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tv   Abigail Marsh The Fear Factor  CSPAN  December 10, 2017 12:00am-1:01am EST

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incredible things and if there's stories in the book about what others are done with social media. and social media it's not really new. all what's new is delivery platform we have smoke signal and see smoke signal the telephone line everybody on the block will get on the phone. you know what so different is everything is amplified in materials of how far you reach -- and, of course, the speed of the communication. for full schedule go to booktv.org. good morning everyone i'm a member of the event staff here, and i would like to welcome you all this evening to project and pros tonight we're here to listen to abigail talk about her new book the fear factor how one
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emotion connects psych paths everyone in between and couple of quick notes before we get started now is a great time to silence cell phone, please feel free to use for social media purposes if you would like make sure they're not going to make any noise. secondly when we get to the question and answer period, after they've talked together for roughly half an hour, we are recording both for our in store using a and for c-span booktv so if you have a question which we highly encourage step up to mic that is over her and b make sure it is, in fact, a question. [laughter] >> ask you to fold up your chairs however we have our nerds trivia this evening so please leave chairs where they are. now time for fun stuff in fear factor alabama reports using to discover what happens when brain in the brain to make some people
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respond to the fear of others while some remain indifferent the answer published for first time lies which controls response to a memory of the emotion especially fear combining lab work with stories of hero and psychopath egg patients marsh brings science to it live to show how it affects everyday behavior and sice magdz said those who seek to comprehend the origin of fear element of human nature will find this book a key factor in their increased understanding. marsh is associate professor at georgetown district laboratory on social and effective neuroscience which won with prize for groundbreaking words on extroir their altruism and joined with barbara bradley correspondent author of life free imagined help me welcome.
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good evening, can everyone hear me, high enough? wonderful. well i first met abby in 2013 when i was doing -- some research on all trueism and has a wide range -- from -- from generosity to so what was wonderful to o me as a journalist is she has this happy combination of being -- a deeply rigorous scientist and also someone who can make it interesting to all of us, so in a book it is very much the same way. it is smart, it's insightful it's fascinating it's engageing so we're going to have a great conversation tonight let's gist
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start with how you dived into the research what attracted you to the research? that led you to the kind of light and the dark? well seeds of the research were planted a long time ago. 22 years ago -- i think at this point with a positive to those of you who have heard story more than once. my interest in altruism what makes people care about the welfare of anybody else around them -- really spawned from a day when -- my life was stranger after a car accident in my hometown in washington. and just many brief, that night i was driving home down the intert 5 freeway in washington to my home when a little dog darted out in front of me and those of us dog lovers here i did what any of us would have done -- which is you should not do consider public service announcement don't do it don't swerve to avoid hitting dog which is what i did which spinning out across the freeway.
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landed face into oncoming track and caused engine to die and i was stranded with no exit, no cell phone back in the 90s i was sure that i was going to die to semi and cars streaming towards me were swerving barely in time to avoid me. and i don't know how long i sat there being sure that i was going to die, but until a man -- appeared at the passenger side woingsd of a car and said you look like you could use some help. all right. [laughter] i think i could and he -- ran around the car got a run aring again and had been still had drive which is why it wasn't going and got across the driveway to safety and disappear disappeared he said are you able to get home i wasn't okay. i said i'm okay he said all right you take care of yourself and he drove away. i didn't know his name i'm sure i porlgt to say thank you.
