The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us - Without Conscience

By Robert D. Hare

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
maryam golpayegani
Very well done book on the minds, thinking, patterns and scary sequelae of psychopaths living among us. Very scary and very true. Enough said. You want to know what these monsters are like, look no further than this book.

JH
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tye moody
This book explains the problems with identifying and dealing with antisocial personality disorder. It describes the disease in specific terms that are very helpful to the reader desiring an understanding of this challenging mental illness.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
alisa raymond
I was really disappointed while reading this book. I did not think that it would be mainly about criminals that were and are locked up. There is so much more to be said about the monsters that lurk around our everyday lives. The ones we work with, live with, and are ken too.
On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty - The Science of Evil :: The Test :: The Science of Those Without Conscience - The Psychopath Whisperer :: and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success - What Saints :: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight - Confessions of a Sociopath
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
schmerica
There was some good information in here but it was a challenging read. Less interesting than most psychopath books and harder to follow. Still right on with the data and helpful in providing more information.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matt lundeen
This was an amazing book that gave great insight into the workings of the "psychopath". The author took the time to make sure that the book was easy to read and to follow. I would highly recomend reading if you are a psychology student and also if you have any intrest in why some people act the way they do.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
anne sanow
The subject matter was very good and well written. Due to a publisher error many of the bottom lines of pages were cut off so I complained and received a refund. This book was supposed to be removed from the Shopping List and no longer be available through the store.kindle. As always, the store was very accommodating and the man I spoke to was very helpful. Thank You the store.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joshua jerz
I've read and watched quite a bit from Robert Hare. Seriously informative stuff about some seriously twisted behaviors.
I read this book on my own out of curiosity and it kept my attention and interest.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
grier
This book was okay. I thought it would be more about psychopaths that you encounter in daily life (i.e., family, work, friends, etc.) and how to identify them but it focused more on on criminal psychopaths and the most extreme examples. It was an interesting read but not exactly what I thought it would be.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
john wei
Every lawyer - especially dealing with family law - should read this book. It should be a PRE-REQUISITE FOR EVERY LAW SCHOOL - HANDS DOWN!

If my stepdaughter's lawyer had read this book before hand, he would not have been duped!

It is not uncommon for one or both parents to be psychopaths and the child(ren) suffer greatly at their hand. My husband just had a bitter custody battle with his psychopathic ex and let me tell you, we are sending this book to the lawyer(s) involved. The woman fits this to a "T" and the only shame is that we didn't get this book sooner. Thanks to Dr. Hare for his insights and extensive research - we were so impressed we bought his other book, Snakes in Suits. Excellent book. If you are dealing with someone like this you NEED to read this. It's a MUST READ!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shawn moser
I've read and watched quite a bit from Robert Hare. Seriously informative stuff about some seriously twisted behaviors.
I read this book on my own out of curiosity and it kept my attention and interest.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
laurie
This book was okay. I thought it would be more about psychopaths that you encounter in daily life (i.e., family, work, friends, etc.) and how to identify them but it focused more on on criminal psychopaths and the most extreme examples. It was an interesting read but not exactly what I thought it would be.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wade biss
Every lawyer - especially dealing with family law - should read this book. It should be a PRE-REQUISITE FOR EVERY LAW SCHOOL - HANDS DOWN!

If my stepdaughter's lawyer had read this book before hand, he would not have been duped!

It is not uncommon for one or both parents to be psychopaths and the child(ren) suffer greatly at their hand. My husband just had a bitter custody battle with his psychopathic ex and let me tell you, we are sending this book to the lawyer(s) involved. The woman fits this to a "T" and the only shame is that we didn't get this book sooner. Thanks to Dr. Hare for his insights and extensive research - we were so impressed we bought his other book, Snakes in Suits. Excellent book. If you are dealing with someone like this you NEED to read this. It's a MUST READ!!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
audrey
Dr Hare is the originator of the Psychopathic checklist. A pioneer in the field and respected world wide for his early insights into understanding the narcissist. A must read for emotional abuse victims and survivors.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jayakrishnan k
Another reviewer writes, "Dr. Hare evidently wrote a Psychopathy Checklist, but we never get to see it, or to find out why it's a valid indicator of anything. I didn't learn much from this shallow volume". This was my major complaint with this book as well, and why I gave it three stars instead of four. I'll explain further. The main theme is probably a definition of what a Psychopath is and isn't. This was done well, with many interesting and not over the top gruesome examples, as well as many from the less violent but still fiscally and emotionally damaging case studies. And insight is given into what makes the sensational cases (Dahmer, Bundy, etc.) tick. No problems here, well written, well documented, well done. A secondary and just as important a theme concerns how to diagnose a Psychopath, as Hare makes clear an important consideration. Much, much, much is made of a

Psychopathy Checklist he has come up with, and he hints that he is reluctant to disclose it to the lay reader for fear of abuse. Therefore we must take his word for what a wonderful tool it is, without many concrete examples of its efficacy and few examples of acceptance by the Psychiatric community at large. This doesn't mean it's not everything he says it is, just that we are left to take his word for it- not exactly what you want from a book like this. It would be like reading an energy book about the invention of a 200 mile per gallon car, with no witnesses and no description of how it works, it would more than beg a few questions.

Overall the book was well written, informative without being tedious, insightful and interesting. I'd actually recommend it, but I wish the Checklist was either verified better or left out of the discussion altogether.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
bfimm2002
This was a fascinating look at the psychopathic personality. However, the author's style was not very smooth. There was a lot of jumping around from one idea to another. Worst of all, the kindle version I read was full of typos, which made it difficult to grasp the author's meaning. For instance, instead of "maladaptive," which I think was the intended word, the book used "maladaclive" or some equally nonsensical word several times in the same paragraph.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rogue
Dr. Hare has written a compelling book here. As a college-level instructor in psychology, I often refer to this book in my lectures or class discussions. It is a fascinating look into his study of psychopathy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
beth russell
If you are dealing with a psycopath in your life this book will be very helpful in understanding the behavior. We have an adult son and needed some help with how to deal with him. The book was helpful.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sars
Lets face it, our society is becoming more and more violent.This is a fact, there is no way around it. Just look at the news or paper day to day to see crime and the nature of such crime. Violence is inherent and pervasive and is becoming more a norm than an an acception.Some blame the water, some the T.V. and cinematic violence. For some it is the eroding family structure and the preponderance of latch key kids and unsupervised,unbridled freedom children now have with free access to violent imagery, sexual content and news reports glorifying horrible criminality so pervasive in our instant access culture that restriction of said images are met with agitation and belligerence from our children and for some, threats of retaliation and violence.What is a parent or person to do?Ultimately the causative factors may remain unknown but what is evident is that more and more we are becoming a society of irrational, highly emotive, violence prone individuals.The capability and inclinational bent toward violence is overwhelming and this all leads to a clinical picture of psychopathology more characterized as psychopathic or the more modern tag of antisocial personality disorder.Hare has given us a good primer to guide us in the recognition of and avoidance of such personalities.His extensive research with known incarcerated psychopaths,analysis of traits,habits, modus operandi as well as skillful recognition of said individuals and tips on how to avoid being ensnared by them are presented in his most popular book.Based on its promotion and his reputation it was obtained and reviewed.I was a little disappointed upon conclusion hoping to gain more insight into this mans life long study but instead came away with some basic guidelines and cautionary rules to follow.As you may surmise, I expected more.However,it is a good starting point for those inexperienced with psychopathy and it outlines cause and effect and recognizing individuals who may possess such traits. For those of us who encounter this type in daily practice it was not the chilling, eye opening book as some reviewers have characterized it. 'Without Conscience' is recommended for the new aquaintance to patients,and others you may meet during life.This book is valid for most of us who need added protection on all levels as society continues to deteriorate into madness, anarchy and survival of the fittest because that is what we are becoming, mark my words.We, as a society need to avail ourselves and prepare for the further inevitable breakdown and increase in violence.This book is only a start and should be read by all along with others this writer will review soon to hopefully prepare us for a most difficult and dangerous future as we deal with the psychopaths among us.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
ren e
The content is great. The typesetting is not so good. Parts of the book are in a dark shaded background and in a smaller font. These parts are supposed to be asides, or examples. They are great, but the poor contrast and small font make them a bit of a strain to read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
rainer
If you feel comfortable with your understanding of psychopathy and sociopathy and understand that those psychological conditions are not restricted to the criminally minded, then I'm not sure what this book is going to offer. It is a very elementary discussion on psychopathy and instead of helping to set straight some of the myths associated with the condition, it fans them a bit. I understand that this book is often quoted as a seminal one, but it doesn't provide much if you already know about psychopathy—or can read about it in an online article.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
saaman
I will change my rating, if I find in this book where Dr. Hare understands that within his Preface and Acknowledgements xii he could be overlooking something very important. Dr. Hare states, "Even those members of the criminal justice system- lawyers, forensic psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, parole officers, law enforcement officers, correctional staff -- whose work daily brings them into contact with psychopaths often have little practice appreciation of the sort of people they are dealing with." I feel this could be a big oversight because these very people in these positions can also be psychopaths. Dr. Hare, here is my question, as I'm just entering into your book. Couldn't a lawyer be a psychopath? I had a lawyer steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from me while brain injured from a violent assault. The police let my assailant go and made a mistake thinking I was intoxicated when I was brain injured, and then the police covered up their mistake instead of fixing their mistakes. That is why I had to hire a lawyer. This lawyer has massive Federal Tax Liens on her home. We have recently found this out, after realizing she was just robbing us blind. We never made it to trial because we were financially forced out. I was deceived out of any justice and nobody seems to be helping us. I would think educated people as well as uneducated people could be psychopaths. I'm trying to continue to read your book now to try and understand how anyone can hurt another like this lawyer did to us. You are correct in your title "Without Conscience" and in quoting William March, "The Bad Seed", "Good people are rarely suspicious, they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing.......". That is our family's thoughts. How could she do this? We do not understand how another can hurt us this badly. There are many involved now. I'm giving you a 3 star but may give you more after I finish your book. We are devastated as a family and nobody has helped us yet. I truly believe it is because we were attempting to sue a police force. Politicians who say they are for the people and don't do a thing, could they be psychopaths too? I believe, lawyers are some of the worst people in this world, because when good people or people of authority lie and/or do not help victims I consider this as big a crime as the criminal. I bought this book to figure out how this lawyer could have no conscience and continue to lie. She took away my justice. This lawyer also hired private investigators to help me with the police lies and deceit, but this lawyer had the PI's investigate me with my own money that I was paying to the PI's. I just found out that this happened too. Yes, I have filed complaints against the lawyer and PI's at the appropriate complaint processes within my State. 4 months ago my complaints were filed against this attorney. The bar now knows about her Federal Tax Liens. I'm the honest one and she has massive Federal tax Liens. I believe she was scraping to find any negativity on me to just use against me for her scheme in robbing me.
Is this how a psychopath justifies him/herself in hurting others. Maybe I'm wrong and she's a sociopath. I haven't figured out the difference yet. I will change my rating of your book to a 5 star, if in your book you state that these professionals that you listed could also be psychopaths. It just hurt me to read that you listed these certain people as innocent without a comment that they too could be psychopaths. Lawyers could be some of the worst people I have ever met in my life, as I have now been a victim to a legal system of MONSTERS. How does a woman heal from unprotected women's violence and then robbed? This world is truly messed up. This attorney took advantage of my brain injuries and completely deceived my husband and I too. Who does this? Citizen's are suppose to trust attorneys. Attorneys take an oath. We are suffering from the effects of dealing with a deceitful attorney. I will be writing my own book of the truth, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around how anyone can be so deceitful, and without conscience, when hurting another. I feel like she should be in prison. Why isn't she? Are other psychopaths protecting her, or is this just absolute corruption? I hope I find some help in reading your book. Nobody hurts another human being like this without having some kind of severe mental disorder. Sorry for any typos. I have a brain injury and I'm always making mistakes now.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jo costello
This book provides great insight into psychopaths. It is well written and provides many great points which can be used for scholarly debate. While everyone knows the psychopaths have no conscience, Robert Hare seems to posit the idea the people who do not follow rules, think outside the box, think big, aggressive, and do risky things may have traits of a psychopaths. Well this would include Nelson Mandela who did all those things and more. Is Nelson Mandela a psychopath? Many of the traits listed here are traits of successful world leaders. Robert Hare seems to think that someone like him is the ideal non-psychopathic personality: boring, follows rules, does what is told, cannot think outside the outside, passive instead of aggressive, thinks small. Obviously, like most academic scholars, they accomplish very little in their lives except publish books and articles and they think the ideal person should be like them.

Like many scholars, it seems he has not had much interpersonal experience with psychopaths in his personal life. I was married to a psychopath, I would know what they are like and was taken advantage of by many others. I certainly appreciate the insight from this book, but to say they have zero feelings is inaccurate. I've seem them cry before with huge tears. That's how my ex-wife kept me for longer than she did. When I threatened to leave, she burst out in real tears and held on to my legs and begged me not to leave, otherwise she would kill herself. Obviously a ploy to make me feel guilty for leaving her, but how do you fake an abundant down pouring of tears? It seemed like rain coming down.

