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Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us Paperback – 6 May 1999


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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


About the Author

Robert D. Hare, PhD, has conducted influential research on psychopathy for over 25 years. Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Canada, and the developer of one of the world's most widely used tools for assessing psychopathy, Dr. Hare is the author of over 100 professional articles and several books. In recognition of the enormous impact that his work on psychopathy has had worldwide, the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy named their lifetime achievement award after him. In 2005, he was the first recipient of the R.D. Hare Lifetime Achievement Award.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

112 of 115 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Robert J. Evans on 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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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Sunflower888 on 16 May 2011
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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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 6 April 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is invaluable for the psychiatric community. I think it should be required reading. It is also an asset to the lay person, particularly if this type of person is a family member. Dr. Hare "nails" both the personality traits and the behaviors of the psychopath. This book is the ONLY book I have found so far to be as direct and helpful to my family and I as it has been. I found Dr. Hare's approach to treatment of these people to be useful also. While some may find Dr. Hare's conclusions somewhat final, I appreciated his candor. For anyone who deals with these types of people, this book is a "must have"; especially families of these persons. I found the book to provide ideas for action instead of the floundering about offered in so many other texts. My thanks, Dr. Hare, for an excellent and informative read.
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52 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Mr. J. Hudson on 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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