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and it's all good to know in theory people help other people and that even people make huge sacrifices but nothing like having it happen to you to make it real and to -- bring the real mystery of human cares for others alive. so that question has been empties for a lot of research. >> so we can't know exactly what was beginning on in that man's brain but -- it's up for good thoughts hopeful thoughts. but how does altruism work in the brain why are her more than others? >> so we're very much still in our way toens that question a question that people about are trying to answer for a while. but the problem of the fact that altruism is to help those distress so to model in the lab requires somebody to be suffering or distress deeply
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nothing to approve of this is my students here know -- and so what we did instead was take a clinical problem to find those in the world and bring them into the lab to see what might be done in the lab with tools available to us, and the root of what we found is that -- altruism seems to be motivated by -- partly things that are happening inside a structure is the brain involved in social and emotional processes, and just in brief what we found in people very this in particular studied people who donated a kidney to a stranger one our two of them here i would hope and in people who koongted a kidney structure is larger that are it is in average person and it is more active in response to the site is of another person in distress somebody else who is frightened which suggest that may have a
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stronger response to other people distress particularly fear which would be what motivates them to help. >> we've talked a little bit about kids need donors were they more generous as well? >> in for the general walkings of life and other -- sure. absolutely. what's interesting about -- people who have donated kidneys a group i have worked with is there's nothing, obviously, different about them compared to anybody else. you wouldn't necessarily know about it somebody when you first meet them although there's a sense of -- as my students and i have talked about a lot of being -- treats a friend instead of a warming up pored and more closed experience at first. but it is true that people who are donate kidneys all a truistic they tend to donate
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blood involved in charitable work taking in foster children it is an amazing array of things. >> i remember you saying that kidney donors didn't think of themselves as generous where as people other people who might donating kidneys for their family -- it was a harder lift for them. ivelgt this is true. so among the many kidney donors i've worked with many know people who have donated to family members what surprised them is that people who donating kidney to friends and family members in some way seal lying more obvious decision often report scrg had to hem and haw, and it took a long time to dudes and strangers often report that the decision to donating was essentially instantaneous they heard that -- kidney disease is a 9th leading cause of debt nt united states, and what an enormous number of people die on dialysis because they take so long to get a kidney. and they hear this and they hear that -- it is possible to donate a
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kidney to a stranger we can live fine with one kidney and just like that they decide all right i'll do it i'll donate. >> so suggest a diskt different to know -- >> i think that's compelling evidence whatever is deriving the situation they're making is deep seated in brain not a protracted conscience sort of way of cost and benefits, and it is deep down in the brain so it's the part that is helping make that decision. >> there differences are there differences in jean ises arety say between -- gender nations or animals better than other animals? >> absolutely. this is one of the things that became focus of my work there's continue of caring certainly among humans where some people are very far into the huge amount of caring for other people most of us or somewhere
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in the middle and those at the a other end who don't care about others at all. when it comes to big demographic differences i don't see much of a difference e between men and women interestingly in terms of how they are towards strappingers. few more women than men donate kidneys to strangers but proportions are like 55, 45 not a huge difference. towards strangers include in middle age so they're in their 40s, 50s, and 60s. >> why do you think that is? >> that's a great question. it may have sympathetic to do with this sort of -- increase -- oh i don't know sense of satisfaction that arises as one has sort of accomplished they think you've been looking to accomplish as life progresses. may do with deep seated issues in the brain that we have not identified with yet that's a great question and also identified in course of the work that we have done that if you
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look across geographic areas you do see a correlation between with altruism toward strangers in particular and not close friends and family but to people you have never met and variable like prosperity and a flourishing seems to be a case within states in the u.s. and also within nation around the world -- as people become better off healthier, more educated more literate et cetera altruism tends to go up and up sort of an interesting i think really optimistic finding because we know that education and prosperity are continuing to rise so thank goodness that's not associated but some sorts of huge drop in altruism and caring. >> animals? >> so i love animals research. i was happily written an entire book about just animal behavior. but you know, as -- i don't do animal research so i included as well.