I don't think she was in love with me like she claimed because she is not capable of love. They are empty souls. That much is agreed upon, but they do have feelings in one or two areas. Of course all the changes she promised didn't last because how exactly does one change a personality overnight? Was she interested in changing after the episode was over? Probably not. I saw her crying quite a bit about losing full custody of her son and decided not to bring up the subject of her son anymore as the tears were spontaneous. They do care about something. She then asked me to kill her former husband, so she could get custody again. No morals, obviously. I reported the issue to her ex-husband. After she finished talking with him, he no longer believed anything I said. Smooth, yes. We have been divorced for 6 years now.

The main point is that they do have some feeling but they are empty souls for sure, and are very insecure They do not show feeling in front of others and especially not in the one hour they pay a visit to the psychiatrist so it may appear they have no feelings. However they do cry behind closed doors and they do drugs quite a bit because they can't deal with the emotions or their conscience. They just present a strong front to others. They do break down eventually, all of them, but they do come back and play the same game again once they are back. Unless you been in relationships with more than few, you wouldn't know this.

The other point is that successful leaders can be very aggressive, but some of them actually have morals. It doesn't make them have psychopathic traits. They do not need to be boring and passive like Robert Hare to be considered normal.

Like most academicians who lacked a real personal and social life outside of work, these people try to judge, criticize people with real lives and what they don't understand. It's mostly armchair hypothesizing based on work experience.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
melissa weatherwax
This book is overrated. It's more a series of psychiatric musings than a methodical survey of the psychotic mind. The book benefits from neither the discipline of empirical research nor the interest that might be created if the author told an actual story/narrative regarding a particular case. Instead, the author sets forth his theory of psychotic traits -- the psychotic check list -- and goes about "proving" this by anecdotal reference to examples from his practice or the observations that others have made regarding notable psychopaths. Some of the information is interesting, for example, ideas about neurological failures that are common to psychotic minds (such as disorganized language). However, I suspect there is more rigorous and recent treatment of subjects like this in fields like cognitive neuroscience. Don't waste time or money on this one.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
romina lopez
If you feel comfortable with your understanding of psychopathy and sociopathy and understand that those psychological conditions are not restricted to the criminally minded, then I'm not sure what this book is going to offer. It is a very elementary discussion on psychopathy and instead of helping to set straight some of the myths associated with the condition, it fans them a bit. I understand that this book is often quoted as a seminal one, but it doesn't provide much if you already know about psychopathy—or can read about it in an online article.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kristina provence
I will change my rating, if I find in this book where Dr. Hare understands that within his Preface and Acknowledgements xii he could be overlooking something very important. Dr. Hare states, "Even those members of the criminal justice system- lawyers, forensic psychiatrists and psychologists, social workers, parole officers, law enforcement officers, correctional staff -- whose work daily brings them into contact with psychopaths often have little practice appreciation of the sort of people they are dealing with." I feel this could be a big oversight because these very people in these positions can also be psychopaths. Dr. Hare, here is my question, as I'm just entering into your book. Couldn't a lawyer be a psychopath? I had a lawyer steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from me while brain injured from a violent assault. The police let my assailant go and made a mistake thinking I was intoxicated when I was brain injured, and then the police covered up their mistake instead of fixing their mistakes. That is why I had to hire a lawyer. This lawyer has massive Federal Tax Liens on her home. We have recently found this out, after realizing she was just robbing us blind. We never made it to trial because we were financially forced out. I was deceived out of any justice and nobody seems to be helping us. I would think educated people as well as uneducated people could be psychopaths. I'm trying to continue to read your book now to try and understand how anyone can hurt another like this lawyer did to us. You are correct in your title "Without Conscience" and in quoting William March, "The Bad Seed", "Good people are rarely suspicious, they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing.......". That is our family's thoughts. How could she do this? We do not understand how another can hurt us this badly. There are many involved now. I'm giving you a 3 star but may give you more after I finish your book. We are devastated as a family and nobody has helped us yet. I truly believe it is because we were attempting to sue a police force. Politicians who say they are for the people and don't do a thing, could they be psychopaths too? I believe, lawyers are some of the worst people in this world, because when good people or people of authority lie and/or do not help victims I consider this as big a crime as the criminal. I bought this book to figure out how this lawyer could have no conscience and continue to lie. She took away my justice. This lawyer also hired private investigators to help me with the police lies and deceit, but this lawyer had the PI's investigate me with my own money that I was paying to the PI's. I just found out that this happened too. Yes, I have filed complaints against the lawyer and PI's at the appropriate complaint processes within my State. 4 months ago my complaints were filed against this attorney. The bar now knows about her Federal Tax Liens. I'm the honest one and she has massive Federal tax Liens. I believe she was scraping to find any negativity on me to just use against me for her scheme in robbing me.
Is this how a psychopath justifies him/herself in hurting others. Maybe I'm wrong and she's a sociopath. I haven't figured out the difference yet. I will change my rating of your book to a 5 star, if in your book you state that these professionals that you listed could also be psychopaths. It just hurt me to read that you listed these certain people as innocent without a comment that they too could be psychopaths. Lawyers could be some of the worst people I have ever met in my life, as I have now been a victim to a legal system of MONSTERS. How does a woman heal from unprotected women's violence and then robbed? This world is truly messed up. This attorney took advantage of my brain injuries and completely deceived my husband and I too. Who does this? Citizen's are suppose to trust attorneys. Attorneys take an oath. We are suffering from the effects of dealing with a deceitful attorney. I will be writing my own book of the truth, but I'm still trying to wrap my head around how anyone can be so deceitful, and without conscience, when hurting another. I feel like she should be in prison. Why isn't she? Are other psychopaths protecting her, or is this just absolute corruption? I hope I find some help in reading your book. Nobody hurts another human being like this without having some kind of severe mental disorder. Sorry for any typos. I have a brain injury and I'm always making mistakes now.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
finnessa
This book provides great insight into psychopaths. It is well written and provides many great points which can be used for scholarly debate. While everyone knows the psychopaths have no conscience, Robert Hare seems to posit the idea the people who do not follow rules, think outside the box, think big, aggressive, and do risky things may have traits of a psychopaths. Well this would include Nelson Mandela who did all those things and more. Is Nelson Mandela a psychopath? Many of the traits listed here are traits of successful world leaders. Robert Hare seems to think that someone like him is the ideal non-psychopathic personality: boring, follows rules, does what is told, cannot think outside the outside, passive instead of aggressive, thinks small. Obviously, like most academic scholars, they accomplish very little in their lives except publish books and articles and they think the ideal person should be like them.

Like many scholars, it seems he has not had much interpersonal experience with psychopaths in his personal life. I was married to a psychopath, I would know what they are like and was taken advantage of by many others. I certainly appreciate the insight from this book, but to say they have zero feelings is inaccurate. I've seem them cry before with huge tears. That's how my ex-wife kept me for longer than she did. When I threatened to leave, she burst out in real tears and held on to my legs and begged me not to leave, otherwise she would kill herself. Obviously a ploy to make me feel guilty for leaving her, but how do you fake an abundant down pouring of tears? It seemed like rain coming down.

I don't think she was in love with me like she claimed because she is not capable of love. They are empty souls. That much is agreed upon, but they do have feelings in one or two areas. Of course all the changes she promised didn't last because how exactly does one change a personality overnight? Was she interested in changing after the episode was over? Probably not. I saw her crying quite a bit about losing full custody of her son and decided not to bring up the subject of her son anymore as the tears were spontaneous. They do care about something. She then asked me to kill her former husband, so she could get custody again. No morals, obviously. I reported the issue to her ex-husband. After she finished talking with him, he no longer believed anything I said. Smooth, yes. We have been divorced for 6 years now.

The main point is that they do have some feeling but they are empty souls for sure, and are very insecure They do not show feeling in front of others and especially not in the one hour they pay a visit to the psychiatrist so it may appear they have no feelings. However they do cry behind closed doors and they do drugs quite a bit because they can't deal with the emotions or their conscience. They just present a strong front to others. They do break down eventually, all of them, but they do come back and play the same game again once they are back. Unless you been in relationships with more than few, you wouldn't know this.

The other point is that successful leaders can be very aggressive, but some of them actually have morals. It doesn't make them have psychopathic traits. They do not need to be boring and passive like Robert Hare to be considered normal.

Like most academicians who lacked a real personal and social life outside of work, these people try to judge, criticize people with real lives and what they don't understand. It's mostly armchair hypothesizing based on work experience.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
robi banerjee
This book is overrated. It's more a series of psychiatric musings than a methodical survey of the psychotic mind. The book benefits from neither the discipline of empirical research nor the interest that might be created if the author told an actual story/narrative regarding a particular case. Instead, the author sets forth his theory of psychotic traits -- the psychotic check list -- and goes about "proving" this by anecdotal reference to examples from his practice or the observations that others have made regarding notable psychopaths. Some of the information is interesting, for example, ideas about neurological failures that are common to psychotic minds (such as disorganized language). However, I suspect there is more rigorous and recent treatment of subjects like this in fields like cognitive neuroscience. Don't waste time or money on this one.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
muse8
Not a fan. Dr. Hare is a little too pretentious in how he writes for my liking. Psychology is ever changing, so to boast about your findings and revelations with such matter-of-factness is somewhat frustrating to read (especially since this was written in the 90's and it was so early on). It was also very repetitive in nature - like we get it psychopaths are beguiling and manipulative. 3 stars because of the extensive research and examples presented.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
avraham
I have read many books on sociopaths. Recently had one I was able to watch up close over a period of weeks. The pathological lying and manipulation 24/7 was difficult to stay on top of. But the evil purposes within these types to tear down everything around them and undermine all through any means, the injustice they use as a constant, makes you wonder how they could live with themselves if they ever caught a glimpse of themselves in a mirror. I thought for a long time they could be reasoned with on some level, it is not possible. As the author describes them: "Psychopaths are social predators who charm, manipulate, and ruthlessly plow their way through life, leaving a broad trail of broken hearts, shattered expectations, and empty wallets. Completely lacking in conscience and in feelings for others, they selfishly take what they want and do as they please..." There is truly, "no one there", it is a synthetic type of entity. They are willing to create massive damage to those who trust them for minute and momentary advantage, absolutely ruthless. Not all are charismatic and the "sheepish" ones can really submerge under the radar. I was hung up on "how to handle" these types. As I am generally very direct. They only become more covert when confronted. You do have to, "love bomb" them in the same synthetic way to get them out of your space and to handle them to "move on". You can only slide them off you comfortably if they are fully convinced you have been utterly defrauded and deceived and you bought into their game hook line and sinker. Yes, you have to embrace the evil. Speak of how great they are and how lovely the weather is. You are dealing with a kind of animal. This book is a survival guide, don't open your door to strangers with out it.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
jessica stone
It's a fairly simple look at psychopathy. It attempts to be broad and to sensationalize the subject and, consequently, fails to provide a meaningful, insightful look at the subject, succeeding only to betray the author's academic credentials.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
charles orlik
This book was tough to read because the author's arrogance was front and center most of the book. He trotted out his ... high level vocabulary in the very first sentence of the introduction, and it continued throughout. I made myself finish this book, looking for relevance to my life. It made two impressions on me. First, this book was a study of prison populations. The purpose of the book appeared to be to "sell" the criminal justice system and anyone who works with offenders on the use of a checklist this author developed. Second, this book was 95% development, followed by 5% theory summation that may or may not be relevant. Honestly, while it might be great for some, it wasn't great for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wicked
People referred to as psychopaths are human anomalies, probably accidents of nature, free of those constraints we call "conscience," who live among us like members of mainstream society, until their impulses lead them to acts of exploitation, deception, and self-gratification that leave us baffled. Based on a career of working with psychopaths and their victims, Hare presents a flowing description of their world, interspersed with multiple case histories, effectively short and to-the-point. As one reads, questions arise, but one only has to turn the page to find each question answered in the next section. Hare's writing has that rare combination of carefully crafted simplicity, approprate drama, and scientific objectivism. The case histories are like exerpts from film strips. The degree of repetition is just right to drive home the simple messages regarding this perplexing human anomaly. For those of us who have experienced psychopaths in our lives, and realize it, Hare's repeated humble admission that even he and his students are fooled from time to time is reassuring. Unfortunately most of us who live in the company of psychopaths do not know it. Their charm, charisma, deceptions, and manipulations are so effective that most people -- even those who consider themselves street-wise -- remain clueless or in denial, even when the truth is pointed out. This book, therefore, will have more traction with those who realize that they have been "had" than with those have been "had" but fail to admit it. This, perhaps, is the most important lesson of all. Psychopaths influence our individual lives and entire societies primarily because we let them.

I have two regrets regarding this book. First, I would like to have seen more attention paid to non-criminal psychopaths, but Hare addresses these in a separate book. Second, I would like to have seen the Psychopathy Checklist he frequently refers to, but he probably witholds this to steer readers aways from engaging in frivolous diagnosis of individuals in their lives.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
hugmewonnie
A considerable fraction of the human population, perhaps five percent, are psychopaths, unable to experience the emotions of shame, guilt, empathy, and sympathy for the plight of others. This book purports to analyze the psychopathic personality, but fails miserably. The author spends most of his time entertaining the reader with the goulish exploits of famous serial murderers and other notorious killers, yet has not the slightest evidence that they are psychopaths. Moreover, Hare stereotypes psychpaths rather than analyzing them. All the people he interviews and describes are good looking, intelligent, verbal, social charmers, impulsive, glib and lie extensively. Each and every one, mind you. The real world of psychopaths is more nuanced.

Virtually all of the evidence presented concerning the psychology of psychopathy are from interviews and writings of the psychopaths themselves. But if they lie freely and without compunction, why should we believe their own stories? There is, of course, absolutely no reason. Moreover, we know that some psychopaths are quite sadistic (they torture their victims, kill animals) while others are simply devoid of feeling for others. Shouldn't these be two different types of personality syndrome?

This is a very good read with lots of gruesome titillation. Dr. Hare evidently wrote a Psychopathy Checklist, but we never get to see it, or to find out why it's a valid indicator of anything. I didn't learn much from this shallow volume.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
bryan schlundt
Some good basic information, but clouded by the authors insistence that his checklist is "the thing to use". Author pats himself on the back a little too often. He refers repeatedly to a prison population making it hard to relate the information to other environments.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
junaid
Pop psychology supposedly from a real psychologist, who reads like a pseudo-scientist who would prefer to write crime novels. If you are looking for real info about a real condition, look elsewhere in the world of academia and research. Although ehe author supposedly invented the well-known "checklist" and trains people on how to use it, this book is a major disappointment to anyone who is interested in the scientific and/or actuarial basis for this personality construct.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ruby ontiveros
Poorly written, superficial book. Author's own point-of-view and his "Checklist" are repeated endlessly. Also, counter explanations of psychopathy are dismissed out of hand- all with little to no valid empirical reference. Do not buy this book!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
deathmaskduplicant
This author has the highest reputation. He has devised a "checklist" that purportedly exposes psychopaths in our midst. That test is often forced on prisoners trying to get parole and supersedes good behavior in prison. Hare's condemnation of psychopaths is extremely harsh and can easily create a witch hunt mentality.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
veronika777
I have purchased this book four times because I have "loaned" it three times only to have my lenders not being able to part with it. It's that good. This book is not at all about murderers-it is about the subtitle, the "Psychopaths Among Us." This book is written for clinical and non-clinical readers. It is very comprehensible to the lay person and detailed enough for an analyst. I learned so much from this book that I referenced it in my own book, Protecting Emilie, a true story of parental alienation. http://www.the store.com/Protecting-Emilie-L-Heim/dp/1517689899/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446639430&sr=1-1&keywords=protecting+emilie
Like Dr. Hare points out in his book, psychopaths are non-feeling human beings (albeit just one of their evil traits) and parental alienators putting their vengeance before the well-being of their children without remorse is certainly one group of people about whom this book may have been written. I strongly recommend this book to everyone. It may be that neighbor, the boss, the student, the roommate or anyone you already know, but I sadly believe we all know at least one person without a conscience and this book will definitely give you insight.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
raro de concurso
This could have been written within 100 pages. Continuous repetition of the same analyses. Psychopaths are evil, greedy, manipulative, glib (word used ad nauseam) and power-hungry; have no conscience; can't be changed; and you have no authority to use that word -- psychopath -- although you know who they are -- especially those in power over the country.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sareh
This is one of the most disturbing books I have come across in recent history. What makes it so chilling is the fact that it describes, in gruesome detail, some people who are very close to me.

The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is described in technical terms. The author presented this paper to others in the medical profession, but it is written in a way that a layman can understand.

I could only read it a few chapters at a time, and occasionally, had to put it aside for a break. It is intense, and unsettling.

When you come to the realization that these people live and work among us, it makes you wary. The book is an excellent resource if you are curious about someone who seems "a little off."
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ricky
Despite the reviews and my initial excitement for this book I couldnt get into it at all. I'm not sure how you can make psychopaths this boring unless you are an author that spends half of the intro talking about why you should be talking about psychopaths.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
raja jaawwaad
Dr. Robert Hare, Father of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, has written a very insightful if not unnerving book, one that is not excessively horrifying in its detail of the criminal mindset but still alarming and cautionary enough in what it has to say; it makes one truly want to understand what this human defect of psychopathy is. Where does it stem from? Is it chemical, biological, heredity, environmental or all of the above? The latter seems to be the most plausible conclusion. While at times the book can be a wee bit dry in some areas, in others, it can be downright frightening as well as instructional, academic and statistical. What was really informative about this work is that it does not delve specifically into the area of serial killers and the like, as is the norm with most books of this sort. But what Hare does do particularly well is study the thinking, or rather, the lack thereof, in both sociopaths and psychopaths alike, and he illustrates their conniving and manipulative behaviors in day-to-day society, be it the workplace or in places where their creative deviancy can climax safely and without detection. However, I personally think that having an audience is the ultimate high and or thrill for people suffering from this shortage of conscience. Hare uses criminal records, family interviews and simple every day newspaper clippings in order to highlight the frightening truths that psychopathy, disturbing though it may be, is something that is not only very real but also ever present in daily life; chances are, we have all met with an individual who fits the bill. However, not all moral and ethical deviants wind up as serial killers. Sometimes, though, they can be just as bad. These are people who can rob you blind while holding you in their arms and gazing lovingly into your eyes. Or they can be the lothario who uses you to get to your daughter and onward and onward. They are performers par excellence in their crafty ability to tell you what you want and need to hear. Their ability to imitate societal norms gets increasingly perfected the more they succeed in their enterprises. Unfortunately, many victims get burned in the process. And the criminals, those caught and those still free, well, they just don’t bat and eyelash and continue doing what they’re doing: Harming people. And even when they’re behind bars, they still play the same con game. The game is their lifeblood, their food. They have insatiable wants. And damn anyone to hell who gets in their way. This was a very informative read, perhaps a bit more academic than what readers will normally read but still engaging nonetheless.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
mohamed saladin
What's truly disturbing is that anyone can write a book. Poorly written, and on a sixth grade level at that, this book doesn't have any new information. My 12 year old son liked it, so I guess it was worth the few bucks I paid.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
dorie
I am the "long suffering" Mother of one of these creatures.If you'd like to read my story buy this book. I have several books on this topic. Some I get from the library.

I checked out Without Conscience from my local branch. I didn't read past page 37. Put the book back the the library bag and ordered it that same day.

It begs to be highlighted. Other critics took issue with the use of prisioners. But they are mistaken. Most of these creatures spend at least a little in some sort of prison.

My son has had a few stays in the county jail, and the work release program. Violated his probation repeatedly. Just spent the last 5 months. Until he could do his "thing" on the judge. He got off, probation was cancelled, he got his full driving privliges, incredible!

We haven't spoken since and it tears me up. But THIS book and others like it keep me from weeping every time there's more emotional carnage.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ambarishh halwasiya
I have been absorbing all information regarding Psychopaths, my Fiancé’s son is 100% a psychopath! While it makes me sad that there really isn’t any help for psychopaths as they don’t diagnose it unless something horrible happens-it is good to know what to look for or in my case, confirm what I already suspected to keep myself safe.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
annie rundle
Before reading this book, I had, like many others, harbored two misconceptions about psychopaths: that psychopaths are people who cut others into pieces and that they're very rare. I originally got to this book because of my interest in serial killers. Reading the back of the book, I realised the "psychopaths" mentioned here were talked of as if they were everywhere.

"Psychopath" is a term very loosely employed by the general public, and this book does a great job to sharpen its meaning. That was indeed the purpose of the book to begin with: to give the non-specialised audience a scholarly introduction to this psychiatric subject. Mission accomplished, in my opinion. So what's a psychopath? In very, very short, it's an individual who has virtually no emotions, or "proto-emotions", and thus have severely impaired empathy, or none whatsoever. That individual has typical traits: grandiose sense of self, unfaltering self-confidence, ability to lie and lie and lie, even in face of the obvious, etc. A psychopath doesn't need to be a cannibal or a murderer. According to the book, only 1 individual among 30,000 psychopaths is a serial killer, and only 2 or 3% of the population are psychopaths (which is far more than I expected with my original understanding of what a psychopath was).

Reading this book, you will most likely be reminded of people you have met in your own life, and realise that this person was probably a psychopath. Some of these traits are rather blatant, once you think of it, but an problem unnamed is a problem unsolved. Once you recognise a problem enough that you can give it a name, then you can do something about it (even if it's just knowing what you're dealing with, to protect yourself, as is mostly the case with psychopaths; there is no known cure). For that alone, this book is a valuable document. Considering the percentage of us who might be psychopaths, to a small or larger degree, everyone should know something about psychopathy. Living with one, assuming he or she is a normal human like everyone else, with emotions the same as everyone else, is an illusion that can prove shattering, especially for parents of a young psychopath, and the current trend to assume that all criminals became so because of how they were raised, whereas, as this book proves, education, society, etc, can't affect a psychopath's brain very much. Influence, surely, but cause psychopathy, no.

If you are looking for a book that explores the dark maze (fantasised maze) of a serial killer's mind - which is what I was looking for - you won't quite find that here, or rather, you'll find that a psychopath's mind is not interesting. Instead of a maze, you find an empty room with no windows, but no extraordinary complexities either. It's not a maze at all. We tend to fantasise about psychopaths because they do all the forbidden things we won't do. That fantasy has us imagine ourselves in their place and motivate their motives with our own; the difference being that their motives are usually very trivial (pleasure), and their evil about as basic as babies pooping their diapers. That's not good for Hollywood, so they always make psychopaths be schemers of the highest order, far from reality.

Doctor Hare shows us that psychopathy is much more common place than usually believed, and gives us a masterly description, in terms everyone can understand. I can only praise this book for the insight into this strange disorder that is psychopathy. I also appreciate the fact that Dr. Hare isn' dogmatic and admits that there is much we don't know about the subject. The many anecdotes in the book are great, living examples of the information put forward. Some are frightening, others are funny in a twisted sort of way. The obvious lying, the contradictions, everything is illustrated with samples from interviews and such.

A valuable document.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
max woodhams
Hare's book, WITHOUT CONSCIENCE, is extremely insightful and informative on the subject of psychopathy. This is not surprising, as he is probably the most important researcher on the subject to date and is the inventor of the psychopathy checklist that has come to define psychopathy within the psychological community.

The book by now is a little bit dated and Hare's frequent references to characters in popular movies and novels (which were apparently intended to make it more accessible) undermine the seriousness of the subject and the rigor of the psychological science behind it.

Nevertheless, this is probably the best and most accurate account of psychopathy available to lay readers.

There are many significant details here that are commonly overlooked in other popular accounts of psychopathy, such as the psychopath's lack of fear or anxiety, which is rooted in a general emotional emptiness that characterizes psychopathy and is an important aspect of the condition. Most popular accounts overlook this important feature of psychopathy that is essential to understanding how psychopaths can be such good liars and appear so charming in social situations. In the worst cases, the serial killers, it is important to understand this aspect of the psychopath personality in order to understand how the serial killer can conceal himself and lure his victims so effectively. Jeffrey Dahmer, as Hare describes by way of example, was caught outside by the police with a naked and bleeding teenage boy who had just escaped his apartment, but he calmly played the situation off to the police as a lover's spat, was released by the police with the boy in hand, and took the boy home and finished torturing and killing him. A normal person in this situation would be overcome with fear and anxiety at the presence of the police, and this would be a key indicator to the police that something was wrong, but research (as Hare describes) has consistently shown that psychopaths do not experience fear and anxiety in the sense that normal people understand these emotions. This lack of fear and anxiety, Hare argues, is one of the reasons why criminal psychopaths have been virtually impossible to reform, because the fear and anxiety about the consequences of his actions that might keep a normal criminal in check has little motivating force on the psychopath.

Does that mean that psychopaths would excel at dangerous jobs? Not at all, and Hare explains why.

The book is filled with crucial insights and is well worth the read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
kylie sullivan
"Without Conscience" by Robert D. Hare is disappointing.
Despite the fact the rear cover makes reference to the
author's life time achievement award in 2005 none of the
sources cited for the book are more recent than 1994.

While psychopaths are elusive, in 2009 one must suspect
that additional insights have been gained on the topic,
especially if the author is as authoritative as publisher
suggests.

Additionally, all the conclusions and insights
presented are based on case studies and movies.
This made the conclusions Hare drew feel decidedly
unscientific

For the above reasons, it is difficult for me to recommend
"Without Conscience" as much more than a superficial
presentation by a well regarded scholar.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
shubhendu
This might be an excellent book for someone who must personally recognize and deal with a psychopath. That's the biggest plus for it.

However, it fell short for me in at least four ways:

1) It's long on anecdotes and short on science. Indeed, many of the anecdotes are drawn from the popular press, novels, movies, and the like, with the rest being either disguised or composite profiles from the author's own experience.

2) The main bit of science that is claimed is the author's checklist for psychopathy. However, while it's referred to countless times, it is barely and inadequately described. There's no evidence given for its validity. To a slight extent the entire book reads as an infomercial for the checklist.

3) The book, somewhat understandably given its publication date, misses all mention of mirror neurons and their likely role. It does mention some early EEG studies in passing. Perhaps a more recent book might offer much deeper understanding of the genetics and neurophysiology underlying psychopathy.

4) One of the interesting conclusions of the book is that psychopathy shows up at an early age, it almost surely has a very strong "nature" component in the old nature/nurture debate, and that it has proven resistant to any sort of a cure. Likely useful information. However, this conclusion begs the next question of what society is to do with the one percent or perhaps more of its population that are psychopaths.

