Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Language Employed

This is a specialized post but the subject matter has universal importance in present times.

Here is a Cornell University programme regarding the language used by psychopaths versus the language used by common criminals.

Here are the main differences.

(1) Psychopaths and non-psychopaths talk differently about murder.
(The studies were done on incarcerated prison psychopaths and non-psychopath killers.)

(2) Psychopaths use causally subjunctive words and coordinative clauses like so, because etc as if there was purpose behind the killing - a higher motive. Non-psychopaths talked of killing as a reaction to a situation.

(3) Non-psychopaths tried to distance themselves from the event by putting it into past and using more past tense and less present tense while psychopaths did not.

(4) Psychopaths use less emotionally intense language. They are emotionally barren. They are superficially glib and charming but they find it difficult to describe their crime, they are haphazard in its description. Their speech is less cohesive.

(5) Psychopaths talk a lot about what they ate that day. When asked to describe their murder that day they talk a lot about what they ate and drank that day. ( Killing for them is gratifying like eating and drinking?)

(6) Psychopaths talk about money more often.

(7) Psychopaths talked more about  lower level needs while non-psychopath killers talked about spirituality and religion, family.

(8) These people have been in jail for at least ten years but still talked about peripheral  things though they had enough time to absorb the responsibility for the act.