You Might be a Psychopath; Psychological Catch 22

In this TED talk from Jon Ronson the destruction of the field of psychology and strange answers to the psychopath test are discussed. Set to eerie music and unsettling visuals this talk is intriguing to say the least. It also brings up many important questions. Is the psychopath test a catch 22? Is everyone a psychopath?

Ronson says that Scientologists are trying to destroy psychology. Scientologists claim it is a pseudo-science that can’t be trusted. Their evidence? A man, Tony, who feigned insanity at his criminal trial to be placed in a lush cozy hospital for the mentally ill instead of jail. Their assertion is that he faked too well, and now can’t get out. It’s an incredibly insteresting look at mental illness and the abnormal behaviors of the human race.

“Tony said that it’s a lot harder to convince people that you’re sane than you’re crazy”

“You know they’re always looking for nonverbal cues to my mental state. But how do you sit in a sane way? How do you cross your legs in a sane way? It’s just impossible!” Tony says that one of the points on the psychopath check list is not feeling remorse, but if you say you feel regret and remorse, the psychologists claim you are being cunning and manipulative, which is another one of the points on the psychopath check list. He was caught in this catch 22 for fourteen years before the psychologists decided it was safe to release him into society, decidedly still a psychopath.

Ronson goes on to discuss capitalism and the characteristics presented in successful capitalists.

“The reason why is because capitalism at its most ruthless rewards psychopathic behavior. The lack of empathy, the glibness, cunning, manipulative. In fact capitalism perhaps at its most remorseless, is a physical manifestation of psychopathy.”

This video may get you worrying about your mental state, but I wouldn’t fret too much about it. All human behavior is relative.

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