Studies Suggest Psychopathic Tendencies Present in Babies

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Indy Anna, Sep 14, 2015.

  1. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna New Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A study led by Australian researchers claims that psychopathic traits can be identified in children as young as three.

    It comes after British researchers stated it was possible to predict if babies as young as five weeks would develop traits leading to adult psychopathy.

    The University of New South Wales-led study measured how youngsters reacted to different facial expressions and neutral or distressing images.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ected-just-THREE-years-old.html#ixzz3lgZpOfHO
     
  2. Loading...


  3. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

    Messages:
    2,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    An interesting study however, one criticism I have is that autistic infants and preschoolers may also demonstrate lack of empathy or show skewed response to social cues.
     
  4. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

    Messages:
    2,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "Autistic people are anxious and misread social cues, but they typically care about not hurting others; they are also often incapable of manipulation. Those with antisocial personality disorder, however, are masters of bending people to their will and tend to have little fear. They actually enjoy causing people pain."

    http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/...tism-and-antisocial-personality-in-the-brain/

    "Although there was some correlation between the two types of traits — meaning that a person who had some autistic traits was also more likely to have some antisocial traits — that probably reflects the fact that both conditions can produce behavior that doesn’t conform to social norms, rather than genuine similarities in the underlying causes.

    Indeed, the authors write: “Notably, the [brain] regions associated with autistic and antisocial traits were largely anatomically distinct,” calling them “strikingly different.”"
     
  5. katydid23

    katydid23 Verified Juanette

    Messages:
    47,441
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I am a bit skeptical of this part about the 5 week old babies:


    "Scientists showed in that study it was possible to predict at five weeks old if they would develop 'callous-unemotional' (CU) traits by checking if they preferred to look at a human face or an inanimate object such as a ball.
    Children with CU traits are defined as showing impaired emotion recognition, reduced responsiveness to others’ distress and a lack of guilt or empathy.
    "


    I think that's a bit of a stretch to assume that if a 5 week old baby gazes at a picture of a bright red ball longer than a picture of a human face, that it means the baby might be psychopath. :no:
     
  6. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna New Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ray, ITA. I don't see where these are long-term studies; I assume these are cohort studies and will follow the children into adulthood. At this point, I don't see how the researchers can make a correlation. I took child psychology in college and also worked with children who have developmental disabilities, including autism. All children are egocentric; they see themselves as the center of the universe, so they normally don't identify with what others are experiencing until later in development. And, because autistic children can show affection, we know that being emotionally delayed doesn't equate to being psychopathic.

    There was a "teddy bear study" where the researcher placed a teddy bear at different positions within a room and asked children to describe what the teddy bear saw. IIRC, children weren't able to perform this task accurately until about 7-8 years old, maybe older. A child's social and emotional development are contingent upon their environment. Children learn by imitation. If a child is emotionally detached as a toddler because he/she is raised in an unloving home, the child may develop emotionally into an empathetic adult due to experiences in school or with other adult relatives, e.g. IMO, there are many factors involved in social and emotional development ~ proper nutrition being another. The discussion has arisen on certain WS threads questioning why some people respond to personal suffering by becoming more sympathetic toward others while other people respond by becoming emotionally detached.


    <snipped>[snipped]

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ected-just-THREE-years-old.html#ixzz3lh08lXz4</snipped>
     
  7. cuffem

    cuffem Active Member

    Messages:
    1,845
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    In my18 years teaching pre-k and with 100's of children, all of the children were typical little people developing normally.Except 1 child at the age of 4/5 I was worried about. I still Google his name and look for him in the news.

    I wanted to add that I know he is most likely a normal functioning adult.
     
  8. Donjeta

    Donjeta Adji Desir, missing from Florida

    Messages:
    19,248
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    JMO if these kids are still toddlers it's a bit of a stretch to say they will develop to be psychopaths or criminals later on.

    They might... but based on this research they don't know.

    I am a little worried that if we start labeling babies as future psychopaths it will lead to self-fulfilling prophecies.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ected-just-THREE-years-old.html#ixzz3liYo4ffn
    Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook
     
  9. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna New Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    BBM

    Bingo! And it might also lead to many children and adults becoming over-medicated, underachieving zombies.
     
  10. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna New Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Lol. There was a boy in my class in elementary school (in the 60's) who always harassed me. A while back, I looked him up on the Internet and searched through criminal databases in the states where he's lived, certain that he had accumulated a long criminal record by now, but found nothing....nada. Yep, likely he grew into a normal functioning adult.
     
  11. Ray_of_hope

    Ray_of_hope Verified registered nurse

    Messages:
    2,746
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Very interesting discussion generated here though Indy Anna. While I was reading the posts I had a flashback to stories my DH told me about his early childhood. One was being chased home daily by a big bully-type. A couple of times he ran into a phone booth and called his mother to come and pick him up. I asked DH if he knew what happened to the guy. And he said, "Oh yeah, he's in jail for murder" and it was true! It was a coffee spewing moment for sure.
     
  12. fizzypop

    fizzypop Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Yes, and there is already too much of that IMO.
    This worries me:
    Just as it's dangerous to base a kid's future based on pre-school IQ tests, I think the same thing is true here. The whole self fulfilling prophecy and labeling stuff is not helpful. Starting an otherwise normal child in treatment "early" because of the possibility of being psychopathic is only going to make things worse in the majority of these cases, IMO. There is no need for treatment unless something truly alarming has happened.

    I don't necessarily believe that any kids are born as "bad seeds". I am sure there can be some genetic or otherwise obtained at birth traits that could make some more at risk to be psychopaths, but I think it's often that tendency paired with something else (combination of nature and nurture) that determines who actually end up as psychopaths.

    I'd love to see a long term study to see how these kid determined to show these traits ended up, and if any of them did end up having problems, what other factors in their lives could have contributed to it.
     
  13. concernedmother

    concernedmother Active Member

    Messages:
    6,681
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    So what do you do if you have your baby tested at 5 weeks old and find out you just gave birth to a future psychopath?
     
  14. fizzypop

    fizzypop Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Personally I'd say do nothing, for fear of changing the child by treating him or her differently and inadvertently making these tendencies worse, or making them true when they weren't, based on how they are treated. That's assuming this study even means anything. Honestly I think it's junk and even if it's true at that age, doesn't mean it will be true going forward. However if we've already labeled that baby as a psychopath and intervene somehow we could be doing more harm than good.
     
  15. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna New Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Actually, that's a scary thought. I can imagine some parents using it as an excuse for murdering their babies and, then, people saying something like, "It's just as well. He was bound to become a psychopath just like his mother/father. :eek:

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that, even before it could become a self-fulfilling prophecy for the baby, the label of "future-psychopath" could cause the parents to view their child with contempt. There are already enough parents (usually mothers) who murder their babies claiming that the baby was possessed. So, the self-fulfilling prophecy would likely be transferred to the parent, in the above situation, who would then be labelled as a psychopath by the public. KWIM?
     
  16. Indy Anna

    Indy Anna New Member

    Messages:
    4,356
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Unfortunately, I think it would invariably affect the way a parent perceives and treats the child. And that is very dangerous. Even a double-blind study would leave the parents feeling suspicious of their child through the years. Any misbehavior of the child might be perceived as proof that the child is a future psychopath. JMO
     
  17. NSS

    NSS New Member

    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There are differences in the brains of many that can be identified as 'psychopathic' too. When these tendencies are present the nurture over nature comes into play. Just working on this very topic with a doctor friend since I have adopted such a child. It is exhausting, scarey, and often begins with attachment disorders.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice