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u/MCozens · 125 pointsr/psychology

My $0.02 from personal experience. Prior to going into psychology, my previous line of work brought me to work with quite a few narcissists and a couple psychopaths. So the following is based on years of real world experience + my academic understanding of the topic. To answer your question, I'll compare some subtle differences in behavior.


Psychopaths: Their focus is "outward target focused" and getting what they want at all cost, even to the detriment of looking good even initially. Their behavior is more predatory, even from the very first impression. The name of the game is to find out as much information about you as possible to quickly assess if you're a good target and if so what your vulnerabilities are so they can manipulate you and proceed with their goals. They seek out a vulnerable target who is emotionally "weak" or lacking something in their life, do "recon" and get as much information as possible to find their angle, use flattery and slights to keep their target off-balance so they can control them and get what they want. In their initial assessment of you if they see that you're not giving them the information they need or that you're onto their game, you'll be too difficult and they will move on to an easier target. They won't waste their time.

What that looks like in real life:
First impressions with a psychopath: you feel a "bit off." You can't put your finger on why, but you feel a little weird and uncomfortable: it could be an initial awkward silence in them waiting for you to reveal things about yourself (recon), it could be the one-sided self-disclosure (them asking lot of questions about your life without them reciprocating on things like circle of friends, agreeableness, emotional state, your likes and dislikes), it could be the overt flattery playing to your ego and them trying too hard to be just like you, it may even be the very initial awkard non-verbal behavior (eye-contact / fake smile) as they are searching for visual cues on how to physically act / stand /or mimic your behavior to earn your trust. --> All this might make you feel like you can't trust them.
To add to this, though, quickly after, you'll observe them saying an odd phrase here or there that doesn't add up, a compliment followed by a slight directed at you or at someone else ( "Did they really said that??")... all meant to keep their target off balance and under their control. This inconsistent, flattery / insult behavior makes you feel uncomfortable and questioning yourself and also if they're a "good person." Since their main goal is not to look good but to manipulate their target, they don't care as much if they come across as likable if they can manipulate the power dynamic back into their favor.
TLDR: They don't care as much how they're being perceived, likeable or not, just as long as they get what they want, so appearing charming isn't a top goal, just part of the process.


Narcissists: Narcissists, in contrast, have a "self-centered focus," first and foremost, and manipulate people to get what they want second to that. They manipulate people by making themselves look good, keeping the focus on their successes, and by appealing to your sense of wanting to be in with the "cool kids." "I'm going to show you how awesome I am, and you're going to want to be just like me and work for / be friends with me and do what I say because I'm so cool." They're not going to manipulate you because they've studied you and assessed your weaknesses and are preying on your vulnerabilities, like the psychopath (=more calculated behavior). That would be taking away from the focus on them. They're going to manipulate you through showing you how great they are. And because narcissists are focused on themselves, they expect you will, too, (and you most likely will to avoid confrontation, initially) so this keeps them happy and... charming... longer. Narcissists will only lash out or exhibit ugly behavior if their ego is threatened, if the focus isn't on them, if they don't get their way, or if you get in their way.

What this looks like in real life, and why they might appear more charming longer: "Me, me, me!": Narcissists biggest focus is to look good and to keep the focus on them. As such, they know creating a good first likable impression is important so they will focus on dressing well, being well groomed, smiling, appearing pleasant, acting charming, inflating their accomplishments and their connections, and building a fabulous picture of who they are. This all makes them look charming and appeals to your sense of wanting to be in with the top dogs. Unlike psychopaths, they will talk a lot about themselves, both personally and professionally, and won't ask you hardly anything about you unless it relates to their goals. Unlike psychopaths, their focus is not trying to get information on you and figure out their angle. Their focus is on maintaining the appearance of their huge persona. To cultivate a larger than life image, they must form and maintain an entourage of beautiful and powerful people, and this requires that they act charming as much as possible.

Initially what might make you feel uncomfortable is how much they talk about themselves or how little they ask about you, and this throws your spidey sense off guard (makes you not trust them), but because you're not hearing them say horrible things to another person outright, they might seem charming longer.

