Sunday, March 24, 2013

NPR - Are We All A Little Psychopathic?


Jon Ronson is the author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry, an entertaining and intriguing book on the nature of mental illness and the mental health market. Here is the book blurb from Amazon:
They say one out of every hundred people is a psychopath. You probably passed one on the street today. These are people who have no empathy, who are manipulative, deceitful, charming, seductive, and delusional. The Psychopath Test is the New York Times bestselling exploration of their world and the madness industry.

When Jon Ronson is drawn into an elaborate hoax played on some of the world’s top scientists, his investigation leads him, unexpectedly, to psychopaths. He meets an influential psychologist who is convinced that many important business leaders and politicians are in fact high-flying, high-functioning psychopaths, and teaches Ronson how to spot them. Armed with these new abilities, Ronson meets a patient inside an asylum for the criminally insane who insists that he’s sane, a mere run-of-the-mill troubled youth, not a psychopath—a claim that might be only manipulation, and a sign of his psychopathy. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud, and with a legendary CEO who took joy in shutting down factories and firing people. He delves into the fascinating history of psychopathy diagnosis and treatments, from LSD-fueled days-long naked therapy sessions in prisons to attempts to understand serial killers.

Along the way, Ronson discovers that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their most insane edges. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating adventure through the minds of madness.
This episode is part of a series of segments on the nature of mind.

The Unquiet Mind


"People need depth, and depth means the possibility of unhappiness and frustration and sometimes torment — though hopefully not madness." — Oliver Sacks

We've all had that moment. The moment where you might see or hear something and you wonder: Am I going crazy? In this hour, TED speakers share their experiences straddling that line between madness and sanity — and question if we're all in the gray area between the two.
Here are the other segments:
Enjoy!

Jon Ronson: Are We All A Little Psychopathic?

by NPR/TED STAFF
February 06, 2013


Listen to the Story


TED Radio Hour
18 min 18 sec

Download
Transcript
Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Unquiet Mind.


About Jon Ronson's Talk

Is there a definitive line that divides "crazy" from sane? With a hair-raising delivery, Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test, illuminates the gray areas between the two. His talk includes live-mixed sound by Julian Treasure and animation by Evan Grant.

About Jon Ronson

Ronson is a writer and documentary filmmaker who dips into every flavor of madness, extremism and obsession. In his latest book, The Psychopath Test, he explores the unnerving world of psychopaths — a group that includes both incarcerated killers and, one of his subjects insists, plenty of CEOs. In his books, films and articles, Ronson explores madness and obsession of all kinds, from the U.S. military's experiments in psychic warfare to the obscene and hate-filled yet Christian rap of the Insane Clown Posse. He wrote a column for The Guardian and hosted an essay program on Radio 4, and contributes to This American Life.

Related NPR Stories
A Psychopath Walks Into A Room. Can You Tell?
Insane Science: 5 New Books That Explain The Brain
The Adventures Of An Investigative Satirist

Web Resources
Jon Ronson On TED's Blog: 'The Complexities Of The Psychopath Test'
Related TED Playlist: All Kinds Of Minds
TED Blog: Creating The Psychopath Experience
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