The Wisdom of Psychopaths

The Wisdom of Psychopaths

Book rating: 04 Paperback Arrow Books

By (author) Kevin Dutton

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  • Publisher: ARROW BOOKS LTD
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 129mm x 198mm x 24mm | 301g
  • Publication date: 12 September 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0099551063
  • ISBN 13: 9780099551065
  • Sales rank: 18,231

Product description

Psychopath. No sooner is the word out than images of murderers, rapists, suicide bombers and gangsters flash across our minds. But unlike their box-office counterparts, not all psychopaths are violent, or even criminal. Far from it. In fact, they have a lot of good things going for them. Psychopaths are fearless, confident, charismatic, ruthless and focused - qualities tailor-made for success in twenty-first-century society. In this groundbreaking adventure into the world of psychopaths, renowned psychologist Kevin Dutton reveals a shocking truth: beneath the hype and the popular characterisation, psychopaths have something to teach us.

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Author information

Professor Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Science, Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and of the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. He is the author of the acclaimed Flipnosis: The Art of Split-Second Persuasion. He lives in the Cotswolds.

Customer reviews

By Nicola Mansfield 17 May 2014 4

I have a great interest in neuroscience, specifically the psychology of the brain and the title of this book grabbed me from the beginning. First, though, this book is not about serial killers. Yes, there are a few mentioned throughout and the book ends with a small section on them but this book is about people who are not criminals. People who possess the same qualities as psychopaths and thus, can be labelled psychopaths, but are functional within society. It then goes on to discuss how these people operate in society and the professions they succeed at. While the book does mention serial killers, and saints and spies, (as in the title) it mostly concentrates on the business, government and medical fields; talking to and taking case examples from CEOs, stock market traders, MI5 agents, lawyers and surgeons. Dutton's writing style flows nicely and the book is not difficult to read but I would not call it an easy read as it is clinical in presentation and deals with statistics and test results. It is a book for the lay person but one who knows something about the topic to begin with. I found the information very interesting and would say it has broadened my knowledge of the subject. There is some discussion of cognitive behavioural therapy that I found enlightening and answered my questions on why a couple of my therapists/psychiatrists gave up in frustration trying to use it on me. LOL I've always been able to tell they're going that route and tell them no to bother using CBT on me. Btw, I'm not psychotic in any shape or form! A good read that I'll be keeping in my collection.

Review quote

"Dutton tackles an elusive, important and much neglected aspect of the mind; our personality. He presents some highly original insights and does so in a provocative and humorous style" -- V. S. Ramachandran, Gifford lecturer , Reith lecturer and author of The Tell-Tale Brain "The Wisdom of Psychopaths is a surprising, absorbing, and perceptive book set out in briskly readable prose and with gripping anecdotes. I found it altogether fascinating." -- Philip Pullman "Dutton has written a masterful, readable, and entertaining treatise on psychopathy and its manifestations in everyday life. Some of his ideas will generate debate and controversy, but he clearly has provided a thought-provoking book for those seeking to understand the "psychopathic" world in which they live." -- Robert Hare, PhD "Inspiring and revelatory. Dutton's book gave me a real insight into who I really am." -- Andy McNab "[W]onderfully entertaining... it beautifully depicts why psychopaths are the way they are on both a neurological and psychological level. Ultimately it's about understanding them and Dutton does an amazing job illustrating their inner workings. I don't think I have ever read a book that so skilfully blends a serious topic with an adventurous streak, especially when he undergoes a "psychopath make-over". Fast-paced, fun and smart, this is for everyone who wants to know more about what makes psychopaths tick! In short: An intriguing and captivating work about the psychopath's mind!" The Book Garden

Editorial reviews

Dutton has written a masterful, readable, and entertaining treatise on psychopathy and its manifestations in everyday life. Some of his ideas will generate debate and controversy, but he clearly has provided a thought-provoking book for those seeking to understand the "psychopathic" world in which they live.