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

Robert D. Hare
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 May 1999 9781572304512 978-1572304512
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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Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us + The Sociopath Next Door + Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating and indispensible insight 2 Oct 2003
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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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars more dangerous than you think. 24 Oct 2011
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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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
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
3.0 out of 5 stars Toooo long
This is quite a dry read. Repeats itself some & staying with it left me disapionted, not sure it is a book's worth.
Published 2 days ago by A. Hewitt
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book
Published 6 days ago by Philip Chaffer
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent and thought provoking book
Well written, technical enough to be interesting but easy enough to follow for the non-expert. Fascinating, as the author says, to recognise people you know in the pages.
Published 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars As a result of this under-active region of the brain these so called...
Dr Robert Hare -leading expert in Psychopathology - the creator of the Psychopathy Checklist (max score is 40 - consisting of 20 personality traits: 4 interpersonal; 4 affective; 5... Read more
Published 11 days ago by Elfin H
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book! Would recommend to anyone who's been affected ...
Excellent book!Would recommend to anyone who's been affected by a psychopath.
Published 17 days ago by lucky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Perfect book to understand the world of psychopaths and to understand properly the differences among the pathologies.
Published 24 days ago by verdier74
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read, but was left feeling a little "underfed"
A good insight into the perplexing world of the psychopathic/narcissistic mind from the author's first-hand encounters. Robert D.Hare could have expanded with more analysis. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Paul
4.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight
Having been introduced to the idea of a psychopath in Jon Ronson's book The Psychopath Test, I was curious to read (or in this case, listen to on the way to work and back over the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mike N
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly interesting
Very informative especially if you've encountered this type of pathological character in your past like I have - well-written and intelligently discussed
Published 2 months ago by Natasha
5.0 out of 5 stars best forensic psychology book I've read!
Couldn't stop reading this! Hare writes in a way that everyday people can understand.....amazing! Would defiantly read this book again!
Published 2 months ago by swilkins92
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