RARA-AVIS: Two kinds of psychos

From: juri.nummelin@pp.inet.fi
Date: 26 May 2008

I haven't read all the posts in the recent digest, but I think there's a misunderstanding here that stems from the fact that there are two definitions of a psychopath. The earlier one, which may be the best known, is the one we know from PSYCHO and similar texts, where the psychopat is a killing lunatic and is having hallucinations and all that.

The more recent one - which is also called a sociopath - is about a person being manipulative, narcissistic, seemingly happy and out-going, but full of hate on the inside. Many of those husbands and wives who defile their spouses through verbal attacks are called psychopaths, even though they don't run around killing people or telling fantastical and outrageous lies. Same goes with those who bully people in workplaces and such. (Jim Thompson writes about these guys.)

I think Patrick is talking about the latter definition, while many here are talking about the earlier. (I'm still quite not sure whether the definition fits The Maltese Falcon.)


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