The bottom line, for me, was that there was a magazine-article's worth of information here. The repetition might be useful for some readers, but I would rather have seen those extra pages devoted to either real science or an expanded discussion of how society should/might cope.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
wesley
I found Dr. Hare's book quite an exciting read. I was expecting a fairly boring scientific study, which I would read for my job. But I was pleasantly surprised. This book reads like a novel: easy writing styles, good examples, and good logical flow. Furthermore, the book provides very comprehensive study of psychopaths. Someone here in complained that the book mostly focused on the prison population. It is common for most scientific research to focus on available population. However, information provided in this book can be easily extrapolated on the rest of the general public. Having met psychopaths in various realms, I can say that once you know what they look like, you can spot one on a random train, at a party, on your hospital unit, etc. No book can depict all psychopaths in their entirety. But Dr. Hare did the most comprehensive job I know.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sateeshkrishna
The term "psychopath" is thrown around in common conversation and can also be seen often misrepresented on television and newscasts. Dr. Hare, who was the architect for the Psychopathy Checklist, defines intelligently on what a true psychopath is composed of. Horrifically enough, the number of psychopaths walking amongst us are frightening. These unhealthy parasites often go under the radar and undiagnosed. While reading this, the reader might find someone they know to share some similar characteristics of a psychopath. Be forewarned only a trained professional can accurately diagnose one as a psychopath, even the author explains how difficult this process is. Each chapter is full of information on cases, interviews, and highlights of high profile psychopaths. A fascinating and informational read suggested for everyone. Do not become the victim of one of these monsters, be informed! Dr. Hare wraps up this book with a survival guide and tips on how to best protect one's self.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
liz heit
I read this book a few years ago, and I couldn't put it down until I finished it. The reason that I was so interested was that I had the misfortune to work with one in the office I worked in, and although I knew he was unusually manipulative and aggressive, I never had a name for it. This book actually seemed to be written about him. When I shared it with others, who knew him well, they were floored. He manipulated people high and low, and planned it, and enjoyed it. He had a son, hand raised to be just like him. Over the years, I found, psychopaths consider their affliction as a superior capability. They put a lot of effort into making others live to the letter of the law, while they obey none of it. They memorize every rulebook just for that purpose. One part of the book I should have, paid attention to, was the advice, when you meet one, stay away from them. Don't cross them, you cannot win. That part should be memorized and lived by. I always laughed at him, and taunted him, thinking I was being playful. He burned me good. Police jobs seem to attract psychopaths.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
courtney kleefeld
This for me (so far) book would have to be the ultimate reading into the study into human evil.

In removing the human notion of grisly or macabre from the actual 'psychopathic' personality, the true nature of evil shows itself as people generally lacking the mechanism for empathy. Some years ago, I (like most people) thought that the cannibals and torturers represented the utmost evil. But as I became more attuned to the finer points of human intent on doing evil, I realized that it was much more than gory outcomes. According to this book psychopaths are a whole class of people that range from the fine-suited CEO to the basement murder/torturer. These are people that believe in their entitlement to victimize people, even believing their own con and seamlessly placing it in their minds as actual truths as part of their survival mechanism.

Dr. Hare now gives me a new angle at how I look at the nature of evil. It somehow remakes everything I have researched on- even the concept of narcissism. The books has many eureka moments for me as I have dealt with real narcissists and maybe one or two psychopaths who are actually society-respectable people.

I regard this book as a valuable keeper to the point that I won't even lend it. It makes me rethink everything I have set in stone. In looking at murderers, thieves, rapists and swindlers, I have started to see how many of society's ills are just a product of society's shortfall and not so much as intrinsic intent to commit evil. But deep inside I tend to agree with he anecdotal incidents in the book that there are people who are just born psychopathic. It's a tough cookie to swallow but it makes one think hard.

A subject like this deserves some follow-up reading but I'm not sure which books actually go down the same path. This is a tough act to extend. Baron-Cohen's looks like it might be. I don't know. Suggestions are welcome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alina vargas
I have been acquainted with some first class psychopaths and there is very little information on the subject available to the public. Current psychiatry doesn't know much about them. It is very true that even most psychologists/psychiatrists are fooled by them because they have learned the art of posturing for their audience (victims). They may appear to be the understanding, sensitive, fun person you always dreamed about. I have had an aunt and a friend almost killed by their husbands who fit the psycho profile, and you would never guess it. They were both left with massive debts. The lengths these husbands went to, to build an illusion, were amazing. I was so shocked when I found out their real history, and I think they did actually love their wives, at least as much as they were capable of. I was very glad to find Hare's book on the subject and just absorbed every word.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ayas
Robert D. Hare, in this book, definitely does define what a psychopath is and how to differentiate the type from a mere conniver, mere liar or someone suffering from "Narcissistic personality disorder." The essentials of the type brought out in the book through much (too much) repetition are lack of empathy, rapid if vague or unclear word-usage accompanied by "beats" or rapid and dramatic hand gestures to camouflage the lack of direct communication, charm (either sexual or baby-like), and a reptilian-like, staring gaze, all of which traits are accompanied by deceit and violence from a very early age.

My one objection to the book, besides its nearly overwhelming, anecdotal repetitiveness, is that the author attempts to make the psychopath appear attractive by emphasizing the psychopath's "good looks" and attractiveness. Psychopaths have certainly cornered no market on beauty! It's a cinematic myth that Mr. Hare wants to perpetuate here, a view he underscores by giving copious references to the many riveting movies the reader can watch and which capture the "charming" psychopathic personality in action. However, realistically, take a good look at pictures of John Wayne Gacy on the Internet, if you can stomach it. Or look at photos of Mary Ann Cotton. Think she's a hot number? It seems that Jeffrey Dahmer's visage is supposed to be the prototype for all psychopaths. It may be understandable to make the psychopath attractive for a riveting cinematic event as entertainment, but it's ethically disgusting to glamorize this type while attempting to educate the public about the anti-human psychology of such a type and theorize how science can explain such a type's behavior.

I don't know that this particular reader wants for a more scientific explanation or assessment of the psychopath than is found in this book, although many other reviewers on the store complain the book is merely "popular" and insufficient on some practical or useful grounds. I have encountered manipulative, controlling, and Narcisstic personalities in my adult life, but I had no idea there was another type that, by comparison and contrast, make such characters appear balanced and grounded.

This book forewarns and forearms you with knowledge so that dealing with this type can be averted or short-circuited, and that is a great gift to each reader who finds this book, although the most heart-wrenching circumstance remains that of the parents who discover their son or daughter is a psychopath. Nature produces this atavistic type but science has found no means of inducing moral sanity to those without moral foundations at all.

*****
Postcript: With your search engine, search for an article entitled "Twilight of the Psychopaths" (August 31, 2008) by Dr. Kevin Barrett. Choose "twilight psychopaths canada" and you're bound to find it. It offers some hope.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joana starnes
Hare's book, along with Martha Stout's (The Sociopath Next Door), are probably the most accessible, easy-to-read introductions to the reality of psychopathy. Without Conscience is loaded with entertaining and disturbing accounts of researchers' experiences with psychopaths. You can see almost first-hand the psychopath's strange use of language, his total disregard for the truth, his absolute lack of guilt or conscience.

Hare debunks some of the myths of psychopathy, like the idea that it is the result of poor child rearing, and that it is the same as 'antisocial personality disorder'.

If you enjoyed this book, a more advanced work is James Blair et al.'s The Psychopath: Emotion and the Brain. It gets more into the actual neuroscience, and is more up to date. Also, probably the best book on the importance of the problem of psychopathy on society and culture is Andrew Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology. It is an analysis of the effect of psychopathic individuals on political processes (particularly Nazism and Communism, but equally applicable to modern systems like Neoconservatism).

I consider all of the above books to be essential reading. What you don't know CAN hurt you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jillian lauren
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sahukari
Hare is the world's foremost authority on the psychopath. If the psychopath is born to win in matters of power, then the worlds of politics in business, where survival of the fittest is the rule, are staffed with the creme de la creme of world psychopathy, as is organized religion. You will never look at the world the same way again after reading this well documented and well though out and extensive study.

After I'd read this book I became curious as to how I'd fare up against a non-criminal psychopath. Then I ran into a guy I'd known in high school who fit Hare's checklist 100%. I maintained an extensive association with this guy for about a year. He acted in the exact same way that Hare described his psychopath case studies. Thanks to Hare's book, I was able to anticipate this guy's behaviour ahead of time and I always managed to stay one step ahead of him.

Anyway, read this book and think about its greater implications. It isn't about the psychopaths AMONG us as it is about the ones who govern over us.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
luaya30
Too many books on sociopaths are written in such a way that they lead you to believe that anyone you don't like (primarily bosses, coworkers and your ex (s)) could be described as one. Dr. Hare, one of the world's leading experts on antisocial behavior has written a short, concise and informative book on what a sociopath is and, just as important, what they are not. It's not enough to say "mean people are bad...and EVIL!" Dr. Hare takes the important step of distinguishing the ordinary bad things that people do to each other out of ignorance and thoughtlessness from the mindful, directed, calculating predatory qualities that distinguish the true sociopath. It would be nice if the book gave more of a survey of the field beyond his own research, but you can't blame the guy since he's actually done so much good research himself. This is probably the best non-academic book on the topic you can buy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristen samuelson
This is the best book I have read on psychopathy and here's why. For starters, it is very well-written. Dr. Hare tells interesting stories about psychopaths rendering it easy to identify those psychopathic traits and behaviors that we encounter in people in our everyday lives. He also discusses how easily one can be conned by these personalities (professionals included), thereby mitigating any shame one may experience as the aftermath of having been exploited by one of these characters. Also, the author doesn't simply educate his readers regarding what behaviors to be look out for, but also includes a chapter on how to protect oneself from psychopaths. Finally, this book isn't simply anecdotal, Dr. Hare has based his findings on research but has been blessed with the gift of translating academic constructs into a highly readable and palatable book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
laura mcgowan
Most people have heard the terms sociopath or psychopath. To many it creates conitations of people who commit crimes without conscience. While psychpaths certainly are an identified criminal group, many being well known, a read through this book will broaden your thoughts on psychopaths, who they are and what they can do. Many live among us and certainly are not charged with or convicted of crimes but can still cause havoc and heartache for their victims.

I had little trouble identifying a number of people I have encounted who fit the criteria.

Certainly the author continuously 'pushes' a tool he developed to identify how likely an individual is to be classified as a psychopath, but he appears quite respected in his work as I have read many references to him in many other texts. He certainly comes over as passionate on the subject.

So who should take a look at this book. I feel it would have wide audience appeal, as most people who pick it up tend to read on. Anyone wanting to get a good 'starting knowledge' of psychiopaths and the alarming frequency with which they 'float' through or around most people's lives should definitely read the book. Psychopaths have the potential to wreck havoc in the lives of their victims. They have an inbuilt 'radar' for the most vunerable. This book lists the warning signs and what(and who) to avoid. Considering the reasonable price and being an 'easy read' I would have to put it on a should read list.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
briana
The subject of psychopathy and narcissism has been explored in many books, some that I personally read, however this one is the most comprehensive and interesting thus far. Other books were either misleading or devoid of real explanation, at least to the extent the reader would fully apreciate and understand. This author literally goes out of his way to write in a manner conducive for average persons such as myself. I appreciate this book because of its compelling information and the way it is written, which is to say it is a real " page turner". I highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in psychopathic and or sociopathic behavior. At the very most we might learn how to spot these people and better protect our money, happiness, and general well being. Thank you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bitchie
Highly recommended to read. Hare deals with the serious subject of psychopathy in a thorough way and covers all the essentials. Throughout the text the subject matter is illustrated by many examples from real life, which makes it easier to understand.

The disturbing fact is that about 1 out of 25 people is a psychopath and most of them do not end up in jail or mental institutions. On the contrary they climb the corporate ladder, become politicians or just simply con or defraud ordinary people without getting caught.

Best protection is to understand about psychopathy and how psychopaths operates in our midst.

