By Victoria D’Andrea
1. None of this is actually scientific.
2. Online there seem to be a lot of inconsistencies on what exactly is the difference between Sociopaths and Psychopaths.
So, I’ve been listening to a murder podcast: My Favourite Murder (thanks Holly for the recommendation). Considering I really don’t like horror movies, I never expected how much I would get obsessed with true crime. Hello Wikipedia articles late at night. Thank God I never lose sleep from gruesome pictures and stories.
The only bad consequence is that now I have become a bit more suspicious of random people in my day to day life. Its probably not that bad – I think this will make me think twice of hitchhiking from now on. Unless I’m desperate that is.
Anyway, they were talking about psychopaths and how to recognize them. I thought it was a really interesting topic, as the world seems to be fascinated with them, especially as the term is mostly used in connection with crime and murder.
The main allure seems to be the main trait that defines them: a total lack of empathy. This means very often they don’t mind lying or using violence to reach their ends. However, this means (at least according to one book I read) that if they decide to pursue more lawful careers they can be really successful, as they are really driven and won’t let mundane things like shame or guilt stop them.
I am talking about this because apparently you can recognize Psychopaths with a very simple test. Yawning. It seems that the reason that yawns are so infectious has really much to do with empathy (though, as it often seems to happen in research, there are multiple conflicting results from different studies). So you can easily find out if someone’s a sociopath by yawning near them and seeing if they respond.
So I thought, why not test this interesting ‘fact’ on my fellow SCA students? I’m sure we could be hiding one or two among our ranks.
My first discovery is that I am definitely not a psychopath. In fact, after writing down yawn on my hand (to help me remember to actually follow my task through) I immediately started to yawn.
However, that’s the only thing I discovered. In fact, nearly no-one of those I tried yawning near appeared to feel the urge. Like, no-one. The only person that did was Antonio, but even then it was at my third try during the past week. So either everyone at SCA is a psychopath, or the test isn’t incredibly scientific (what a surprise). Of course, I actually only tried with about ten or fifteen people. Maybe during the holidays I will test my friends and family and get a more successful outcome. In that case I will be sure to write a report on my studies.
But just in case it is actually an incredibly accurate test I decided not to share the names of those that failed it.
If anyone is really worried, I am happy to share the results privately.