Can a child be a sociopath? And if so, can he or she be changed?



An article in the New York Times describes a chilling episode: Paul Frick, a psychologist at the University of New Orleans who has studied risk factors for psychopathy in children for two decades, described one boy who used a knife to cut off the tail of the family cat bit by bit, over a period of weeks. The boy was proud of the serial amputations, which his parents initially failed to notice. “When we talked about it, he was very straightforward,” Frick recalls. “He said: ‘I want to be a scientist, and I was experimenting. I wanted to see how the cat would react.’ ”

My husband and I know a sociopath quite well. We were discussing whether we should feel pity for her. He said yes, the way you would pity a rabid dog. I said no, that you couldn’t risk feeling pity. Because a sociopath will simply take the pity, the hesitation, the hope that things could be better - and use it against you.

Read more about child sociopaths - or psychopaths - here.




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