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Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us
 
 

Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us [Kindle Edition]

Robert D. Hare
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)

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'Fascinating, chilling, and accurate... The world's most renowned psychopathy researcher has leavened sharp scientific insights with page-churning case descriptions in a rare publishing feat: a book that is both highly readable and highly reputable.' - John Monahan, PhD


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Most people are both repelled and intrigued by the images of cold-blooded, conscienceless murderers that increasingly populate our movies, television programs, and newspaper headlines. With their flagrant criminal violation of society's rules, serial killers like Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy are among the most dramatic examples of the psychopath. Individuals with this personality disorder are fully aware of the consequences of their actions and know the difference between right and wrong, yet they are terrifyingly self-centered, remorseless, and unable to care about the feelings of others. Perhaps most frightening, they often seem completely normal to unsuspecting targets--and they do not always ply their trade by killing. Presenting a compelling portrait of these dangerous men and women based on 25 years of distinguished scientific research, Dr. Robert D. Hare vividly describes a world of con artists, hustlers, rapists, and other predators who charm, lie, and manipulate their way through life. Are psychopaths mad, or simply bad? How can they be recognized? And how can we protect ourselves? This book provides solid information and surprising insights for anyone seeking to understand this devastating condition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and indispensible insight 2 Oct 2003
Format:Paperback
Robert Hare has delivered a fascinating insight into the terrifying world of the psychopath. Without Conscience is aimed at the layperson, as opposed to the academic, and is pitched perfectly. It is detailed enough to properly explain and simple enough to be intelligible to the average reader.
A concise background to the condition sets the scene before the main traits of the psychopath are revealed and explained along with pertinent anecdotes to demonstrate how these traits operate in practice. Hare also explores psychopathy in children and young adults, charting their development to adulthood as well as the pernicious influence of non-criminal psychopaths in the workplace.
This book is of particular importance because it brings the danger of psychopaths to the everyday reader who may well suffer at their hands in future, if they have not already. It appears that the public are largely ignorant to the extent of the threat posed by psychopaths because of ignorance to what a psychopath is, how many of them are out there and their incredible ability to appear to be what they are not.
Hare provides some strategies to combat the effect of psychopaths at close hand. While less than cast-iron (due to the nature of the disorder, not Hare’s writing) they might provide some assistance to people trying to cope with, or escape from one.
Hare goes on to mention how research is developing strategies to limit the negative behaviour of psychopaths. I look forward to reading the results in years to come.
A highly recommended read for anyone looking for a beginners insight to psychopathy or has been victimised by a psychopath.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more dangerous than you think. 24 Oct 2011
Format:Paperback
There is certainly no shortage of reviews which heap praise on this book and author. The problem I found with the ones I read, was that they failed to show the limitations of the book. This book is mainly about PSYCHOPATHS who have committed crimes and ended up in prison. It does not deal with the inbetweenies who have some of the characteristics and would not be labelled psychopaths.

My interest in the subject was stimulated by references, in several TV programs, to the presenter being diagnosed as psychopathic, although they appeared to have perfectly normal lives. Twenty five percent of prison populations are psychopathic and one percent of the general public are psychopathic; so it is reasonable to assume that we all know at least one and don't realise it.

To quote the author - `When I agreed to write this book I knew it would be difficult to present hard scientific data and circumspection in a way that the public could understand' and also `It is my hope that this book will help the general public and the criminal justice system to become more aware of the nature of psychopathy'.
The author has successfully removed most of the medical technical jargon, but the language used shows that his target audience is the `university educated members of the general public'.

Like so many psychology awareness books it carries the usual `don't try this at home' warning. The author quite rightly points out that the public interpretation of `psychopath' and the psychologist's interpretation is totally different. It was pointed out to me some years ago, that virtually every medical word that is used in everyday speech is technically inaccurate.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This book is very helpful. I was dealing with what I believe is a narcissist type, it's been awful, on so many levels. This book when I read some of the character traits literally made me cry as I could associate so much to it.

Just reading this book, helps sooth you, through understanding the madness and meanness of the situation and personality disordered type.

It's actually quite sad to read it on so many levels, but by the end you feel better, calmer and soothed, that it has a label, you think, "ah that's why he does that". It won't and can't change the person, but you do start to understand what you are dealing with in that person. It talks about criminal and non-criminal types of characters. For me the criminal types were less applicable but also interesting to read about, almost like the same type by as a non-criminal one but a further along the scale.

So it helps you heal in that way and gives you some answers, clarity and closure.

This book is truly a well written and healing resource, thanks to the author for the wonderful insight into these types of people.

I'm not so keen on the term "psychopath" as I associate that with all the maniacs who are in prison having committed awful crimes. However the more modern term used is "sociopath" of which I suspect my ex was one. They often are in society doing fine, or even successful, and not with any criminal record, but they do have the same underlying character.

It gives you a list of the character traits of this type of person.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good for understanding the psychopath in your life
Having been married to a psychopath, and having a mother with narcissistic personality disorder, I found this book good as a repertoire of other books I have read and refer back... Read more
Published 25 days ago by Ic Merry
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating book, hard to put down
I purchased this book as research for my fiction novel which concentrates on a serial killer who also happens to be a psychopath. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Caroline
5.0 out of 5 stars book
Received as expected for a present. This book was recommended. I have not yet any feed back from the person it was given too.
Published 2 months ago by arlette romaine
3.0 out of 5 stars Frightening but true
Frightening but true,

A typical academic's book, with lots of data and scientific material. Read more
Published 3 months ago by B. C. Haan
5.0 out of 5 stars Without conscience
I found this book so very interesting. It was clear and to the point. Cleared up a lot of questions for me and made me think more on the nature versus nurture issue.
Published 3 months ago by Geni
5.0 out of 5 stars Without conscience
Great insight into the mind and behaviour of the psychopath. Written in language that both novice and scholar can comprehend. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anne
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST READ
This is a MUST READ for everyone. The psychopaths among us are not all locked up in prisons. They are out there living with and beside us. Read more
Published 5 months ago by angela
5.0 out of 5 stars Watch out, I'm warning you!
This book puts a dark face on society; it is a gloomy thought to think of what a psychopath can do your life. You've probably already met at least one! Read more
Published 5 months ago by Melanie
4.0 out of 5 stars Lots and lots of case studies included
Almost too much detail. Felt quite sorry for the author having met or dealt with so many psychopaths. Gave the reader a very good grounding in the nature of the psychopath. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Tracy
5.0 out of 5 stars Without Conscience
Without Conscience is particularly recommended for professionals working within forensics. It is a matter of some concern however that Amazon have failed to provide a refund for a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jennifer Johnson
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a deeply disturbing inability to care about the pain and suffering experienced by others—in short, a complete lack of empathy, the prerequisite for love. &quote;
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Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised. &quote;
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“Psychopathy,” on the other hand, is defined by a cluster of both personality traits and socially deviant behaviors. &quote;
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