Read it along with these other complimentary books on the subject: "In sheeps clothing", "The sociopath next door", "Political Ponerology" and "The Mask of Sanity".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kate fruehan
This is an excellent introduction to the world of the psychopath. The checklist is an excellent diagnostic tool. I found myself wondering, if the brain scanning work Dr. Hare describes (Chapter 8) is accurate, why we don't skip all the therapy & subjective analysis and just wire 'em up?
I would recommend this book as a good basic introduction for the lay person, and an excellent resource for any person in the field of couples counseling, premarital counseling, or any other sort of relationship therapy. Perhaps if people could recognize the signs of psychopathic behavior early enough, their lives would not be destroyed by sick relationships. The best defense against psychopaths is to recognize them for what they are and not get tangled in their web. Here is what left me feeling the most hopeless: the book had no real good advice for what to do when you realize that the person you've chosen as a best friend, spouse, business partner, etc. is a psychopath, long after you've entangled your life & fortunes with him/her.
This book left me saddened. There are people in my life I have tried to understand, hoping that if I could only "get where they're coming from", I could develop some empathy & caring for them instead of being utterly repelled. But, if, as Dr. Hare states, Psychopaths are not curable or treatable, what's the point? It's hopeless. Our society is not one in which some authority figure could administer tests, prove that the person is not curable and is incapable of rehabilitation, and then put them to death. For good or ill, that's just not the way we do things. In the case of proven psychopaths, I sort of wish it was.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
meghna
Dr. Hare’s book is THE BOOK on psychopathy. If one wants to learn about the topic, Dr. Robert Hare is considered the leading authority in the world. As the author of THE SECRET LIFE OF CAPTAIN X: MY LIFE WITH A PSYCHOPATH PILOT, this book provided me with so many answers. It should be mandatory reading for anyone over 17, warning them that there are indeed bad people out there. If I had only known! Buy it and give it as gifts. Thank you Dr. Hare!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
becca kaplan
This book touches on so many facets of those that appear to "fly just below the radar" of the criminal aspect of what an undiagnosed psychopath's destruction can lead to. Those that are left undiagnosed can live within society and appear to some degree as normal within the confines of their home. Author, Robert D. Hare gives us, from page one, the true insight to the destruction that a psychopathic mind can achieve. When said, "Without Conscience" this is the essence of the psychopath. The one who can say, "I love you" and leave you penniless and heart broken. The lies upon lies to the point that even the psychopath themselves begin to believe what they say. The pattern can sometimes be brought on possibly by a parent who enables the already genetically imbalanced psychopath from a very young age by covering up for their misgivings. Eventually to the point that they believe they can do no wrong. Unfortunately, although the author's book delves into many facets of this altered mind, I believe there is a tremendous amount of research to be done. As the books states, their are many walking among us, that it takes a keen eye and a well studied psychologist to identify the symptoms of the psychopath. Because the psychopath either goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed, unfortunately proper treatment is often overlooked. The psychopath, those that go through life without conscience can end up harming themselves by shoving everyone they encounter on a personal level eventually out of their lives or attempt to treat themselves through drug addictions. Most of those without conscience have narcissistic tendencies, with over inflated egos. Their behaviors become more and more abnormal. This book touches on most of the topics I suggest within this review. If nothing else, if you have had an encounter with someone that fits this description the book acts as a therapeutic tool as well as educational.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy mexted
This was one of the earliest books I read on psychopaths. I've since read many more on the topic and this is still a classic. In fact, I return to it every so often. Hare's extensive research into psychopathy has resulted in his psychopath's checklist- a useful tool or clinicians and forensic psychologists. In this particular book he doesn't exactly spell it out in a "checklist", but he describes psychopaths behavior by behavior, using cases he has worked with while a prison psychologist. His work is presented in easy to read laymen terms that suggest psychopathy is not the result of poor upbringing, harsh, abusive or even overindulgent childhood, although those things may play a role. Hare's research points to a strong biological, possibly genetic component to this costly (from society's point of view) disorder. He also cites' Hervey Cleckley, an early authority on the topic. I suspect a few people became interested in this particular area of research because of both Ceckley and Hare's work. It was such an easy read that I was done before I knew it. The ease of reading also says a lot about a book, considering that at the end, you've gained a good amount of knowledge about a heavy and often contentious issue.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lisa benson
This is far and away the best book on psychopaths. It covers nearly every aspect of them - their behavior, how to recognize one (although Dr. Hare quite properly cautions against making a diagnosis), how to protect yourself against one. It does not cover the psychodynamic issues involve, e.g., conflicts and unconscious processes; Dr. Hare explicitly avoids those issues as not properly the subject matter of his book (p. xii), and I feel that the book is complete without any discussion of them.

It does not offer a solution in the form of treatment for psychopaths individually or in the form of recommendations for families or any larger group to prevent the production of more psychopaths. Dr. Hare is commendably honest in saying that psychopaths are poor candidates for psychotherapy, which may actually make them worse (pp. 195-196).

The copyright on the book is 1993. Dr. Hare notes toward the end of the book (p. 203) that "the Canadian government recently challenged me to design an experimental treatment/management program for [criminal psychopaths]." I truly hope that Dr. Hare updates this book to include the results of that program and of other research done since 1993.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer guyer
Robert Hare is the consummate genius and best authority when it comes to dealing with psychopaths. A Canadian doctor, Robert Hare has spent over 35 years studying and researching psychopathy. He developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist and the Screening Checklist among others. Over his tenure he has studied prisoners, youth, people in the work place (oops) and others and spends time lecturing all over the world. In this brilliant book he details how he came about his journey and where it led.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
liza decamp
I read this book a few years ago and was fascinated by it - as someone who reads true crime books, such as those written by Ann Rule, I wondered about the mental make-up of psychopaths and how they came to be they way they are. Professor Hare's book is not an academic text but instead, is geared towards the layperson. I feel he does an excellent job of explaining what psychopaths are, how they came to be that way (unlike other writers, he does not blame childhood abuse entirely but notes that there seems to be a genetic component involved, as well) and how to recognize them.

I turned to this book again after following the Scott Peterson trial and hearing experts describe him as a "classic psychopath". Dr. Hare's description of the psychopath's inability to feel emotion would seem to explain Scott Peterson's behaviour: his total lack of remorse, his callous and cavalier actions during the time his wife was "missing" and finally, his complete lack of any reaction at all to the verdict and sentencing.

A very good book, highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
aiman
If you know an individual who falsely accuses you of behaviors, feelings, and thoughts that are not yours; blames you for anything and everything that ever goes wrong, you need to read this book. These are the defining traits of a psychopath who projects his/her flaws onto others and never takes responsibility for any of his/her actons. A significant number of individuals in American society are psychopaths. According to some sources, approximately 30% of American males and 10% of American females are psychopaths. Psychopaths do not have conscience nor feelings of empathy and compassion for others. They are predators who charm, manipulate, lie, deceive, and take advantage of others without the slightest sense of guilt, shame or regret. They are impulsive, and have insatiable greed for power, control, prestige, money, and sex. They rob you of what is rightfully yours. When thinking about psychopaths, most people can recall cold blooded killers such as Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, Kenneth Taylor, and fictional characters like Hannibal Lecter of the movie Silence of Lambs but the sad fact is majority of the psychopaths conduct their business without killing people and with ease they thrive amongst us. They succeed because most normal people can not see through their games and their tactics. They appear completely normal and rather interesting to unsuspecting targets. If you have been targeted by a psychopath in your personal or professional life, you have probably been ruthlessly pounded and you have sustained a considerable emotional and financial injury along with damage to your reputation. Psychopaths are found in every segment of society. They leave behind lots of betrayed, innocent victims who were carefully handpicked by the psychopaths. This book is the result of several years of research done by Hare (1999) and colleagues on these evil creatures. The author provides you clear picture of a psychopath's profile, discusses causes of this personality disorder, and gives you tips on how to identify and protect yourself from these criminals. You might also like to visit Robert Hare's web site devoted to the study of psychopathy [[...] I would recommend that you read two other books as well, "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout and, "Snakes in Suits" by Paul Babiak and Robert Hare. The knowledge gained from these resources will definitely empower you and if another psychopath ever knocks at your door and tries to charm you, you will know exactly what to do. If you are exploring this book because of your interest in the topic of psychopathy, I would still greatly recommend this book to you along with other resources I have mentioned. Please note that terms "psychopath" and "sociopath" are often used interchangeably.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
vakil
After reading this book made me realize what I suspected for a long time. A close family member appears to be a psychopath. After many years of struggling with this person, this book has opened my eyes to see that by adulthood, many psychpaths do not change. Thanks to this book I have taken a drastic decision to walk away from my situation/ relationship with the suspected psychopath. The checklist matched line per line with this individual. Even some quotes in the book rang very similarly to what my family member has said in the past. Chilling but very liberating facts. I highly recommend this book to any one because in our lifetime we all have encountered a psychopath. With varying degrees of the condition. Not necessarily a serial killer, but maybe somenoe who manupulates, lies, cheats, steals, and is abusive. All for personal gain and "Without Conscience".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
caitlin bauer
In this seminal textbook, Robert Hare, distinguishes psychopathy from mere antisocial behavior, the main criterion used by the DSM-IV-TR to diagnose the Antisocial Personality Disorder.

The disorder appears in early adolescence but criminal behavior and substance abuse often abate with age, usually by the fourth or fifth decade of life. It may have a genetic or hereditary determinant and afflicts mainly men. The diagnosis is controversial and regarded by some scholar as scientifically unfounded.

Psychopaths regard other people as objects to be manipulated and instruments of gratification and utility. They have no discernible conscience, are devoid of empathy and find it difficult to perceive other people's nonverbal cues, needs, emotions, and preferences. Consequently, the psychopath rejects other people's rights and his commensurate obligations. He is impulsive, reckless, irresponsible and unable to postpone gratification. He often rationalizes his behavior showing an utter absence of remorse for hurting or defrauding others.

Their (primitive) defence mechanisms include splitting (they view the world - and people in it - as "all good" or "all evil"), projection (attribute their own shortcomings unto others) and projective identification (force others to behave the way they expect them to).

The psychopath fails to comply with social norms. Hence the criminal acts, the deceitfulness and identity theft, the use of aliases, the constant lying, and the conning of even his nearest and dearest for gain or pleasure. Psychopaths are unreliable and do not honor their undertakings, obligations, contracts, and responsibilities. They rarely hold a job for long or repay their debts. They are vindictive, remorseless, ruthless, driven, dangerous, aggressive, violent, irritable, and, sometimes, prone to magical thinking. They seldom plan for the long and medium terms, believing themselves to be immune to the consequences of their own actions. Sam Vaknin, author of "Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited".
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
belen
A superb book and even more relevant to the general population since the 2016 election of Donald Trump. The complete lack of conscience that Hare describes is essential in any real understanding of Mr. Trump, his words, actions, and reactions. Frightening to read a book that so perfectly describes a man who currently holds so much power over the lives of the American people and the future of the entire planet. The seductive nature of such a personality is explored in detail by Hare and explains how such a fraud, such an obviously deceptive and self-aggrandizing individual could possibly convince so many citizens he is the savior of the republic. A must read if one is to understand what is happening in the Oval Office today and how the psychologically healthy Americans can counter the moves of the psychopathic president.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kelly vasquez
A great book. Really helped me through a difficult time in my life. If this book is read in conjunction with Morton Bain's Psychopath!, a degree of perspective and understanding is achieved that can really help deal with these very difficult people. I would recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who has had this misfortune of dealing with psychopaths, sociopaths and extreme narcissists.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
despina
I never went looking for this type of book but it came to me after a very traumatic time in my life, a time when I was at odds with everything and everyone.I actually found this book at a second hand store without its cover.I saw the words "WITHOUT A CONSCIENCE" and new who it was about.

I was married to an extreme psychopath, he is actually in prison for raping and stabbing a strange woman with a screwdriver six times.Who knows what else he may have done, but got away with?

This man was a tirant in my life , he broke me mentally , emotonally, and spiritually.The problem is getting away from these people once they "OWN" you, because thats exactly how they feel about you.They don't let thier possesions go easily!I have to admit I got off easily, if he hadnt been incarcerated who knows where I would be today, or even if I would be at all?

I found this book helped me get through the post tramatic problems I was having, and to learn to trust again.This book will help you to understand the way these people think.I certaintly know now how to avoid ever being in a situation like that again.It also was intriguing in a way of just getting into the head of a psychopath. knoledge is always the best defence!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie modesitt
This is THE book to read about the psychopath. My experience with psychology books is that those written for the layman err on the side of seeming condescending, and contain only the most superficial of information. Books written for professional use are not very readable, and usually contain reams of material on the treatment of the condition. This book contains huge amounts of information, and does not sensationalize or focus on the "serial killer", yet is highly readable. Dr. Hare is obviously a great authority on psychopathy, and manages to educate the reader, with no temptation to "skip pages". What a great book!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
terri balside
I purchased this book after reading a chapter on psychopaths in the book "predators, pedophiles, rapists and sex offenders" I wanted to learn more about psychopathic behaviour and I thought the book "wihtout conscience" was pretty good, particularly the last chapter on survival summed up some really good advice, tips and techniques to spot psychopaths in their tracks.

The chapter on psychopathic tendancies in children was horrific but realistic.

I advise everyone to read these two books and educate themselves to protect themselves against these snakes!!

I've come across so many psychopaths in my life, only now I know that they have a name and category, for some reason it seems like wherever I turn there is someone there to take advantage, as Dr. Robert mentioned it is even difficult for professionals to escape the psychopaths hypnotizing and manipulating behaviour, if that is so then we really are in grave danger.

Read this book, you'll be glad you did! Highly recommeneded.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yanette mantro
With the amount of manipulation and fraud that surrounds us every day starting from phone solicitations down to financial fraudsters, manipulative bosses and cons, etc - this book should be considered to be used to teach a high school study subject.

Written in an easy and understandable language, this book will tremendously help young generation to be more prepared to dangers of real life and make them more immune and protected from people who pray on them and want to take advantage of them.

Having this book studied as a subject will make out society safer and better.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
name bunnarith
Without Conscience is very well written in plain and commonly accessible language. I use it to teach a profiling and psychopathy course off of our web-site. The book doesn't venture into sadistic psychopathy, but details specific behavioral concepts in criminal and non-criminal psychopathy, and the Hare psychopathy checklist. I have reccommended it to all of my attorney and law enforcement clients. It's an extremely important work by the leading world expert in psychopathic behavior. Brent E. Turvey, MS
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
helen helena nell
Bob Hare's "Without Conscience" is essential reading if you're interested in the study of aberrant personalities. He's probably the most influential scholar in the field, having devised one of the most useful tools for rooting out psychopathy -- the MMPI or so-called "Psychopath Test." It's an entertaining read designed for layman, and will definitely get under your skin, maybe even make you look twice at a couple people you know...
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
hannah birch
No other book holds a candle to Dr. Hare's view into "The Disturbing View of Psychopaths Among Us". Hence the 5 stars. However, do understand that this is NOT a guide for escaping a psychopath's capture once you've been caught. The book does not even claim to show you how to get out alive, and more importantly, with your children alive. To the contrary, the book clearly explains that attempts to escape may cost you your life. Hare gives examples of people leaving the country permanently to survive. The only escape I've found is to go underground- cutting off all communication with my family, friends, church, former work ect. This lasted three months, and then I was found again. Now he has my children and threatens never to let me see them again! He is a professionally diagnosed never-caught psychopath whom I've been entangled with for twenty years. I don't know if he will ever let go of his grip on me. I bought this book looking for a way out, but Dr. Hare doesn't even claim to know the way out, nor does the book suggest so. Read it for a fascinating, captivating view of the psychopath, but not for a way to escape.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shalet
Most intrigue with psychopath and many cross paths with them. They can be anyone, even your family members. We describe them with conflicting terms: charming and odd, charismatic and pompous, competitive and destructive, and so on. By default, we look at others on the positive side and feel disturbed when see the opposite. Most are repulsed by them by instincts and accept them for the benefit of doubt, until their identities' revealed, then it is probably too late, they leave behind a trail of destructions and shattered realities. Psychopaths were born with a little police and a big demon. The police does the job until the demon kicks in; and hell breaks loosed. A judge asked Charles Manson: "Are you a sin or a saint?" depicts their contradictoriness.

