopath, based on their personal collective experiences throughout their life.

      It may feel like they are the “devil” (I certainly wondered), but if they are not all the same, I think we have to withhold that conclusion.

  7. “They just don’t usually choose to, because the tragic deficit appears to be the maldevelopment of the paralimbic system (the brain’s emotional area). This more general deficit prevents psychopaths from forming bonds to others, prevents them from loving or caring. Where emotion is concerned, psychopaths can see it in others when they make a concerted conscious effort. They just don’t care to do so unless they can use it to their own advantage.”

    This quote sums up my opinion completely, I am glad that they gave the opposing viewpoint to this study in this article, unfortunately I have seen this study given headline attention without substance (as media often does). Sure, of course psychopaths have an IMAGINATION, they can imagine how they would feel if that happened to them. Isn’t that what so much of their mirroring is as well? It is nothing but mimicking and intellect though, not true empathy. That’s really all they measured in this study. No revolutionary findings here at all.

  8. this paragraph in the article explains the empathy debate, i think.

    “Says Columbia University forensic psychiatrist Michael Stone: “One problem: the word “empathy” is used in different ways in the UK/Canada and the US. There, they conflate “empathy” (the ability to cognitively grasp another’s emotional state) with “compassion” (the propensity to sympathize with another’s distress). In the US, we use “empathy” only in the latter sense.” The Brain study defines empathy “the combined way.””

    if empathy is merely the ability to grasp anothers emotional state, then yes, i would have to say that in my experience, that a sociopath does have that ability. “grasp” might not be the best word, but they do recognize it, pick up on it, and in fact they are very good at it. it always baffled me how the sociopaths i have dealt with are very good at knowing what emotion i am experiencing and why i am experiencing it, yet they don’t relate on a personal level and don’t truly experience it themselves. its although they only have a sliver of empathy, as in only enough empathy to recognize and understand your emotions (but not deeply because they do not personally relate) and map them out.

    as for compassion, THAT we can all agree sociopaths have no concept of and doesn’t even exist in their world. in their eyes its a weakness we possess that they don’t and therefore we deserve to have it used against us…

    the key with the empathy debate is what this article points out. in the UK/Canada empathy is merely the ability to “grasp” emotions, which by the act of mirroring empathy one could say they are grasping it, they just arent relating it. its like cram studying for a test. you memorize the answers for the exam the next day but don’t actually absorb the information and understand it. but Merrian Webster defines emapthy as… ” the feeling that you understand and share another person’s experiences and emotions : the ability to share someone else’s feelings”. and i think we can all agree that a sociopath does NOT understand and share our feelings.

    thats my 2 cents anyways. its a fine line i think, between recognizing that someone has emotions and why they have them, but not understanding it on a deep level because sociopaths do not experience it themselves. its logical to them and not personal. as if a persons emotions are a mathematical equation. which is why maybe i feel as though sociopaths are forever frustrated and envious of us non-sociopaths because they are outcasts forever confused by our natures and wanting to know what all the fuss is about, even if they only desire that knowledge for power. hell, thats how they always get busted. they just don’t get it, and eventually we see that. so they move on and try try again. serial parasites.

    1. Good points thank you. I think they can see others feel empathy and how they act when being empathetic, but they can’t feel it themselves. They are too wrapped up in themselves.

    2. Jes, I completely agree with what you say. I believe that the hidden part of them craves what we have, so they get close to us, love bomb us to try and obtain it, but then they become frustrated that it wont rub off on them and they can’t have it. So they blame us, it must be our fault, so they get angry at us and retaliate on us and I think finally they try to destroy us because their mind set is if they can’t have it, then we shouldn’t have it either. They then move to the next victim and like a child go “nah nah na nah na” and pretend they got it from someone else to make themselves feel better. And to show us that the fault is ours not them. But they never find it. Because they cant. That’s why they get worse as they get older because slowly they realise they will never have it.
      In the cases where they just disappear never to return (well for a while) I think they think that we somehow got the best of them so they just want to pretend like we never existed.
      It’s all very child like behaviour because in this emotional intelligence, they are children.
      It is envy and desire that drives them to start and then fear jealousy and frustration and finally hate for us and self contempt that they finish with.
      I would feel sorry for them but I can’t because of all the damage they have caused us.

  9. The article didn’t say whether the experiment was also carried out with people not identified as psychopaths. I suspect that it was not. I have a hunch that we ALL have the ability to turn empathy on and off.

  10. 12% – 18% on the first (there were 2 questions that I felt I could answer more than one way; took test twice)

    Second test: 1.1 on primary psychopathy (lower than all but 3.6% of test takers) and 2.6 on secondary psychopathy (54th percentile)

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