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yeah so there's big differences in animals in extent to which they all care for anybody who is not directly recollected to them. >> you turn -- exactly so there's a cool phenomenon called owl mothers that means taking care of babies that are not your own and all mammal have a capacity to care because they have to care for babies but this is a central requirement for mall malls to survive as a species. but in some species there seems to have been this -- kind of unlocking of the potential to care. so that had -- mothers rats are altruistic species and lions are. they can be extremely aggressive and -- i suppose cool you could call it but they also do this amazing thing which is taking care of babies that are their own within the prides and seems to be the case if you look across issues that those species where adults take care of baby that are not their own are also most altruistic that seems to support
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the idea that all true schism emerge from the ability for pashts to care for their children. and when when that capacity sort of -- explodes up wards with and outwards all u can flourish. where do humans rank? >> high. sol of the best awe altruism mothers around we're the most mothers species, other great ape don't do a lot of owl mothers some that do are monosets if you book across a species ones that are the most towards strangers and humans are top o of those lists. around world it is valley a natural for babyies tab taken care of only by their own mother and it is strange and essential incorrect belief in a modern world that a baby must spend maximum time -- because that's not the way most curltures do it most cultures especially if you look at gather
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culture maybe taken care of by dozens of poem over a course or o nursed by people and not handle bid lots of people and if you think about it really allows babies to learn that you can trust people you can form loving bonds with people who are not just one single -- source of attachment. >> so you kind of alluded to this a little bit earlier but. are we as a nation getting more altruistic because you read paper and it feel like we're getting more tribal. so what's going on? >> we are tribal there's no doubt about it and what's really interesting is we know that tribal is -- not helpful when it comes to altruism we tend to treat people that we view as members of that much wore than members of a group but at least i'm talking about altruism towards strairntion who are unmarked by travel identity just anonymous stranger in the world we're getting more and more without a doubt. every year -- if you look at the trends of charitable giving, volunteering, blood donation, bone marrow
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donation kidney all of the lines are up and up actually it is pretty amazing, of course, it's not covered in media baa because that's nots nateing but it really is. i did research for optimistic than i've thought in the long time. >> let's shift from optimism to hannibal now -- which had is really, really interesting. [laughter] tell us at it is downed be capacity for care as a result of having these babies we have to take care of. measure you know, any -- human capacity can go awry during development. and it is a developmental disorder that seem to be at least in partly related to genetic problems not completely but in part. that seems to result in people having no capacity to care for
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anybody except themselves and it is something is that occurs in severe form in about unone or two percent of the population and what we discovered is people who are psychopathic have brains through opposite of people who are all u truistic and larger an more sciek pathic have opposite and they're smaller than average and less actsive. so you -- >> title of your book is about -- fear factor. what role was fear or ability the capacity to recognize fear and other os. what's role does that have in sigh thy. >> from the research discovered 60, 70 years now is people in the psychopathic have a fearless bold personality they're not -- us susceptible to punishment and this is a reason why they offend and reoffense over and over again because way what
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punishment is if you fear getting punished you woact do what will result in punishment d it isn't the case to have that response with people who are psychopathic and something might be wrong because that is a source of essential for the ability to develop a normal fear sponsor. this -- >> i think you and i have had this discussion too there's also a the inability to recognize others. why someone who can't really spot fear in someone else -- tengd them towards psychopathic acts? >> so this is i think some of the most interesting research that my students have been been doing over last couple of years it's -- what we i think of discovered is that -- when you sigh or o hear or think someone personning fear in order to understand emotion they're feeling you have to recreate or simulate that emotional state within your own brain and we
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know that is essential for being able to experience fear yourselves. and so if you don't have a strong response when you see or hear somebody else who is afraid you can't recreate what emotion is like and you can't understand what the other o people is foaling you can't empathize at the lowest level. >> so that breaks that would stop normal person from hurting that other person -- those aren't there. >> that's exactly right normally if one of uses saw somebody who was rightened by something we were saying you're doing, our act to simulate what that fear experience might be look enough to stop us from doing that thing. and if you don't have ability to do that, you just go right on ahead. >> so -- the second time we had a long conversation it was -- when i was writing a story for atlantic when they say your child is a sciek path can which probably stuck tier in hearts of many, many readsers but it turns out that you can see this seeds of the most trades it is fairly