Empathy is the key emotion to make human a human, lack of it and a police, they are able doing things most don't dare. If someone is screaming in pain, most will sympathize or offer a hand, psychopath attitude is indifferent, they might laugh at it. Many mistake this trait as "mind over emotion." By definition, psychopaths are social predators with a hidden agenda, they have a grip on other's emotion with mixture of charm & intimidation; lie & truth; pain & pleasure. Some are attracted to them. They are like boat drifts in rivers a w/o destination. They might have volatile desires, explosive temperaments, exigencies of excitements, and thrive in chaos. In fisherman term: "throw the bait when water is murky." An old crook who wished bad luck to a child before he was born to warmonger in high office reflects many shades of gray between black and white. They violate an universal unwritten moral code existed in all cultures -- do no harm, mean no harm to the small and helpless who pauses no threat - As early as civilization begins, sculptures, paintings and children stories portrait them as monsters or witches, variations of Snow White story exist in all parts of the world. Like Pit Bull, sociopath is a sub-breed, have contradictory characters, says one thing means the opposite, who were born not made. Some show sign of oddity before they reach adulthood. Psychopaths can't love and sympathize. To majority, their worlds are out of tune and touch, they lack mental connections to surroundings and get by with sugar coated charm and seduction. Some appear to lack certain acuity and live in their own world.

In this book, the author used available inmates as clinical studies in the `60, he opened a new psychology subject to remove ambivalent description of `demon' or `evil.' Results is a readable book intended for a broad audience. The authors identify major traits and its subtleties of psychopath. It removes ambiguity and clarifies abstract terms from strange, bad and abnormal to objective criteria, identified and categorized. The book has its shortcomings: redundancy, a bit dry to read and uses extreme examples from inmates available to Dr Hare in corrective institutes. The author can benefit audiences more by providing softer and more realistic examples of these people who are model citizens, never appear to commit a crime, and can be as dangerous and devastating as hardcore criminals. Real life examples can be Enron officials who knew company stock was about to crash, mis-leaded employees to pour their life saving buying more stocks. Or a father entertained himself and got his two small children fought, who got more blood, got a reward. Or a boy who dangled wildly a puppy by its tail, ignored his whinny, when told to let go of the dog, he asked "What's dog?"

Get one, read on, it will benefit everyone. At least, you can see the shade of your gray.

Content: 5* - Fun to read: 3*.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
opolla
A very good presentation of a vitally important subject- but I would have liked to see more case studies and examples of these personality types. Perhaps a president or two, who with their conscienceless hubris have just about destroyed what was left of this country.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tim riley
This is the best ten bucks I've spent in a long time. I tore through this book so quickly - it was engrossing. I'm someone who was struggling with having been close to a psychopath myself - and feeling like an alien and/or crazy person because of all the questions the experience left me with. This book has seriously made me feel sane again (and, even a little bit empowered). Great stuff, and not at all dated, if you ask me.

It's definitely for the layman. Which is much appreciated, since I didn't go through 6 years and a PHD; I just wanted a decent explanation when my own psychiatrist wouldn't give me one!

Thanks to the author :)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
moonda lyn
Being aware of people who are looking to suck you dry emotionally, financially and even physically is an essential part of protecting yourself against people who take advantage of others and leave them devastated without so much as a second thought. This is a revealing look into the mind of the psychopaths among us and the techniques they use to catch you off guard while they clean out your bank account, crush your heart and/or threaten your life. Clearly written for the average person to understand and recognize the warning signs by a man who has devoted much of his life's work to identifying the truly callus predators, now on the rise, in every aspect of our society.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
leesa
This is a book that I would strongly recommend to all mature individuals who live in society rather than in a cave and communicates with people rather than stones. This would include pretty much a big percent of adult population in the world.

Incorporating the notion of psychopathy in your own life could serve you as a great interpretive framework for dealing with the social predators. If you had a real-life encounter with a psychopath, then there's a chance that you will meet another one, and the book would bring more clarity to you. If you hadn't encountered a psychopath, you need to remember that there are people who did, often they were very smart people--there's always a big chance of running into a psychopath for you personally.

A psychopath could be your boyfriend or girlfriend, a friend, a parent, a child, a business partner, a lawyer, a doctor etc. who abuses you and with whom you--often for some unknown reason--keep sustaining unhealthy relationships. Sometimes it is a random person in a crowd who sees your weakness and enjoys exploiting it for his or her own benefit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
soraya
Robert Hare is one of a kind. I really enjoyed this book, complete with case histories, research and discerning insights about the psychopathic mind. Good reminder that not everyone has a conscience, or sense of morality or empathy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sylvia dimitrova
I was married to one for 19 years. I knew something was wrong but couldn't put a 'label' or a 'finger' on it. I realized too late. I was dealing with a psychopath/sociopath but was willing to endure the pain he sent my way, I guess because I just didn't want to give up on him. What I didn't realize is what he had done to our daughter. She came to me and yes it 'is' what you think she said to me. I took my little girl and moved out, called the police and he is in jail. This book has little to do with pedophilia, but it did help me to recognize the...what I call the 'foundation' of something being very, very wrong. I'm also better at recognizing the psychopath qualities in other people and I avoid them like the plague; because that's what they are.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeff d
This book is great, it helps reveal the probability why people can be callous and heartless and not blink an eye. It's also important to recognize that "many" of the people that live, work around us are prone to have some of these characteristics, the prison population doesn't necessarily reflect "all" those that need to be imprisoned, many walk and talk with us throughout our lives. This book will help you to realize and recognize those red flags.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mariann davis
This book really helped me to understand somewhat how the psychopath works. My husbands ex is one. And it's been a journey through hell.
Although info on the female psychopath would be a lot more helpful in my situation.
Even after 5 years, I just noticed she was still on a campaign to spread lies.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mara
Excellent as far as it went. Very well written. Mr. Hare provides the reader with an excellent description of the criminal psychopath (serial killers, and those with criminal records), and some insight in avoiding their predations. Unfortunatly his observations are limited to those psychopaths who are extreme (or dumb) enough to have been incarcerated. Although he indicates that there are psychopaths who operate within the laws of society, he dosn't provide examples, or any real insight I and others I know have been victomized by people "without conscience" who were entirely within the letter of the law. My primary reasons for buying and reading the book was to identify, and deal with these 'legal' psychopaths, unfortunatly Mr. Hare left that to chapter 13, and I found it short and simplistic. In defense of the author, I find that most psychology books are limited to observations and definations of incaratiated people or those who sought therapy. Unfortunatly we do not yet have a means of observing the rest of the population.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kirstengreene
It is becoming more and more important to be able to identify the psychopath. Why? Because these predators are the ones ultimately running our governments, religions and corporations. Dr. Hare's book is not only easy to read, but has very important information on how psychopaths think and act, two ways to identify them. His findings have been used by many other psychologists in identifying psychopaths; Dr Stout and Dr. Cleckley to name just two of them.

He shows how easily one can be conned by these people. Which is why we need to read all the information that we can. And this book is loaded with information that you can use.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elizabeth schlatter
It is not often that top level scientists can write a popular introduction to the field and successfully combine insights drawn from decades of clinical experience blended with anecdotal mini-histories that make the concepts come alive. The renowned researcher Dr. Robert D. Hare--the creator of the most widely used tests for analyzing psychopathy around the world--has written just such a book. It is concise, packed with new information, and compellingly written!

Though originally published some 15 years ago, Without Conscience remains a best-seller in its field because no one else has described the inner workings of the psychopath with such clarity and verve while remaining absolutely true to the scientific field he himself helped create.

Let me be clear about what this book "isn't" and doesn't pretend to be: the book is based on the famous PCL-R testing procedure Hare and his colleagues have developed over many years, but it does not show how to use the testing procedure (which requires very substantial training) nor does it provide all of the current footnotes some might want. (Those are easily available elsehwhere--see the recent and technical handbook, The Psychopath, edited by Herve and Yuille with contributions by Hare for current references and refinements in research.)

Who are psychopaths? Hare shows how the key psychological characteristics--glib and superficial, egocentric and grandiose, lacking in remorse, lacking in human empathy, deceiptful and manipulative, and shallow in their emotions--are combined with behavior problems (often problems going back to childhood) to produce a completely unique profile of people who are potentially highly dangerous and lack any internal "brakes" on whatever havoc they create in the lives of others.

They are a dangerous breed and a breed apart. If you're interested in what makes these often charming and normal-acting tricksters work, how and why they camoflage their own deadliness, this remarkable book is the place to start. It will be fascinating for both general readers as well as psychology students and people in both the mental health fields and law enforcement.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
spela
...and its a psychology textbook! I read it in two nights, will read it again, and get copies in for friends. A vital read for anyone on a parole board. Gives us an excellent insight to the underlying cause of the crime problems in many Western countries, and the corruption endemic in many others. A better read than most novels, Robert D Hare presents his theory in clear laymans terms, but without compromising the facts - which are both fairly simple and shocking. I have had brushes -fortunately brief - with a couple of psychopaths, and instantly recognised the type, as I'm sure most will. This book is a breath of fresh, if rather chilly, air
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
penelope
I can appreciate that the author did not have easy access to a broad representation of sociopathic individuals in the general population, instead most of his interviews and anecdotes were from prisoners. But the material became repetitious and I found myself skimming ahead looking for different kinds of examples. Instead it was another inmate with a similar scam. Most sociopaths are not behind bars according to the author but he did not discuss the ones on the loose at any length, yet these are the ones I would encounter. I would like to know how the "respectable" ones who ply their trade in society do it, what to look for and how to avoid their games.
This book is useful but limited. It's worth a skim.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lagenia macy
I picked up this book as a prosecutor asked to commit someone as a psychopathic personality.
Not knowing the first thing about psychopathy and the fact that such a committment is indefinate, I searched for guidance; because I did not want to unjustly start this procedure.
What I read in Dr. Hare's book gave me a very good idea of what a psychopath is without examining the checklist he developed. It also gave me insight into how psychopaths permiate our capitalistic society and rise to the top unimpeded. I also learned that some people actually have physcial reations to psychopaths and that is what I had been feeling since I was little when someone gave me the feeling of danger.
Dr. Hare was able to brilliantly write this book that appeals to someone with little or no knowledge of psychology and also those who desire more detail. The stories of interactions with real psychopaths was very informative and shocking. I believe this is a must read for anyone who does not want to become victim to a psychopath. They are smart, clever, brilliant actors, savvy body cue readers and pathological lyers. They are scary, scary preditors and they are in disguise.
Save yourself pain...read this book. They are out there looking for you. Yes the person I was asked to commit was a sexual psychopath and was committed. After reading the book, I knew more of what to look for in his behavior and demeanor and how to choose an expert who would properly and neutrally examine him with the requisite qualifications.
Waiting for Dr. Hare's next book with excitement!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
gelu contiu
I covered Columbine for Salon and Slate and several other outlets, so I have spent hours and hours talking to some of the leading psychologists in the country, and they all sent me to the same source on psychopathy.

Bob Hare is unparalled as the world's expert on the field, and this book is its bible. For good reason. I could only understand Eric Harris once I read this book. It has been invaluable to my work, and I carry a copy around with me when ever I'm researching.

It's jammed with examples of actual psychopaths, graphically illustrating the behavior he describes--and doing the impossible, making sense of the condition.

(I would also strongly recommend the nonfiction book "The Devil in the White City," as a brilliant case study. I had some problems with the last 100 pages of that book, but Erik Larson presents a vivid portrait of a single pyschopathic individual. But read Without Conscience first, and you'll understand how the "devil" character fits into the framework. It will all make so much more sense.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melissa parks
This is a great book for the layman from a leading researcher and clinician on the subject of the pyschopathic personality. It is very readable and brings a good deal of clarity to a confusing and very difficult area of human relationships. It was actually a relief to read this book and recognize the "wolves in sheep's clothing" who have upset and victimized friends, family members and myself. I think it should be part of any training program for managers, clergy and anyone responsible for the well-being of a group of people. I wish I had had the information in this book under my belt when I left college and entered the "real world" -- it would have spared me and several loved ones a lot of trouble and grief.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
micah
I plan to start a Forensic Psychology graduate program next fall, and am particularly interested in Antisocial Personality Disorder. This book provided a very interesting look into the formation of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, and information of the neurological aspects of the disease. However, Dr. Hare seemed to dramatize the disorder a little too much to make it a serious piece of literature. I found it helpful to look into journal articles on the subject for a more objective look. To be fair, the book did provide accurate information, but as I mentioned, it was just a little too dramatic for my taste.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
kay singers
This book gives insight into a phenomenon that is misunderstood by many in America: psychopathy. Use the word "psychopath" amongst your peers, and the first people they will think of are high profile serial killers. Yet your miscreant son, your untrustworthy stock broker, or your transient, cheating spouse may all be psychopaths. Dr. Hare gives the reader a specific set of characteristics displayed by psychopaths, how their actions effect those around them and society at large, and possible solutions to minimize those effects. The book is a fascinating, well-written, and concise look at this destructive personality disorder. My only major criticism is that Dr. Hare seems content to simplify the language too much, needlessly buffering the reader from the more technical, psychological language. He should have given his readership more credit.

