A Sociopath Confesses, in a Manner of Speaking

Fenster writes:

James Fallon is a neuroscientist who a few years ago, late in life, figured out from his science he was a sociopath.

Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking Fast and Slow, makes a distinction between System One thinking (what your basic instincts tell you) and System Two thinking (realizations and ideas gleaned for reflection and dispassionate analysis).  Imagine having your science telling you something like this.  NPR covered it here.

More recently, he told his story for The Moth Radio Hour.  That account can be found here, in segment two.

An Irish Roman Catholic, Fallon has more than a touch of Mort Sahl in his delivery.  Worth a listen.

About Fenster

Gainfully employed for thirty years, including as one of those high paid college administrators faculty complain about. Earned Ph.D. late in life and converted to the faculty side. Those damn administrators are ruining everything.
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5 Responses to A Sociopath Confesses, in a Manner of Speaking

  1. Blowhard, Esq. says:

    I see he teaches at UCI, my alma mater. Go Sociopathic Anteaters!


  2. dearieme says:

    “this looks exactly like [the brains of] the psychopaths, the sociopaths, that I’ve seen before”: are psychopaths and sociopaths the same thing?

    “One of his direct great-grandfathers”: what other sort of great-grandfathers does he have?


  3. Zimriel says:

    Is he really a “sociopath”, though? Maybe he’s just been in the lab so long that he hasn’t had to use much empathy.


  4. Fenster says:

    I agree he is probably a sociopath lite. Still, coming late in life to the brain scans, then the history of murder, then the direct feedback from people you’ve known forever, must have been something of a shock.


  5. Pingback: Letter from China: Amateur Anthropology | Uncouth Reflections

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