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early. three or younger sometimes. what have you seen when you've worked with kids? how does it present? >> one of the most interesting thing about children that we have worked with with a psychopathic and emotional traits is they don't really stand out i always say if i remember to bring in kids that i have studied that have psychopathic traits line them up with kids we have studied who are healthy you cannot choose them out of a lineup. it's nothing obl different about them. >> why is that brain wise? fnlings because we think it is pretty specific quite different than for example poem who have serious cases of autism or schizophrenia which are brain wide disorderrers this results from problem more localized and lead most of the brain and function intact. >> so you're bringing kids in,
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you know, 6 or 7 yearses old. >> we try to bring kids 8 at the bottom when i was at a young age and turns out kids when they're not caring what you think or want and only 8 years old strongly motivated by compensation and lie perfectly still without moving more than four millimeters over course of 45 minutes it doesn't work well at all and so -- we go about trying to bring an eight-year-old so we brought in one 200910 and 17. could you spot a you said it is global and hard to spot but what did you see in these kids? when you child has send emotional trait how did you that? >> if we're log for brain scan when you're skanking people that are healthy typical thing when you present someone looking afraid in the brain of the plier on average people show a strong
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amegd la response may be this trying to simulate what emotional experience that person is having. on average schizophrenia is often negative and less response they showed to the fearful expression they're worse there aggression qiez in particular -- this instrumental aggression that people who are psychopathic are known for which is gold direction trying to get thing and trying to hurt somebody by doing it. >> so you see any behavior that troubled you for any of these kids? >> roughly not so much with us. and during this -- i think we have one child still -- since the cafeteria on their way to get a scan, and another one of them this was one of my graduate students buzz hi had mom joked that he had ask her to his prom. i would have not. it's not terribly troubling well there's more serious was stories they told us what they do in daddy likes like --
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the worst things i heard about were it shall a child who found a fake grenade and threw it intoed library in his local town. attempting to make everybody believe that et -- library was being attacked by terrorists. that was a bad bone. another one ran a shark operation out of his bedroom, and with with charging he was -- i think 13 he wasn't any taller me. i would be tall, and he was charging high school students guys like a dollar a day interest. and if they didn't pay up u he would threaten them with filers and they did the ads to it lack of -- consequence of what he was were really amazing. [laughter] >> so are all psychic you know we're talking about this here and but are all psych psychopaths violation? >> definitely not. most of the kids that we worked were were violent at least some
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of the time they have abused animals. they were extremely aggressive at home and in school is mostly have been kicked out of multiple school and children living in fear of them one boy parents take sibbings to spend night because they were so afraid he was going to burn house down overnight. that's said they have nothing about being psychopathic that make you violent. violation is used more than a tool to get what it is that you want so it is violation of a useful tool to get what you want they know you might be violent but especially girls that we worked with -- if you're a smallish female violation is not very active tool to get anything so they would use methods to get what it was they wanted. when they grow up could be adults. there's this term that i've heard -- successful psychopaths. can you just tell, i mean, i think all of the us would to know maybe we already know a
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psychopath so what does that snow and? >> successful paths? >> first of all i love that term that implies there's a success to being a psychopath that's a intersection and a successful one is someone who make their way in world and tomes so sorts of skirt under radar of belay tangtly behavior and minute might be a terrible person but there's getting along in a world bernie meads off with a man someone who might have been a psych past even though as far as i can tell there wasn't a lot of violation in his background. >> what you're looking for to tell somebody is -- two ways of psych pattic the core traits from other antisocial populations are this call last remorseless temperament with engaging in kinds of behavior that cause people suring even people qhor normally close to you. and a failure to seemingly register that your behavior is
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causing other people to suffer, and a lack of any remorse after the fact. there's a tendency to blame behavior on some external factor i couldn't help it. it wasn't my help anybody would have done this in this situation. >> that's scary. yes, now, i mean, unfortunately it. s a lot. but people discover what it is that i do. and i got e-mail that says can i pick your brain about psychopathic. discover it on their way and turn out to be money from -- hurting people behind scene that happens a lot. and -- the worse part is when they say well what can i do there's nothing you can do. i was going to ask you. try to keep yourself from being vulnerable for average person who feels remorse and really like the idea of hurting another person make you feel material it is hard to believe there are people in the world who really don't feel terrible about hurting people they don't. not deep down. not picture.
