Psychopaths are 'good for society because they can make difficult decisions’

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<em>Psychopaths like Hannibal Lecter may actually be able to benefit society (Rex)</em>
Psychopaths like Hannibal Lecter may actually be able to benefit society (Rex)

Researchers have somewhat disturbingly claimed that psychopaths can actually benefit society.

Experts at the University of Plymouth concluded that, despite their violent tendencies, psychos can make the difficult decisions that others may struggle with.

The team carried out tests to see if people would sacrifice one person to save a larger group if they had the choice.

<em>Researchers claims psychopaths can make difficult decisions (Rex)</em>
Researchers claims psychopaths can make difficult decisions (Rex)

They then compared how they answered to how they actually behaved in moral dilemmas and found that all were more likely to carry out a harmful action against one person to save a bigger group.

However, psychopaths were more like to carry out this harmful behaviour with even greater force – meaning they found it less of a moral quandary to make the decision.

Psychopathic traits are characterised by antisocial behaviour and less empathy – meaning a decision to sacrifice one person over many others is easier.

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Dr Sylvia Terbeck, lecturer in Social Psychology and study co-author, said: “This study opens up the possibility to assess psychopathy using novel virtual reality technology – which is vital to better understand how and why people with these behavioural traits act in certain ways.”

Dr Kathryn Francis, now a postdoctoral research fellow in Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Reading, added: “This research highlights our proneness to moral inconsistency; what we say and what we do can be very different.

“For the first time, we demonstrate how personality traits can influence the physical power of our moral actions.”

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