TLDR: They care very much how they're being perceived. They want to be liked because that's how they create and maintain a grandiose sense of self, and being charming is an important part of this process. They won't get ugly until they absolutely have to. For all these reasons, they might appear charming longer.


Also, assessing what's going on in initial interactions with psychopaths or narcissists is based on awareness (or lack therof) and experience in dealing with them. For example, because I had worked with a bunch of both, I was much more attuned to the behavior and games each would play. Fellow younger grad student friends had knowledge from textbooks, but they lacked real world experience and what their behavior actually looked like in real life, so it was hard for them to see what type of manipulation was going on.


ARTICLES for those of you who asked me:

This Is How To Deal With Psychopaths And Toxic People: 5 Proven Secrets
(includes quotes by Martha Stout)

I like works by American psychologist, Martha Stout: served on clinical faculty at Harvard Med. School for 25 years and is the author of The Sociopath Nextdoor. I like her wording.

20 Diversion Tactics Highly Manipulative Narcissists, Sociopaths And Psychopaths Use To Silence You

7 Stages of Gaslighting in a Relationship

I have a lot more resources on workplace bullying, etc. PM for more. :)

u/Kamuai · 1 pointr/psychology

Now, I am not studying this in a university/college, nor am licensed in any way in the psychology field. I merely studying psychology [especially that of the Axis II Cluster B area] because it interests me greatly. So please do not quote me as a professional; I am merely giving my thoughts and opinions here...

Understanding the differences between psychopaths and sociopaths can be hard. It seems that the information on both of them is always changing in some way. Especially when it comes to the term 'sociopath'. I have read numerous books/texts on psychopaths and sociopaths. Both hold many, many similarities, but I have also noticed a big difference between them. To me they are on opposite ends of the spectrum; one holds no empathy, while the other can at times be ruled by it. And I say "at times" due to the fact that generally psychopaths do not comprehend emotions as "normal" people of society do.

Whenever you say the word psychopath around others, they always think of Ted Bundy or Ed Gein; psychopaths that committed horrible acts of murder. And I believe that is due to the media and lack of proper education surrounding such beings. Not all psychopaths are violent individuals, many just manipulate others for personal gain and/or satisfaction. Hmm...sounds much like a sociopath, yes? That is because they both use manipulation. Relying on charisma, lies, and the use of personal information [of others] to bend and break those around them. Destroying others just so they are able to spend more time in the limelight. But then why did I state that one holds no empathy, while the other is ruled by it? Did I not just say, in a way, that sociopaths and psychopaths are unable to feel such things as remorse? Yes, but no...

Sociopaths will manipulate and break those around them for personal gain. Psychopaths will do it for the same reason, but they will also do it because it brings them joy, satisfaction, excitement, and just about any other term synonymous with those. A recent study has brought to light that psychopaths are able to experience empathy. Meaning they can put themselves in another person's shoes and relate to them on an emotional level. [link to article] Sociopaths, I believe, are unable to do such things. The mind of a sociopath is extremely logical; meaning they view the world as though they were overlooking various equations. Whenever an emotional moment is presented to them, they do not react on an emotional level. Instead they observe the situation, note the individual at hand, register their words and their appearance upon speaking them, then they bring to mind various "appropriate" responses, and then respond with what they believe to be the best one. Now to say they are completely "emotionless" is untrue. They can feel the most basic/primal of emotions, but nearly all other emotions are out of their reach.

Many will argue that what I have come to understand/believe about psychopaths and sociopaths is outrageous and completely untrue. Perhaps that is so, but I have read numerous books on these individuals and I feel this is the best understanding I have reached in regards to them. On one end you have a sociopath; calm, cold, calculating, intelligent, manipulative, logical, lacks empathy, performs various actions for personal gain, and uncaring of what their actions will do to others. And then on the other end you have a psychopath: manipulative, disconnected from society, intelligent [at times], capable of feeling empathy toward others, and though they are uncaring of what their actions will do to others, they have been known to "suffer emotional breakdowns/overloads" when something they do affects a person that they "care" for, or if something does not go they way they wanted it too. One day I would very much like to take courses on these individuals, as well as speak with the professionals that have studied them. But till that time, I will continue to read the materials that I find and take my own notes in regards to these beings.