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and we -- it's makes us -- unfortunately too willing to get people another try sometimes. to pattern behavior shows that they really do nots care and it is useful to know that one or two percent of the world do not care about people's wail fir if you notice that pattern steer clear. >> that's -- that's hard if you're a parent for example and when i was luges at the -- children with on emotional trait ares there's parents who were really hoping that they could do something to make their children better and the thought had was if you get them early enough you may be able to change may be able to teach them empathy. do you i know we're really in early days on this research but do you have any looks to if people l can change? >>ics. it's nitrogen like if you think about it is continue you wily care you snow are not moving thm
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from top to bottom end but these are properties that are flexible and like -- they can change overt kowrgs of somebody's lives. and some of the most recent evidence -- with children suggest that children who are at high risk for becoming psychopathic due to traits that they have been observed many their biological parents that you see in early on -- is if they're raised by mothers who are are unusually warm and responsive but at high end of the warm the and responsiveness scales, this children risk drop a lot. as they develop, and so i think there's every wherein to believe these are traits that, improved but they have to do a lot more many rempleg than we have so far to figure out how. >> swift side of it is how do you if you want to be more generous and don't have, you know, naturally that really large active acan we become more
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altruistic? >> we can. because we see these trends happening all arranged the world where altruism is becoming more and more common over time and that's possible that people l can become more all u truistic. the best evidence about increasing is actually -- regarding compassion a love and kindness med tigs and a couple of good studies shows that these -- meditation practices and not just any kind meditation but may differents that do different kind but in particular these kinds of meditations make people more likely to care about and as time goes on, other ways that seem to improve altruism are -- reading. especially reading literature and appropriate to mention that. [laughter] this is really interesting theory actually -- put out there by a number of other psychologist including steven that books are sort of this --
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device for transporting us into the conscienceness of strangers people we never met before who might be very different from ourselves and seal with them and thinking with them and it is really just a form of practice that's compassion meditation it is practicing experiencing feelings of compassion for people progressively more distant from yourself and read in some ways that is same function which may be why as curltures tbet more process pros and literate along with prosperity people seem mother practiced in thinking about the internal world of they've never met. that's really interesting and it's appropriate. [laughter] ..
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>> >> but what it solidifies for me is that people truly are selfish they don't care about other people's welfare at all and that is unusual there is a whole reason is because that is not normal that has been solidified for me that they really do have the capacity to care for other people. >> host: i am done with my question so now you can ask the questions that you have.
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>> good evening. psychopaths hurt others to altruistic hurt themselves?. >> that is a great question. and then to help other people. suggests with the benefits or somebody else are so great we don't mind if they have to be hoping somebody else. >> so this says only legal over 16 years and psychiatrist were quoted to say it is morally repugnant
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and they would have fathomed. and it doesn't seem to be true. >> had it that distribution of between males and females? if the females do not use violence then what are the skill sets they bring to bear on their traits? [laughter] >> there is a lot of questions about the distribution because of historical accident and it developed in the prison in canada so there are precautions of the item on
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that scale is a proven artifact and of the personality traits may be the same if they aren't represented differently so for example, one of the items on the scale lists multiple veritable - - marital relationships so that may be the case that in general you see fewer women that our psychopathic but maybe that we're not picking that up to those behaviors in a social sense also those adolescents using to get what they wanted. >> i was wondering if you
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have worked with autistic children and our their traits that someone looks similar?. >> it is one of those problems that it encompasses some a different things from those that our psychopathic it is sometimes referred to a children that our autistic but in fact, it is associated with a different kind of benefit because difficulty understanding people's intentions in believes and corer cognitive fatah. if you have no guilty -- difficulty caring about other people then to register what they are feeling. and maybe get person can both autistic and psychopathic.
