Dutton tackles an elusive, important and much neglected aspect of the mind; our personalty. He presents some highly original insights and does so in a provocative and humorous style - offering practical tips along the way for both “normals “ and sociopaths.
- V S Ramachandran
Psychopath. No sooner is the word out than images of serial killers, rapists, suicide bombers and gangsters come scything across our minds. But what if I were to paint you a different picture? What if I were to tell you that the psychopathic arsonist who sets fire to your house might also, in a parallel universe, be the person most likely to pluck you from the flames?
A claim like that is hard to believe. But it’s true. Unlike their box-office counterparts, not all psychopaths are violent. Far from it. In fact, they have a lot of good things going for them. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused – qualities tailor-made for success in 21st century society.
The Wisdom of Psychopaths is an intellectual rollercoaster ride that combines lightning hot niche science with unprecedented access to secret monasteries, Special Forces training camps, and rarefied psychopath wings of high security hospitals. We meet serial killers, war heroes, financiers, movie stars and attorneys - and discover something amazing. Beneath the hype and the popular characterization, psychopaths have something to teach us.
Just like the knobs on a mixing deck – the ‘soundtrack’ of psychopathy is graded. And that the right combination of psychopathic traits, sampled and mixed at carefully calibrated volumes, can put us ahead of the game.
Dr Kevin Dutton is a research fellow at the Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford. He is an affiliated member of the Royal Society of Medicine and of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. He is the author of the acclaimed Flipnosis and The Wisdom of Psychopaths, as well as The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success. He lives in the Cotswolds.