If you would like some more help with understanding them more, I suggest looking for psychology books/texts that pertain solely to them. I will recommend a very good book on sociopaths, it is called: The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout [link to book on amazon]. It is very informative and breaks down the minds/actions of sociopaths very well. It was a book that I was able to understand very well. [some books can get a bit too technical] I hope I was able to help, though I do have a tendency to ramble sometimes. But that is what happens when one talks about a subject that brings them great interest. Amazon has a great selection of books you can choose from that are about psychopaths and sociopaths. So I would greatly suggest turning your search there for more material.

u/Lightfiend · 18 pointsr/psychology

The Blank Slate: The Modern Denial of Human Nature - evolutionary psychology, behavioral genetics. (probably most interesting from a Freudian perspective, deals with many of our unconscious instincts)

Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces The Shape Our Decisions - Unconscious decision-making, behavioral economics, consumer psychology. Fun read.

Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion - Most popular book on the psychology of persuasion, covers all the main principles. Very popular among business crowds.

Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships - Social neuroscience, mirror neurons, empathy, practical stuff mixed with easy to understand brain science.

Authentic Happiness - Positive Psychology, happiness, increasing life satisfaction.

Feeling Good - A good primer on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Also widely considered one of the best self-help books by mental health practitioners.

The Brain That Changes Itself - Neuroplasticity, how experience shapes our brains. Some really remarkable case studies that get you wondering how powerful our brains really are.

The Buddhist Brain - The practical neuroscience of happiness, love, and wisdom from a Buddhist perspective.

That should give you more than enough to chew on.

u/altrocks · 3 pointsr/psychology

Ekman is awesome, as is Gardner. Milgram's Obedience To Authority is pretty good, in my opinion, for someone interested in human emotion and motivation. As is Zimbardo's The Lucifer Effect. Those kind of look into the darker aspects of motivation and conformity.

One of the more positive books I've read is Thoughts Without a Thinker by Mark Epstein. It looks at psychotherapy and general human behavior through the eyes of Buddhism. Oh, Eckman also co-wrote a book with the Dalai Lama on human emotion that you might find interesting.

I wish I had more time to read these days (and more money to spend on books!). Those are the only recommendations I can really give for your interests. Good luck to you!

u/EverVigilant · 3 pointsr/psychology

A combination of becoming very well-read in Horneyan psychoanalysis (especially her books Our Inner Conflicts and Neurosis and Human Growth. Also Self-Analysis), smoking marijuana, and finding God. And finally finding a really good therapist. And time, lots of time.

Ultimately it was about swallowing my pride and committing to see things as they are, as best as I can tell, regardless of how I might feel about that. Recognizing that learning the truth about something (in my case, ways I have hurt certain people in the past), even if a bitter pill, cannot actually harm me. It's just knowledge.

That might sound cryptic, but it's the best way I can think of to put it. The Horney books really helped, because they exposed me to myself in ways I found it very difficult to deny. Reading them while high on good weed was especially an experience, because I made the emotional connections much more easily (believe it or not you can learn to read while high if you work your way past the super-short-attention-span phase). Once I saw certain connections I simply could not deny, I discovered what it means to be in dire need of forgiveness (this is tough to explain, but let's just say it's hard to be somebody committed to the truth and then realize that means you have to carry around an awful truth about yourself). I asked for it, and had an experience of grace half a year later.

A few years of a mix of blessings and involvement in spiritual kookery and I eventually found a fantastic therapist, and the two of us are working together to uncover the inner bullshit that keeps me down, and to set me free.

That was a bit long-winded, but you asked.

u/dviper785 · 1 pointr/psychology

I'm only about half-way through it, but I think the book your looking for is The Red Book which was just recently released from the Jung family's swiss bank vault, after collecting dust for about half a century. This NYTime's article does a fantastic job of telling the very rich story of the book.