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>> isn't it the sense that the psychopathic could have a clear sense of what the other person is thinking and feeling that is why they're so manipulating?. >> yes. they do have related ability to understand what other people want their good at manipulating them. >> i came in a little late but with psychology how can you be certain altruistic people don't do what they do for the sake of the gratification verses wanting to help others?. >> this is a deep and incredibly hard question. why does somebody give to a stranger? that gratification afterwards? it is a hard question because those who are altruistic to feel
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gratification after they donate to somebody else or save their life and the issue is one that is motivated by the desire to experience or fetishes to downstream consequence but it seems to be that is a foreseeable downstream consequence if you do something and accomplished you are gratified by the fact you accomplished what he wanted to do that doesn't mean that motivated you but psychographics you desire of me that type of gratification they don't go about it to give away organs in general. [laughter] there are quicker ways and to do something like that but many altruistic that i work with field because they are so gratified would you
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donate again? i get exactly the same answer in a heartbeat. of course. i am so glad that i did but maybe i did it because i wanted to feel good and i say just in case you feel good after the fact doesn't mean that is what motivated you. >> what about psycho path and sadism but other paths?. >> a great question. most people who are psychopathic are not serial killers. ted bundy came from my home town grub from tent -- about 10 miles he was a psychopath and no doubt but he was that he did not care about other
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people's suffering or welfare and clearly a sadist and took pleasure in causing other people playing. that is actually a different phenomenon but when you get them together you end up with somebody like bundy. >> how self aware are they to their personality?. >> i'm glad you asked. my sense is it varies a little bit but probably not completely. there are interesting examples like they believe they are the same as everybody else actually everybody else's play acting they are just pretending. but those i have worked with
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start asking a question like do you think you r.h. a passionate person? so i say that is interesting because from the outside is extraordinary altruistic but they say it feels like when you hear somebody will die without a kidney and you have one to give why wouldn't you? it seems obvious and to them not giving one in that circumstance they assume anybody would give a kidney to a stranger if only have the right information once i realized that was true are was a maze so i don't think they fully realize the gap but i don't think anybody does. that is why a engaged in extreme behaviors.
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>> and what percentage of the population that were altruistic have the connection with those they were altruistic towards and big surprises in your research what was the most surprising?. >> people who donated to a stranger most did not know who their kidney would botero it would be a to the recipients if they wanted to meet their donor real thing'' we want to do was everybody but that's not true some recipients are conflicted someday they never met would do this to save them. a number of people do not meet their donors they would like to just to see the life and health what i heard it
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is amazing how quickly when there at that door perfect health almost instantly it starts producing urine and they have a beautiful color they feel good right away now the altruistic kidney donor are now feeling awful. and those that do it is of mixed some form a close bond others are happy but there is no relationship after words. probably the most surprising is how they don't experience anything interesting in the middle of the interview said
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i'm sitting on the couch he is from st. john's he is coming here to ski and my brain the there is nothing unusual about him up until that moment. >> so my question is the prevalence of altruism in different population categories if i am a child of someone who has done in now juristic act am i likely to catch that from my parents? political parties? [laughter] as a believer or cultures do you have data across those categories? finigan interestingly that is not a super strong relationship to political orientation you can care about other people that is something i'm really
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glad is true it is clearly true there are relationships between compassion n and altruism of those that are related debt they seem to converge around the idea about half of any personality trait you could pick certainly not 100 percent so that between altruism and the family is hard enough for sure with the economic effect that i will say anything that causes the children to be more altruistic are your siblings like you for example? they usually are.
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but that being said the more you can practice thinking about the of people all around you whether compassion or going out to volunteer with that altruistic behavior in your community. >> believers verses nonbelievers?. >> nothing that i have seen is a strong correlation everything from having the heavy stuff a couple the you could imagine within the population that know relationship at all. >> at last one other question to psychopath's
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have hierarchy -- hierarchies?. >> especially looking at criminal population and on average the iq tends to be lower for a variety of different reasons for:that is of little unusual if they are psychopathic bears tend to be no different in addition there is a relationship between iq and behavior in children they offer the tools because they're so capable. >>. >> have you found mower psychopath in the prison population? what about the
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prison population?. >> the estimate is 50 percent of all violent offenders are psychotic belonged among all prison populations so not even the majority but with a population. >> what is the next frontier for altruism of research?. >> it would be nice to have a better handle the mechanisms by which that can expand out word a thing that is the challenge of our time. >> you have any stories that
