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The sociopath next door : the ruthless versus the rest of us
Stout, Martha
Adult Nonfiction 616.8582 S

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Harvard Medical School psychiatrist Stout says that as many as 4% of the population are conscienceless sociopaths who have no empathy or affectionate feelings for humans or animals. As Stout (The Myth of Sanity) explains, a sociopath is defined as someone who displays at least three of seven distinguishing characteristics, such as deceitfulness, impulsivity and a lack of remorse. Such people often have a superficial charm, which they exercise ruthlessly in order to get what they want. Stout argues that the development of sociopathy is due half to genetics and half to nongenetic influences that have not been clearly identified. The author offers three examples of such people, including Skip, the handsome, brilliant, superrich boy who enjoyed stabbing bullfrogs near his family's summer home, and Doreen, who lied about her credentials to get work at a psychiatric institute, manipulated her colleagues and, most cruelly, a patient. Dramatic as these tales are, they are composites, and while Stout is a good writer and her exploration of sociopaths can be arresting, this book occasionally appeals to readers' paranoia, as the book's title and its guidelines for dealing with sociopaths indicate. (Feb. 8) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Stout (clinical psychiatry, Harvard Medical Sch.; The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness) offers a novel perspective on sociopaths, i.e., people who have no conscience. Not only does she provide case studies and references to standard literature like Hervey Cleckley's The Mask of Sanity, but she also fashions the book in self-help mode. Her decision to do this stems from an alarming American Psychiatric Association statistic contending that four percent of the U.S. population-or one person in 25-is sociopathic. That makes it likely that everyone has encountered at least one sociopath. Accordingly, Stout provides self-defense measures in the form of "Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life"; moreover, she supplies provocative discussion about the role of conscience in the "normal" world. Highly recommended for all public libraries and for university libraries with large psychology collections. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/04; see also the Q&A with Stout at left.]-Lynne F. Maxwell, Villanova Univ. Sch. of Law Lib., PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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