From what I have read so far, the archetypes are formed from the experiences outlined in this book [events that take place within the unconscious mind]; his dreams and "active imagination" sessions, which could be comparable to waking hallucinations. The bridge, I think, is that he found all the same symbols in his dreams/imagination sessions as in the many patients he analyzed himself - leading him to the formation of the archetypes and the idea of the collective unconscious. I'm not yet at the point where I could articulate a valid tl;dr answer for you, and also keep in mind this is just my interpretation of the material, not "solid facts."

It's really something you have to read to understand, it's no easy task either, challenging and delightful.

u/ehaaland · 10 pointsr/psychology

It depends on what types of things you're interested in!

Over time, you'll come to know certain people who research in different areas and you can go to their personal webpages and access their Curriculum Vitae. Through that, you can find all the work they've done and many times they link to PDF copies of their papers.

But psychology is a very broad field. Here are some suggestions I can come up with:

For dealings with moral political psychology (the psychology of how people on the right and people on the left feel about moral decisions - includes religions and other aspects to our deeply-rooted conceptions of 'self'), see Jonathan Haidt - He just wrote a new book called The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion

For dealings with the extent and limits of human rationality, I'd suggest Daniel Kahneman. He also just wrote a new book called Thinking Fast and Slow.

Stuffisnice suggested William James. James' Principles of Psychology is remarkable and very fun to read. It's quite dated both in science and in language, but his writing is impeccable.

In fact, James didn't just do psychology. He did philosophy as well. His later philosophy was at odds with the picture provided by most mainstream psychology that takes the brain as the source of our mental experience. These philosophical aspects have recently been brought into the empirical realm in the branch of Ecological psychology. This is my personal preference for psychology reading as I feel it is much more willing to ask harder questions than traditional psychology; it is willing to do away with assumptions and premises that are generally taken for granted.

This ecological framework deals more with perception and the role of the animal's action in perception. Instead of the traditional way of looking at perception (cells react to stimuli in the environment, feed this encoded stimuli into the brain, the brain processes things and makes sense of them, recreating a picture of the world through its activity, and finally sending out directions to the body to move), the ecological perspective focuses more on how the animal perceives the world directly and does not require internal processing to make sense of the world. It's much cleaner and much simpler. The brain is still crucial for the lived experience, but it is not the whole story.

For readings in ecological psychology, I would recommend Ed Reed's Encountering the World and Eleanor Gibson's An Ecological Approach to Perceptual Learning and Development.

After you get your bearings, then you can get into some really deep stuff that tries to synthesize biology, psychology, and the essence of human/animal experience (phenomenology). For that, Evan Thompson is my go to guy. His work is heavily philosophical and is sometimes overly dense, but you may find it interesting.

PM me if you have any questions!

u/not-a-jerk · 5 pointsr/psychology

Obviously everyone has their favourites. My primary areas of research are cognitive bias and relational psychology, so I'd recommend starting with:

Cognitive Bias

  • Stumbling on Happiness (book)
  • Predictably Irrational (book)

    Relational Psychology

  • Close Encounters (book)
  • Science of Relationships (website)
  • Not A Jerk (blog, not exclusively psych)


  • Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality (free ebook)
  • Less Wrong (website)

    For maximum enjoyment, I'd suggest Stumbling on Happiness or Methods of Rationality, they're both very well written and entertaining reads.

    Finally, if you start looking up references and papers (and if you're interested in this, you will), then grab a copy of zotero. A good citation manager is an absolute joy.

    Disclosure: I'm a member of the International Association for Relationship Research, which is responsible for the Science of Relationships. I'm the primary author for Not A Jerk. Links to Amazon include my affiliate ID.
u/OmicronNine · 3 pointsr/psychology

I just finished this up and found it to be profoundly and fundamentally applicable to my life: Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength

The most important thing you get out of it is how much your decision making is affected by your current mental state, rather then reason, and how important will power and self-discipline is to a successful and happy life. It's extremely easy to read and approachable as well.

u/HenSica · 3 pointsr/psychology

What Every Body is Saying - Joe Navarro

It's not really psychology focused, but I found it to be a very fun and interesting read. It's also highly relative to my everyday life (at 18 years old) and it's pretty fun manipulating these forms of body language to influence others, as well as interpreting other peoples' tells. It also explores into why people typically display that body language based on what their emotions are and the limbic system.

