[ExI] Implications of Sociopath Testing

Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Wed Aug 20 02:58:34 UTC 2008

It's known that between three and four percent of the population
of certain large highly industrialized western nations are composed
of sociopaths. (See [1] for definitions, but I don't have references
for the statistics.) at hand. I presume that the "three or four
percent" covers all types of sociopathology.

MRI scans can determine what portions of the brain are used by
test subjects to answer questions. Normal people can rather 
effortless "pass" tests of moral and ethical challenges as presented
in hypothetical scenarios, but sociopaths who manage to pass these
tests must do so by *calculating* their responses, and cannot do
so either as quickly as normal people or without using portions of
their brains that yield tell-tale signs via MRI.

Suppose compulsory testing of children for sociopathology is
found to be very reliable, and that periodic tests given every two
years beginning at age 8 identifies with complete reliability
who is and who is not a sociopath.

I claim that some sociopaths---who, in my unprofessional way of
phasing it are simply people without conscience---nonetheless
learn from an early age that their parents, teachers, or the authorities
will always catch them out, and will always make them pay for crimes,
and so vow to themselves to always be good citizens. That is, they
desist from the highly negative behaviors listed in [1] to the same
extent as any normal highly conscientious person does.

Now you are the judge and before stands a defendant in your court
who has been found guilty by jury in your court of having committed
a heinous crime.

In your sentencing, do you take into account the fact that he or she
is a sociopath?


[1] (from Wikipedia): Sociopathy is a loosely-defined term that maybe used to refer to:

  a. Psychopathy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy
  b. Antisocial personality disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder
  c. Dissocial personality disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissocial_personality_disorder

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