Forensic Psychology

Causes of Antisocial Traits

How can we explain the biological findings on psychopathy?

To summarize, biological research into psychopathy has shown us that psychopaths have overly focused attention, are under-responsive to emotions, and become less aroused instead of more aroused when they are angry. How might we understand these findings? One possibility is that psychopathic individuals grew up in very threatening and violent environments. As a consequence, they learned to down-regulate their emotional responses and narrow their attention in order to focus solely on getting what they want and on surviving in a brutal, dog-eat-dog world. Unfortunately, what may have started out as a way to survive brutality ultimately serves to perpetuate it.


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