One of Slate’s Twenty Overlooked Books of 2012
In this engrossing adventure into the infamously crafty behaviors of psychopaths, the renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals that there is a scale of “madness” along which we all sit. Incorporating the latest advances in neuroscience, Dutton argues that there are “functional psychopaths” among us who use their detached, charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society. As he mingles with the criminally insane in a high-security ward and undergoes transcranial magnetic stimulation to discover firsthand exactly how it feels to see through the eyes of a psychopath, Dutton shows that society as a whole is more psychopathic than ever. After all, psychopaths tend to be fearless, charming, and focused—qualities that are tailor-made for life in the twenty-first century. Provocative at every turn, The Wisdom of Psychopaths reveals that it’s our dark side that often conceals the trump card of success.
Dr. Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Science, Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. Dutton is the author of Split-Second Persuasion. His writing and research have been featured in Scientific American Mind, New Scientist, The Guardian, Psychology Today, and USA Today. He lives in Oxford, England.
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