Overall, this was an excellent read. I highly recommend it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elizabeth edwards
This book is a must read to learn about psychopaths. Not all psychopaths are murderers. In fact, a lot of them are highly functioning members of society. They are manipulative and very smart at getting their way.

That is why this book is so essential to read. When you can spot people who have these traits, you can protect yourself from being duped by them.

I also highly recommend the book Political Ponerology by Andrew Lobaczewski. He goes into how people like this manipulate society to control for their needs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathleen schopinsky
Robert Hare is a very good writer. He clearly presents what psychopathy is, how it is expressed and most importantly, how to identify it. It is an excellent learning book, dealing with a subject that I feel all empathetic people should know. It may at least save you a good deal of money and heartache and maybe even your life.

Personally I suspect that the underlying trait that constitutes the fundamental component of psychopathy is present in 40 to 60% of the population, and in some populations even higher! Which is why you sometimes hear the expression, when describing some cruel treatment (such as the murder of the Jews by the Nazis): "It is human nature to be cruel", implying that being cruel is a choice that all people are capable of. Whereas I suspect that it is a basic genetic trait in many people but not all.

This book enlightens and helps you understand the people around you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chase graham
I read this shortly after an encounter with a psychopath and it was very illuminating. The other presents a very nice lay interpretation combined with scientific information. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in pathologies. It is extremely readable and incredibly interesting.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
deane
If you've ever wondered if you've encoutered a psychopath, read this book!Dr. Hare does a magnificent job of describing the psychopaths that dwell within prisons, mental institutions, and unfortunately,..among us. This book is very easy to read, with very short subchapters within the regular chapters (which makes it even easier to read!)I am very happy that I purchased and read this book. It is very educational, to say the least.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
letitia
If you're debating which book to get in order to help you understand what defines a psychopath and why they act the way they do, definitely get this book. Granted it's the first one I've read on the subject, but I think it's going to be pretty difficult to top the level of information that Dr. Hare presents.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carlyn
For Anyone of us who have ever said to yourself...that person is truly odd and just different...

To those of us who consider ourselves just average but know that there are those other folks among us...

To the woman who continues in a relation ship just for the sake of a companion....

THIS BOOK IS CALLING YOU... Please read this one...it tells of the true nature of people you know...people we all know.

I knew this person for over 15 years and always knew something was wrong and after reading the characters in this book....that person is a 100% PSYCHOPATH. He passed the clinical test with a score of 40. I NEVER knew the words to explain him to my friends or myself. I could never find the words to describe the character he presented to me. Now I have all the exact words....It is crystal clear to me and No he is no longer in my life. Turns out he is a Sexual Predator and is a PORN KING...OUCH!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
karianne
The author's experience in the prison system has given him a captive group to research. However the sampling is only of criminals, and so really tells us very little about functional cases. It makes you wonder how it is even possible that psychopaths can operate in society without disregard for the law. I am quite sure that there are more wild-type than there are those incarcerated that could adapt and pretend to have empathy for others. The author seems to promote this check list he came up with from his research, it is mentioned repeatedly. Hare does not actually share this magic check list. In the end Hare provides no hope for treatment and sits on the fence as to the causes for the condition.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike coghlan
The easiest and most concise book written for the student or interested layman. I especially liked the profile checklist. This book is a keeper for my library and I highly recommend it as an important tool for psychology students. Thanks Dr. Hare.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
carola
I t was my good fortune to have a family member bring his "textbook" Without Conscience by Robert Hare along Labor Day Weekend. In light of the horrendous tragedy that has befallen our country and our world, I have one wish....that this enlightening book and all its necessary information be imparted to all government leaders, news anchors, law enforcement personnel, i.n.s employees, corporate decision makers.. all citizenry should make the understanding of psychopathy as basic as the Three R's.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather carter
Dr. Robert D. Hare, PhD, is celebrated as a world expert on psychopaths and creator of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, the widely used clinical diagnostic tool used to diagnose who is a psychopath and who is not. In Without Conscience, Hare cuts through common misnomers and misinformation about psychopaths to paint a very accurate and no less terrifying view of psychopaths. Hare's many academic works are fascinating, but this 1993 book remains the definitive book on the subject for the layperson. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jan mcgee
Very light, easy read, but informative with many case examples. Definitely written for the lay person. Be aware that the kindle version has many distracting typos (e.g., spelling errors, etc.).
4 star book with 1 star deducted for Kindle issues.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
janet craven
I read this book many moons ago and it is still THE one that comes to mind, and that I refer others to, when the subject of psychopaths come up. The author made the reading easy, not over-complicating with a bunch of useless wordiness.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
virginia reynolds
ABSOLUTELY ADDICTING!!! Could'nt put it down; scary to realize what's out there among us, but enlighting at the same time. Recognized a few people I know....at least I found answers for their behavior! This book is fascinating, easy to read; obviously written by one extremely intelligent, but comes off as down to earth. Should be required reading for ALL Law Enforcement & Corrections careers; as well as higher education in same-type fields. Unbelievable insight into the criminal mind, and I've been in the Corrections field for 19 yrs! THANK YOU!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
louise dyer
Reviews the characteristics of some of the more intense psychopaths in our countries history. Psychologists establish a psychopathic checklist of behaviors. Deepen your understanding of one of the most serious problems in America. Along with "The Sociopath Nextdoor" a must read for those of us needing to understand the behaviour of people with no conscience, guilt or shame. (The people 'missing a chip'. ) Every policeman and law enforcement worker should read these two books. (Helps to tell the bad guys from the good guys and explains why it is so difficult)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nick ertz
Without Conscience has a lot of information that will help someone distinguish an everyday Psychopath from the rest of the population. Yes it speaks of famous cases, it speaks of prison inmates, but it also covers the ground that most of us walk on every single day. Grocery stores, work, church, school, etc.

Not all Psychopaths are criminals, nor do all of them turn physically violent. In truth most of them are our neighbors, friends, family members, spouses, and even our own children. Most Psychopaths stay so low key that it's hard (next to impossible) to pick up on what is happening until it's too late. By then you are in over your head, financially and emotionally devastated. I know, because I was a target of one of these people.

If I had known what a Psychopath was, and had already read this book, I would have known to avoid the individual at all cost. This book covers every thing to help us make an intelligent decision about the type of person we may be dealing with. If you have doubt of any person in your life, read this book. Better safe than sorry. Believe me, the Psychopath won't care about what he or she does to you. You have to protect yourself from them.

This book will put you on the right path. Always remember 1 out of every 25 people have this mental disorder, so your chances of meeting or already knowing one are very high. Take precautions now before it's too late.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
marion thorne
I discovered that living with a sociopath is dangerous in more ways than just what appears on the surface.

This book fully descibes the details of that life in ways I could have never articulated, much less tried to change.

For 7 years I'd hoped for changes to happen that simply could not due to the very nature of the ingrained personality of that type of thinking.

Without Conscience has helped me to identify the source of the problems and move on with my own life without blaming myself. I now have an incredible understanding about what I was faced with on a daily basis and the effects that behavior had on me.

I couldn't see it at the time...now I know why.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
michelle chabot
The layout is confusing. It jumps all over the place. And not as well researched as it should be NB. the Lawrencia Bembenek example does not belong here.
It skims alot of sections. It tends to perpetuate the myth that psychopaths are all serial killers. Not enough in-depth cases. Doesn't take advantage of the new research on brain abnormalities - nothing new here.
Not a comprehensive overview of a psychopath. Eg. it doesn't mention one word about the connection between substance abuse and psychopathy.
A poorly organized and edited book. Comes nowhere near Hervey Cleckley's "The Mask of Sanity". This is a masterpiece on this subject even though it was written originally in the fifties when there was less medical knowledge of the subject. This book really gives you the flavour of what a psychopath is.
Neither books however deals much with the victims of psychopaths.
This book comes across as being a hybrid of a breathless tabloid piece and a poorly-written thesis. A mishmash. As a supposedly premier researcher on the subject, I expected a much better book instead of this - it reads like a transcribed dictaphone recording dashed off in one sitting by the author.
Still worth investigating as there aren't too many current books on the subject; and thankfully it doesn't contain any Freudian pyscho-analytic mumbo-jumbo.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jim hounslow
This book should be mandatory for everyone prior to commencing work and or studies. i find science based books a bit dry however the author does a great job of keeping the information informative and entertaining. I was sad when it came to the last page and was hoping there would be more! A Must read!! Esp those who work in Government, Media or Corporate.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
danceluvr211
Very interesting book! Explains in easy terms the problem with facing these cunning manipulative types. Whats very interesting is that psychopaths appear to be what some are describing as "Organic Portals" on other websites. I just finished living in a house with one of these OP's for a year. It was a very interesting time with a great learning curve. Luckily after just two weeks I had figured this guy out or at least had big suspicions. I learnt a heck of a lot about how these people operate first hand. Basically in four words... Cunning, manipulative, Egotistical, methodical. these people operate from the ego in everything they do. They are also excellent at mimickry. They can fake any kind of emotion although its really easy to spot once youve "got it".

My feelings on this is that these people are basically biological machines, a human body without a soul connection, a higher spiritual make-up. Some refer to these as "Matrix Agents" like in the movie matrix. I feel this is accurate as they seem to have an uncanny ability to know things they shouldnt. there are accute moments of synchronicity where they seem to maximize the emotional output they can get from a person by predicting how a person will react in a situation. They show no emotion when seeing pain or torture on News or Media. They try to lower others down to there own level of uncaring. I think Matrix Agent is a good description because there modus-operandi often seems to be to keep the satus quo, ie: encourage fully souled people to behave like them and create more fear and chaos in the world. It all sounds crazy but when u consider the implications it means that they are just programmed beings (sometimes under remote control, yes i know it sounds crazy)and are not aware of their own lack of conscience. I resisted the urge to let him know i knew, i figured it better to just "play the game", and keep one step ahead of the game... I am a much better off person now as i see it so clearly after reading the book. It seems that they elicit an emotional response from a person via manipulative means and then "feed" off that frustration and negative emotion that is created. This is when they seem to be the most satisfied and "smug" and "full of beans"... but if you see thru it and dont respond emotionally, the key is to cut off their food supply!, smile, be calm and relaxed and act as if you couldnt care less, this is the key... always state your feelings as been, hey stuff happens, im not worried about it. Also if you feel your energy been drained imagine yourself floating in a calm sea or surrounded by a protective bubble of which inside is complete calm, think mentally to yourself.. "I end all transmissions now, all emotional ties or attachments or negative thoughts have stopped, i send out nothing, i am calm, relaxed, like a piece of wood" This works so well... just watch! I have also discovered that these types shake their legs/feet a lot, especially when thier in "active/feeding" mode, u may notice under the table that persons leg vibrating or shaking a lot, this is a sign of ego, of been anxious. Ive noticed if I focus and relax and "stop all transmissions", that persons leg stops also immediately!? Its weird, ive noticed this dozens of times with different people now. Also dont be too hasty to judge a person as an OP, (psychopath) as all of us can act like one from time to time, especially if pushed by an OP or wound up. But its consistancy over time that will show you if someone is an OP. I hope this helps someone... J
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amy margaroli
I consider this book a survival guide that should be read by every thinking person. In fact, after reading the book cover-to-cover (several times!), I bought copies for my closest friends and urged them to study the material. I never truly believed in the soulless human being until I read the exploits and warnings contained in this book. Bravo to its author for saving lives and sparing victims!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
nikki golden
Written by the person who developed the standard checklist for diagnosing someone as a Psychopath, this book is very interesting and informative. You will almost certainly be surprised at the prevalence of psychopathic individuals, and the clear danger they are to us as individuals and as a society.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jennifer larson
Psychopaths are an interesting topic and this book provides some good anecdotes. However, the ideas presented seemed to be repetitive at times. It sometimes wasn't clear how one anecdote really differed from another in terms of the concepts being presented. I found myself skimming through most of the content just to get to the anecdotes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
callie leuck
This book is written inside out. It is has been written from inside the mind of a psychopath catching their every thought. It took me two years to read 220 pages, I could only read a couple of pages at a time. For those of you who have had a "Social Predator" come through your life, this book is terrifying. For those of you who have no knowledge of a pychopaths behavior, purchase extra copies of Dr. Hare's book. When I finally put this book down I was left with only one question. "When is Dr. Hare going to write a recovery book for the victims, who are living outside the minds of these "Social Predators."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michelle tishler
I discovered that living with a sociopath is dangerous in more ways than just what appears on the surface.

This book fully descibes the details of that life in ways I could have never articulated, much less tried to change.

For 7 years I'd hoped for changes to happen that simply could not due to the very nature of the ingrained personality of that type of thinking.

