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The Wisdom of Psychopaths

Kevin Dutton

We all possess psychopathic tendencies, moreover, Kevin Dutton argues, our society as a whole is more psychopathic than ever: after all, psychopaths tend to be fearless, confident, charming, ruthless, and focused—qualities that are tailor-made for success in the twenty-first century.

Psychopath. No sooner is the word out or images of murderers, rapists and suicide bombers go flashing across our minds. But not all psychopaths are violent, or even criminal. In fact, they have a lot of good things going for them: beneath the hype and the popular characterization, psychopaths have something to teach us. Psychologist Kevin Dutton argues that there are indeed “functional psychopaths” among us—different from their murderous counterparts—who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more “psychopathic” people are, the more likely they are to succeed.

Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the University of Oxford. His first book, Flipnosis - The Art of Split Second Persuasion, first published in 2010 and since translated into 18 languages, documents his quest - from the political genius of Winston Churchill to the malign influence of some of the world's top con artists - for the psychological 'DNA' of persuasion. His second book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths - Lessons in Life from Saints, Spies and Serial Killers, Kevin explores the positive side of being a psychopath, and discovers, first hand, in a groundbreaking 'How to make a psychopath' experiment, what it's like to be one. The effects have since worn off.

Interesting links
Website Kevin Dutton
Website Kevin Dutton - Are you a psychopath? Do the test
Amazon.com - Book ‘The Wisdom of Psychopaths’
The Guardian.com - Book review 'The Wisdom of Psychopaths'
YouTube.com - Are you a psychopath? Do the test

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