Saturday, June 07, 2008

On Psychopathy and Lying

After reading this post from I'm anxious to read the recommended book, Criminal Interrogation: A Modern Format for Interrogating Criminal Suspects Based on the Intellectual Approach, by Warren D. Holmes.


Many Lovefraud readers have expressed the desire to know how to “out” a psychopath/sociopath. In this book Mr. Holmes gives his ideas about this subject. In his Chapter “How People Lie” he discusses the neurotic liar and compares lies told by these people to psychopathic liars. He has also listed and categorized what he calls “liar statements.” These are statements that signal someone is lying. In reading his list, I found that psychopaths/sociopaths use many of these.

Here are his categories of liar statements:

To read the list and the rest of the article go here.


Anonymous said...

I believe in a psychopathy spectrum. My view is that it is a fine line (or an invisible one) between anti-social personality disorder, malignant narcissism and psychopathy. These may be slightly different expressions of the same thing. Dominating and controlling is something we write about here, for example.

One thing the author did not mention is the psychopath's odd reaction to physical pain. They simply do not experience pain the way a normal person does. Is that part of their brain shut off?

New technology is showing differences in white matter between the brains of psychopaths and normals. But which came first: the damage or the behavior that led to the damage?

Anonymous said...

It's interesting that N's seem to exhibit behaviors that can fit under any of the categories you mention, anonymous. Usually they prefer the kinds of abuse (verbal, ambient or atmospheric) that don't leave visible marks because of their general obsession with appearances. My N parent was adept as such sophisticated techniques, which can slip under even the abused's radar but are all the more devastating for that reason. Think of unfavorable comparisons multiplied out of the blue: how they were better at this or that area of life while in their youth (here they greatly exagerate), or how some other person surpassed you at something you thought you were good at, etc. Here they try to shake the core of your sense of self.

That said, there can be an arrow pointing toward psychopathic behavior IF they are sure they can get away with it and in special circumstances when they are very jealous or frustrated. But at other times the fine line you mentioned has be honored. I don't know, for instance, if N's have the weird pain reaction you mention for psychopaths. The clinical categories have some autonomy, but one does have to be aware of the range of possibility of the N's behavior to keep oneself safe, since their principle seems to be to do as much evil as they can get away with.

Anonymous said...

I get the curiousity of the actual
brain pathlogy on a intellectual level . But really I dont care -
Why is merely academic to me .
What I really needed to know was
why were they attracted to me and
how to turn that completely off.

I had to learn mostly on my own at first .

1. Be very wary of someone pounding on your sympathy button with a sledgehammer .

2. Pay the closest attention
to how I feel . This was quite
difficult - had been told how
I felt for so long that I had to
relearn to experience my own emotions . They could be stark raving lunatics but I was never to
be angry, refusing, disapproving or
anything besides blissfully complacent.

3. No is not a four letter word
It is perfectly acceptable to say
No - I wont _______ for you.

4. Look at what they do. No one
who had any regard at all would act this way .

5. Dont under estimate your own
strenght . You can live a
nfree life . It has taken me
50+ years to accomplish.

It stops here - the multi-generational BS is finished.

Anna - I would be lying if I didnt
say your writing has been helpful
while I was moving forward to here

I no longer have a family but in
truth it wasnt really much to loose. Once I let go they slithered away very quickly.
I wish it ha happened sooner .

Anonymous said...

I think the brain science of psychopathology is important. It helps to know when someone is functioning on the same level as a reptile.