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you have to tell? that you found surprising nor explains the world a little bit?. >> i suppose scott peters n is example he was a man who lived in california 15 or 20 years ago and now had an affair and murdered his pregnant wife dumping her body in the san francisco bay because that was a classic example of an ordinary guy but it is a good example of how difficult it is to know people that everybody has that privilege to sit down to interrogate their lives
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and measure their behavior that is the good sense of humility to have a little bit of information to understand what makes them tick and now that research shows the average person is pretty caring may be a little more tolerant of most people's behavior you really don't know anybody -- everybody but they probably don't do that out of malice. >>. >> they are not suckers. in fact, we did one study in the lab that shows the inequity of those two are altruistic as seems that is
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a clearly different phenomenon they hate to being called saints is that i was very mad the of the day i am not a saint and it is true but to see what other people are suffering part of that brave phenomenon that we study and any other social situation coming throughout terrorism. >> -- altruism. >> she wants of little more on scott peterson. >> an ordinary guy as far as we could tell it was not a great biography but one day he murdered his wife and dumped her body into the san
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francisco bay initially he was trying to find the killer the leading the charge of organizing neighborhood searches but he knew exactly where it was and later investigators for piecing together he did this because he was having an affair so he was a good example of the successful psychopath it didn't bother him because he was not the safest and was engaging in crime his brother had very good frontal mediated regulation but the things he did after he was arrested he did classically psychopathic stuff like tried to develop day new identity and go across the border to mexico but because he had this
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temperament it didn't bother him with the opportunity arose that the desire to hurt his wife is as of the affair he may have never done anything terrible but because of that he did not -- to was not bothered. >> i want to ask if writing the book change the way you approach your life in other ways? heavy started reading more novels? [laughter] had you thought about donating a kidney or how that changed your day to day life?. >> it makes me appreciate other people more than i used to it is an enormous privilege working with
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kidney donors to are a wonderful people and has expanded my horizons when i think of human nature in general i have not decided what to donate a kidney but it is probably good because they think it helps me to stay objective and gives me some humility but i am probably not at the end of the compassion n spectrum i am probably in the middle i do things like everybody doesn't think they're pretty ordinary that maybe that makes me appreciate the extraordinary ones even more >> the act of becoming a parent does that change you neurologically or chemically to make you more altruistic altruistic?. >> it may we don't have great data but the last
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couple years to suggest that parenting does change your brain and not just what makes you more forgetful. [laughter] but there may be an extent to which they fled of hormones like oxytocin that occur after a child to result and we do know this happens in rats they are heartless and cruel until they have their own babies then something about that experience becoming mothers for the first time they have a of a transformation in the way they treat babies literally walking across an electrified great to get the babies out of danger once they become mothers. so there is a possibility. >> female rats change and they become fathers?
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[laughter] >> they do not actually behavior does change but the other way you can change the rat to inject into their brains they become a more caring for have their own babies but the other way forces them to be around babies they know you have better things to do and after a couple days all that maternal care kicks in and. so those sacks of caring for others is n of way that causes others to happen and there is some evidence that is true with people as well like donating blood than narrowed now kidney now piece of their liver but i
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do think there is a sense in that way. >> you have talked about the impact of literature and these news articles on the potential impact of screen time and social media i am wondering if you have looked at what that is doing to altruism in our culture?. >> great question. having is screen time affecting altruism? battle the a new question but there is some evidence of science is clearer twitter is a good
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example what really seems to polarize people we tend to be most likely to you correspond to like us gore agree with us unfortunately there is also evidence the emotion n that propagates the best cruz social media networks is rage when people post what makes them feel sad or disgusting or safe none of that will burst through the network i'm sure we all have had that and it is very easy to do. unfortunately raging is an emotion that can block your capacity for care even if they are perfectly capable it is and you are not capable there is also
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evidence that people who are experienced of text are not is humanized if you hear somebody talking we experiencing them to be a human being. alito get that same emotional richness -- richness maybe that is one reason we see those effects but that said that altruism also tends to increase it is a purely negative. >> last question. >> speaking of eating baby rats whether these personality traits like as parents?. >> actually we were at the
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biannual conference for researchers this summer talking about how little research has been done on psychopathic traits have zero becoming apparent affects those traits and how they respond to that preliminary anecdotal evidence my guests those that our psychopathic themselves are more psychopathic there is no evidence they would be best as children end up with a double whammy that if they are raised the also have risk factors with their environment which amplifies the facts but surprisingly a little amount of data on that. >> let's give her a generous
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round of applause. [applause] >> books are available for purchase behind the register [inaudible conversations]

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