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Can psychopaths be cured? Show more Show less
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A personality disorder, psychopathy is characterised by a lack of empathy, impulsive actions, and anti-social behaviour. This disorder often has a very negative effect on people and their relationships with others. Can psychopaths be cured of this disorder, or must they learn to live with it?

No, psychopaths cannot be cured Show more Show less

Underlying pathology does not allow for a psychopath to be cured. The behaviors are innate to genetic predispositions and or physical structures in the brain.
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Psychopathy is a personality disorder

Psychopathy is not something that is developed, it is something you are born with.
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The Argument

There is no cure for psychopathy because it is a personality disorder. A personality disorder is a type of mental disorder where a person can exhibit an unhealthy pattern of thinking or a set of behaviors. People with personality disorders can have trouble relating to other people. The way that psychopathy affects people’s entire thought patterns makes psychopathy very difficult for psychologists to treat. It is not possible to cure how someone else thinks, since it depends on that person’s willingness to change how they think. For instance, one of the distinctive traits of psychopathy is a lack of empathy. The ability to think empathetically is a learned trait. There is no medication a doctor can prescribe to make a person empathetic. A person must choose to think empathetically. Without empathy, a psychopath cannot sympathize with the people they harm, which then leads them to believe they have done nothing wrong [1]. If a psychopath cannot see what they have done is wrong, then they will see no need to change. Scholars also argued that if one attempts to cure psychopathy, the cure would be extremely different from cures for neurological impairments [2]. The brain plays an important role in how people experience the world. Yet, there is a difference between a neurological impairment like Parkinson’s and a personality disorder. Parkinson’s is a physical disease that affects how the brain works. Psychopathy, on the other hand, does not physically affect the brain’s ability to function. Due to how each mental issue interacts with the brain, the approaches to treating Parkinson’s and psychopathy are different. This difference is what makes psychopathy treatable but not curable.

Counter arguments

According to other scholars, brain structure is tied to psychopathy. Dr. Kent Kiehl, an expert on psychopathy, discovered that psychopaths have reduced grey matter in the paralimbic system of the brain [3]. The paralimbic system controls our behaviors and emotions. Having reduced grey matter in the paralimbic system makes sense then since that is the area where psychopaths are the most challenged. Unfortunately, it still does not present a cure to psychopathy. The finding only serves to reinforce that psychopathy is the product of a person's development.

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Premises

Rejecting the premises

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21507740.2016.1225847
  2. https://www.businessinsider.com/psychopaths-cannot-be-cured-heres-why-2018-2
  3. https://modlab.yale.edu/news/can-psychopaths-be-cured#:~:text=TO%20THE%20BEST%20of%20our,to%20the%20normal%20social%20world.

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This page was last edited on Tuesday, 8 Sep 2020 at 15:00 UTC