Monday, November 12, 2012


Have you ever wondered the reason that some people seem to have little or no remorse even when their actions and behaviors have hurt others deeply? Dr. Martha Stout's book (The Sociopath Next Door) may help to explain that type of behavior. According to her, one in twenty-five ordinary Americans can do anything at all without feeling guilt or even genuine remorse. Stout refers to these individuals as ice people in that they appear to lack a balanced superego that encourages a person to preserve and remain embraced by family and society. They also may lack an intervening sense of obligation, sometimes referred to as conscience. Without this they lack capacity in aspects of emotional attachment (especially love, compassion, and tenderness). They exhibit a cold desire to win and are infamous for their "refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the decisions they make, or for the outcomes of their decisions." Knowing this may offer some help in understanding how one person can do something that seems extremely reprehensible to others.

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