If Psychopaths are Born Not Made, Can They Be Reprogrammed While Kids?

Psychopaths are estimated to make up 1 percent of the population but constitute roughly 15 to 25 percent of the offenders in prison and are responsible for a disproportionate number of brutal crimes and murders. A recent estimate by the neuroscientist Kent Kiehl placed the national cost of psychopathy at $460 billion a year — roughly 10 times the cost of depression — in part because psychopaths tend to be arrested repeatedly. (The societal costs of nonviolent psychopaths may be even higher. Robert Hare, the co-author of “Snakes in Suits,” describes evidence of psychopathy among some financiers and business people; he suspects Bernie Madoff of falling into that category.) The potential for improvement is also what separates diagnosis from determinism: a reason to treat psychopathic children rather than jail them. “As the nuns used to say, ‘Get them young enough, and they can change,’ ” Dadds observes. “You have to hope that’s true. Otherwise, what are we stuck with? These monsters.”

via Can You Call a 9-Year-Old a Psychopath? – NYTimes.com.

One thought on “If Psychopaths are Born Not Made, Can They Be Reprogrammed While Kids?”

  1. Over the span of a 40 year business career, I’ve dealt with a few “snakes in suits.” I never thought of them as non violent psychopath’s but, hey! If the shoe fits …

    Am just glad that, in my experience, they’ve been in the minority.

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