u/dustgirl · 1 pointr/psychology

I'd recommend perusing the following books for inspiration on how applying social psych can be interesting:

Stumbling on Happiness

Mistakes Were Made (But Not By Me)

*Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion

Like others have said, it's pretty hard to make social psych boring! (And I think it's awesome you get to teach it to high school students!)

u/5grumblepies · 1 pointr/psychology

So many! Dissociative Identity disorder (more commonly know as Multiple Personality Disorder); Psychopathy (especially because we know so little about it.) ; Phantom limbs ; Capgras syndrom ( delusion that a close friend or family member has been replaced by aliens) ; Hyprocondriasis; Narcolepsy; sleep paralysis; Dissociative Fugue ; The case of H.M. (a very well known case study on memory loss. He was a man who suffered retrograde amnesia, but whose working memory was still intact. taught us a lot about different types of memory and their corresponding brain redgions...

There are plenty of others that I cannot think of off the top of my head. But if you are looking for some interesting cases, here are two great books about really strange and interesting psychological phenomenons are "The Man Who Mistook His for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales" by Oliver Sacks , and " Phantoms in the Brain" by V. S. Ramachandran and Sandra Blakeslee

The first one includes several cases of patients with inexplicably strange neurological disorders. For example, a man who is no longer able to recognize people and common objects. There is an other story about a man who sometimes wakes suddenly at night, thoroughly convinced that his leg is actually a corpse's leg that somebody has placed in bed with him.

The second book was the text book for my cognitive psych class in second year. Like the first book contains many stories of fantastically strange cases that the author has encountered as a neuroscientist. This book contains more of the psychological and neurological basis for the disorders, and shows how they helped us understand different aspects of behaviour and structures of the brain.

u/baddspellar · 8 pointsr/psychology

People adapt to both positive and negative events, and their happiness levels are not affected as much by circumstances as one would expect. This was famously shown in "Lottery winners and accident victims: is happiness relative?" . This is known as "Hedonic Adaptation". The popular psychology book Stumbling on Happiness by Dan Gilbert goes into this and many other surprising findings in happiness research.

u/jaroto · 11 pointsr/psychology

personally, this book was incredibly helpful to me. they put out a new edition every year -- i would imagine they have similar books for different disciplines (can anyone verify?).

for the clinical/counseling book, each program rates themselves on:

(1) clinical/research orientation (to assist prospective applicants in determining fit)

(2) acceptance rates (i think # applied, # accepted, maybe # interviewed)

(3) average GPA & GRE of students getting into the program

(4) research areas in that program

and i'm sure many other details i'm forgetting.

ideally, they would get with the times and put this in electronic form. i spent a lot of time sifting through programs that were alphabetized and then creating my own spreadsheet/database.

u/wothy · 8 pointsr/psychology

The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene (also try his other books, utterly fascinating, beautiful pieces of work)

Social Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Vital Lies, Simple Truths by Daniel Goleman

The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker

Leadership and Self Deception by The Arbinger Institute

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury

Influence by Robert Cialdini

I could go on but these would have to be my favourites that come to mind which relate to what you seem to be interested in. Let me know if you want more suggestions :)

u/onepercent · 1 pointr/psychology

A good place to start is with the Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology. It ranks the programs on a 1-7 scale with 1 being completely clinically focused and 7 being completely research focused. You'd probably be interested in sites that rank about a 4. BUT make sure you check the websites of programs that sound interesting, as the information in the Insider's Guide may not be updated.

u/stfuirl · 1 pointr/psychology

This guided me through the whole process. I don't mean to sound like a shill for the book but it was really helpful to have all the stats laid out in front of me. You can probably find this in your library for free so give it a look!

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/psychology

I like both of these.

The just do it one was a complete surprise to me. It sounds like a tard title, but had great theory in it. The David Burns one is really "on" as well, plus is written with a little more psyc ideas.

Both can be bought used for a cent... And there is a 8MB pdf of the David Burns one, floating on the net.

u/Jayfrin · 35 pointsr/psychology

This dude has a bunch of good stuff in social influence and persuasion, really great read for just generally becoming better at social interaction.

u/rockrobot · 4 pointsr/psychology

I'm not big on self help books in general, I tend to mistrust them for some reason.... but if you're interested in working on some CBT by yourself I highly recommend Feeling Good by David Burns. I can't personally attest to its efficacy but I know a few people it as helped. In addition there is a decent amount research behind it. Check it out - you can get it used on Amazon for $1.

u/timbojimbo · 3 pointsr/psychology

Stumbling on happiness did some good things for me. It focuses on how happiness is portrayed in our society versus how it occurs in reality.

Very cool stuff, and let me know that I wasn't actually unhappy. I was just believing a lie perpetrated by our society.

u/ISwearImCleverIRL · 2 pointsr/psychology

I'm someone going into school psychology and I've read a number of really good books that have had a huge impact on the way I view people and recognize a lot of both macro and micro-level issues that people, and especially children, deal with. That said, my favorites would be Outliers and Blink by Malcolm Gladwell and Ain't No Makin' It by Jay MacLeod.

u/thejennadaisy · 1 pointr/psychology

Have you read any books about psychological research?

My passion for all things psychological really started when I read Blink by Malcom Gladwell. And his other book Tipping Point.

After I read that book the vast majority of the non fiction books I read for pleasure were psychological in nature. I loved Why Kids Kill, a book analyzing the mental state of children who killed their own classmates and why violence in the media is not to blame. Sex at Dawn was another book I really enjoyed. (If you're interested in human evolutionary biology check out Adam's Curse, The Seven Daughters of Eve and How women got their curves).

If you're looking for novels that might pique your specific interests more, the goodreads list of suggested psych books is wonderful.

u/bmay · 32 pointsr/psychology

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy

This book is based on the principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy, one of the most prominent evidence-based treatments for psychological disturbances ranging from low self-esteem to schizophrenia.

Read this book. It's awesome and will change your life for the better.


u/seeker135 · 6 pointsr/psychology

Buy and read this book. FIXED

It was recommended to me by my therapist when I was having similar feelings. Good luck!

u/CuriousGrugg · 5 pointsr/psychology

>A lot of modern psychology and neuroscience appears to be neglecting the concept of the unconscious mind.... Psychology is so determined to get religion out of science that it cannot allow for the concept of the unconscious

I honestly cannot imagine how you came to this conclusion. There is no question at all among psychologists that unconscious processes play an important role in cognition. Every single popular cognitive psychology book I can think of (e.g. 1 2 3 4) discusses the importance of unconscious processes.

u/neuromancer420 · 13 pointsr/psychology

Or better yet, read V. S. Ramachandran's Phantoms in the Brain. He has been working on solving this problem since the 90's and created the mirror technique.

u/Adderley · 2 pointsr/psychology

On Becoming a Person

  • Classic book about psychotherapy from a giant in the field and written for the layperson. Really, anything by Rogers is good.

    The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat

  • you can probably argue that this collection of case studies is more neurology than psychology, but I think it overlaps and is a very interesting read.
u/realdoctorwhy · 1 pointr/psychology

Dan Gilbert has a great book that touches on this - Stumbling on Happiness

u/Freudian_Split · 9 pointsr/psychology

If you've never read Obedience to Authority, you really should make time for it. The book details the years of research that unpacked the many nuances of the power of authority, things like its power relative to proximity, gender differences, obedience and empathy, the influence of cooperative or non-cooperative peers, any so much more. One of the most important psychology books I read in graduate school.

u/contrarianism · 2 pointsr/psychology

Check out this book for another perspective on why men (and women) will have judgement lapses with the opposite sex. Authored by recent Nobel winner in Economics.

u/plucesiar · 1 pointr/psychology

Baumeister's recent book on Willpower is an excellent read on this topic for the layman. Link

u/Pocket_Lint · 2 pointsr/psychology

This book talks a lot about body language and its relation to the limbic system, and classifies certain behaviors depending on their use to the performer (pacifying, defensive, aggressive, etc). It's written by an ex-FBI agent with the help of a psychologist, I believe.

u/Kirill88 · 1 pointr/psychology

This book, i quess. You can find pdf for free, actually

u/Salmagundi77 · 1 pointr/psychology

The opposite of black and white thinking (I guess you mean reflexive decision-making) isn't indecision, it's informed and reflective decision.

This resource might help you:

u/philawesome · 1 pointr/psychology

That's interesting/disheartening. I own the Insider's Guide to Graduate Programs in Clinical and Counseling Psychology, and it ranks schools from 1 (exclusively clinically focused) to 7 (exclusively research focused). I've been looking at Ph.D programs that rank as a "4" (pretty much the lowest clinical programs go), and some of them do describe on their websites that they train in the "scientist/practitioner" model. Some of them are still pretty competitive, though. Do you know if there's the same sort of stigma at Ph.D programs that focus on more of a balance in clinical training and research than being more heavily research-focused?

u/mutilated · 2 pointsr/psychology

Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious by Timothy Wilson is personally one of my favorites
Anything by Malcolm Gladwell (I really enjoyed Blink)
Anything by Robert Cialdini (He was my social psychology professor and one of my favorite authors / public speakers)
Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do (Issues of Our Time) by Claude M. Steele (Who basically uncovered stereotype threat research)
The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil by Phillip Zimbaro (famous for the Stanford prison experiment)

Older books:
Mindfulness by Ellen Langer (about automatic processes and how mindless we can be)
When Prophecy Fails by Festinger, Riecken, & Schachter (To understand how cults work, a group of researchers infiltrate a join a cult. Mainly about cognitive dissonance but details what happens to a cult when the world doesn't end like predicted)
Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View by Stanley Milgram if you want to know all about the Milgram experiments

Sorry that is all that comes to mind now. . . (edited for formatting)

u/Frostxtq · 1 pointr/psychology

Wikipedia says it's 3% in males and 1% in women.

I've also found a bunch of other sources, like this, or this book. It's more than 1% anyway.

u/MrDominus7 · 1 pointr/psychology

Try reading Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

It's a book about what influences and motivates people and how you can use that to your advantage.

u/maclure · 1 pointr/psychology

Obedience to Authority by Stanley Milgram describes a classic experiment and is very readable.

u/thecatroot · 5 pointsr/psychology

It's about the Standford Prison Experiment, Abu Ghraib, and Situationism.

Also look into the blog The Situationist.

u/stel4 · 5 pointsr/psychology

You're asking both a very simple and very complex question. The reality is that there is no way to accurately explain the cause of cruelty in a reddit post. People have devoted entire books and articles to it.

14 hours after you posted this there are 58 comments in this thread. After reading through the parent posts, I see a number of very good explanations. Feelings of power, rewards, structural brain differences, lack of empathy/anti-social behavior/psychothapy, people were victims themselves, evolutionary reasons, etc. And these are just the first couple of parent threads in your topic.

The point I'm making is there are a LOT of reasons people can become cruel. I'm not saying this to discourage you from asking this question, but to encourage you to read up on some of this research. Phillip Zimbardo (of the Stanford Prison Study [<- 2 links here]) spends much of his current research examining the nature of human cruelty. His most recent book, "The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil" examines this problem.

The reality is that there is no easy answer to your question. People become cruel/do cruel things for any number of reasons. This is a much a philosophical question as it is a psychological and neuropsychological one. That said, if this is an area you're really interested in studying, I'd encourage you to read more of Zimbardo's work (knowing the prison study isn't enough - I'd guess most people in this subreddit are at least somewhat familiar with it. I mean that you should actually read some of his books, as this will give you a much clearer picture of what you want to know).

u/bytesmythe · 3 pointsr/psychology

First, read Phantoms in the Brain: Probing the Mysteries of the Human Mind.

Then do your presentation on pretty much anything in the book. It is about how physical changes to the brain can cause very weird psychological results, and not just your standard "Phineas Gage" personality changes, either. We're talking the inability to perceive motion, or hallucinating cartoon characters in blind spots... all kinds of crazy stuff.