Without Conscience has helped me to identify the source of the problems and move on with my own life without blaming myself. I now have an incredible understanding about what I was faced with on a daily basis and the effects that behavior had on me.

I couldn't see it at the time...now I know why.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
victor
The layout is confusing. It jumps all over the place. And not as well researched as it should be NB. the Lawrencia Bembenek example does not belong here.
It skims alot of sections. It tends to perpetuate the myth that psychopaths are all serial killers. Not enough in-depth cases. Doesn't take advantage of the new research on brain abnormalities - nothing new here.
Not a comprehensive overview of a psychopath. Eg. it doesn't mention one word about the connection between substance abuse and psychopathy.
A poorly organized and edited book. Comes nowhere near Hervey Cleckley's "The Mask of Sanity". This is a masterpiece on this subject even though it was written originally in the fifties when there was less medical knowledge of the subject. This book really gives you the flavour of what a psychopath is.
Neither books however deals much with the victims of psychopaths.
This book comes across as being a hybrid of a breathless tabloid piece and a poorly-written thesis. A mishmash. As a supposedly premier researcher on the subject, I expected a much better book instead of this - it reads like a transcribed dictaphone recording dashed off in one sitting by the author.
Still worth investigating as there aren't too many current books on the subject; and thankfully it doesn't contain any Freudian pyscho-analytic mumbo-jumbo.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicholle
This book should be mandatory for everyone prior to commencing work and or studies. i find science based books a bit dry however the author does a great job of keeping the information informative and entertaining. I was sad when it came to the last page and was hoping there would be more! A Must read!! Esp those who work in Government, Media or Corporate.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
claudia
Very interesting book! Explains in easy terms the problem with facing these cunning manipulative types. Whats very interesting is that psychopaths appear to be what some are describing as "Organic Portals" on other websites. I just finished living in a house with one of these OP's for a year. It was a very interesting time with a great learning curve. Luckily after just two weeks I had figured this guy out or at least had big suspicions. I learnt a heck of a lot about how these people operate first hand. Basically in four words... Cunning, manipulative, Egotistical, methodical. these people operate from the ego in everything they do. They are also excellent at mimickry. They can fake any kind of emotion although its really easy to spot once youve "got it".

My feelings on this is that these people are basically biological machines, a human body without a soul connection, a higher spiritual make-up. Some refer to these as "Matrix Agents" like in the movie matrix. I feel this is accurate as they seem to have an uncanny ability to know things they shouldnt. there are accute moments of synchronicity where they seem to maximize the emotional output they can get from a person by predicting how a person will react in a situation. They show no emotion when seeing pain or torture on News or Media. They try to lower others down to there own level of uncaring. I think Matrix Agent is a good description because there modus-operandi often seems to be to keep the satus quo, ie: encourage fully souled people to behave like them and create more fear and chaos in the world. It all sounds crazy but when u consider the implications it means that they are just programmed beings (sometimes under remote control, yes i know it sounds crazy)and are not aware of their own lack of conscience. I resisted the urge to let him know i knew, i figured it better to just "play the game", and keep one step ahead of the game... I am a much better off person now as i see it so clearly after reading the book. It seems that they elicit an emotional response from a person via manipulative means and then "feed" off that frustration and negative emotion that is created. This is when they seem to be the most satisfied and "smug" and "full of beans"... but if you see thru it and dont respond emotionally, the key is to cut off their food supply!, smile, be calm and relaxed and act as if you couldnt care less, this is the key... always state your feelings as been, hey stuff happens, im not worried about it. Also if you feel your energy been drained imagine yourself floating in a calm sea or surrounded by a protective bubble of which inside is complete calm, think mentally to yourself.. "I end all transmissions now, all emotional ties or attachments or negative thoughts have stopped, i send out nothing, i am calm, relaxed, like a piece of wood" This works so well... just watch! I have also discovered that these types shake their legs/feet a lot, especially when thier in "active/feeding" mode, u may notice under the table that persons leg vibrating or shaking a lot, this is a sign of ego, of been anxious. Ive noticed if I focus and relax and "stop all transmissions", that persons leg stops also immediately!? Its weird, ive noticed this dozens of times with different people now. Also dont be too hasty to judge a person as an OP, (psychopath) as all of us can act like one from time to time, especially if pushed by an OP or wound up. But its consistancy over time that will show you if someone is an OP. I hope this helps someone... J
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah napoline
I consider this book a survival guide that should be read by every thinking person. In fact, after reading the book cover-to-cover (several times!), I bought copies for my closest friends and urged them to study the material. I never truly believed in the soulless human being until I read the exploits and warnings contained in this book. Bravo to its author for saving lives and sparing victims!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
amanda blanda
Written by the person who developed the standard checklist for diagnosing someone as a Psychopath, this book is very interesting and informative. You will almost certainly be surprised at the prevalence of psychopathic individuals, and the clear danger they are to us as individuals and as a society.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessica malzman
Psychopaths are an interesting topic and this book provides some good anecdotes. However, the ideas presented seemed to be repetitive at times. It sometimes wasn't clear how one anecdote really differed from another in terms of the concepts being presented. I found myself skimming through most of the content just to get to the anecdotes.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tania james
This book is written inside out. It is has been written from inside the mind of a psychopath catching their every thought. It took me two years to read 220 pages, I could only read a couple of pages at a time. For those of you who have had a "Social Predator" come through your life, this book is terrifying. For those of you who have no knowledge of a pychopaths behavior, purchase extra copies of Dr. Hare's book. When I finally put this book down I was left with only one question. "When is Dr. Hare going to write a recovery book for the victims, who are living outside the minds of these "Social Predators."
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
amy lutzke
If you have ever had a relationship with one of these disordered individuals (psychopaths or even narcissists), you will enjoy this book. I borrowed the audio version from the library and it never got boring. I liked hearing the creepy examples of things these people said and did.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tomoyasu nakamura
Amazing book loaded with the most interesting content! Very fast read! Used this in conjunction with my criminal psychology course materials and learned so much from this book. Very well written and easy to understand! Would definitely recommend this book to everyone!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tyrone
A fascinating look at psychopathic behavior and its consequences, felt by its victims and society, but rarely felt by the psychopath. A stark look at how flat and emotionless a psychopath inherently is and that they are rather more common than thought. The section on language differences is very interesting. I highly recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
adel amidi
There are ample reviews already outlining the subject of the book so I won't cover well trod ground. I'll simply say I found the subject fascinating and the author's ideas intriuging. However, the book has a number of flaws. The author plays up how glib, persuasive and successful psychopaths are, almost glamorizing them into supervillains. The typical psychopath is a loser, not Hannibal Lecter. He is careful to criticize another psychiatrist for making casual diagnoses of psychopathy, but after this warning proceeds to make his own parlor diagnoses (the assessment of Amy Fisher has aged badly.) He also with no evidence expresses concern that psychopathic behavior is becoming more common due to psychopaths outbreeding the rest of us. In addition, while his measure of psychopathy is based on a scale, he treats psychopaths as distinct types. Some discussion of the meaning of various degrees of psychopathy would be helpful. Good, but overly dramatic and could have been better.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
julie demange
I purchased this book because of the great reviews here on the store. I had heard of the Hare Checklist, so I figured the book would have some merit to it. Unfortunately, I think I could have learned just as much by watching the "news" on TV...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
yelena gordiyenko
The book has many flaws, but I will limit the review to fundamental logical flaws.

In "Preface and Acknowledgements" we read: "For your own physical, psychological, and financial well-being it is crucial that you know how to identify the psychopath,....". Which are the tools it gives us to identify the psychopath? The "Key Symptons of Psychopathy", six "Emotional/Interpersonal" presented in Ch 3; and six of "Social Deviance" in Ch 4.

But before describing the features, in "A Cautionary Note" (pg 34) Hare advises: "Do not use these symptons to diagnose yourself or others. A diagnosis requires explicit training and access to the formal scoring manual." The "formal scoring manual" is the Psychopathy Checklist (developed by Hare and team, and cited 40 times in 220 pages) which "items are scored by combining interview, case-history, and archival data" (Note 1 to Ch 3)].

So, what's the utility of the list with twelve symptons? Quite none. And what can the reader do to identify the psychopath? Not much more than "If you suspect that someone you know conforms to the profile described here....seek the services of a qualified (registered) forensic psychologist ou psychiatrist" (pg 34). It's comic:"Mr X, I suppose you are a psycopath; will you go with me to see a forensic psychiatrist?"

But there is more: "Be aware that people who are not psychopaths may have some of the symptons described here" (pg 34). How many this "some of the symptons" can be? One, two, six, ten? And more (pg 69): "A diagnosis of psychopathy is made only when there is solid evidence that the individual matches the complete profile--that is, has most of the symptons described...." How does Hare reconcile "complete" with "most"? He doesn't do it. How many are "most"? Seven from twelve, no? Six emotional/interpersonal and one social deviant? Six social deviant and one emotional/interpersonal? He not even says if the key symptons are necessary and/or sufficient to make a psychopath.

From the beginning he gives no help. In the "Author's Note" (pg ix) he declares: "Although the topic of this book is psychopathy, not everyone described herein is a psychopath. Many of the examples I use are taken from published reports, the news media, and personal communications, and I cannot be sure that the individuals in question are psychopaths,....".

If he can't, how can we? And what's the utility of the book for the layperson?
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
laura vultaggio
This was an okay primer on the subject of psychopathy, but I would have liked to have seen more on the link between this disorder and substance abuse. Approximately 75% of all psychopaths have a history of substance abuse (alcohol in particular) and failure to mention this fact would be nothing less than a glaring omission. A list of traits is presented, but I felt that substance abuse, a behavioural trait with a strong correlation, should have been elaborated on. The author does stress that a cluster of traits must be present (not just one or two) and wisely cautions that diagnosis should be done by a trained professional.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
odin
Without Conscience was definitely an intriguing book. Unfortunately, I believe one of the reasons why it and other books such as: The Sociopath Next Door are so intriguing is because they first shock us with the statistic that 4% of the population is composed of Sociopaths. The big problem with this is that we are NEVER told how in the world they were brought to that conclusion. Who was their target audience? Mainly people in jail? They also say that most of the people in jail tend to lie as well. We also don't here what the margin of error is. Also, one of the main things that distinguish a Sociopath from other criminals and other people in general is that they have little-to-no conscience. If that is the case how did they come up with the statistic that says that one in four people in the U.S. are like this? The problem is that there a list of other symptoms that are indicative of someone showing a propensity for being a sociopath but if those actions aren't combined with the cognitive lack of empathy and fear, we have no way of estimating.

In other words, if they are liars (which they are) we can't assess them intrinsically. And their outward behavior in and of itself (despite how horrible) can't be conclusive evidence.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
farnoosh fathi
Subconscious performance. Go research. We all have conscious. Is yours clean or filthy? Your subconscious?

Be cautious as these sociopath profiles are too vague and can be applied to anyone.

Also consider perspective. Many, when you escape, will think you deceived, as you must in various ways, in order to escape. (Devise escape plan) As emotionally under developed, many think you have no remorse or empathy. They are hypersensitive, arrested development. (There choice) They are easily intimidated by anyone, most especially anything that threatens their mask.

You are likely dealing with a despicable coward. Go look up definition of both despicable and coward.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
debbie kelso
Nobody can deny that there are a lot of obnoxious people in the world. This, however, does not mean that you ought to lump them all together and give them a psychiatric label. Taking a bunch of random anecdotes about obnoxious behavior and then claiming that all of these creeps have a syndrome is perhaps to create a sort of illusion. The idea that obnoxious behavior is a discrete clinical entity is open to question. If it is a sickness for a serial killer to fail to empathize with his victims, then why is it not a sickness for military men to fail to empathize when they drop bombs on civilians? We do not take the crew that bombed Hiroshima and call them psychopaths.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
taralyn
Very interesting raw material, but poorly handled. What should have been a real page turner - who isn't curious about the extreme criminal mind?! - instead is a hard slog to get through. Pity.

A good editor, or perhaps a professional co-writer, could have made all the difference.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ranrona
With this book, with every new page I felt tempted to just place it in the garbage and forget about it.
The writer is, obviously, a very respected person in the field of psycopathy, but he has no idea about how to write a book. It is a shame, really. It was a waste of my time and my money.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kat myers
Of course, I love the material within the book, however, the book itself literally smelled when it arrived 2 days ago, though it has subsided somewhat. The book smelled INTENSELY like it had been in someone's very musty attic for 10 years, which it probably had. It was pungent! It did look unread (in good condition that way), but the smell was so intense, my eyes were watering slightly and I sneezed off and on. I've been airing it out and it is definitely getting better. Also, I wiped off the book as it had a few greasy spots on it--a little grimy.
I think it is inappropriate for a seller to send a book in that condition.
In a case like this, it seems only fair that the seller air it out FIRST before they put it up for sale!! And give the book a good clean.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
darian
I am very disappointed with this book, parts of appear to be lifted in toto from Dr. Martha Stout's excellent "The Sociopath Next Door" without attribution.

Save the money and just buy Dr. Stout's book...it is far better researched and is far superior to this effort.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
queenlyd
I heard the author on a radio program promoting his book. As an R.N. who has worked in many areas of healthcare, including psychiatry, in my career I was flabargasted by this writer's lack of concern for anything other than selling a book.

The majority of symptoms he listed on the program I heard can be seen in children (and adults) with Asperger's Syndrome, one of the high functioning autism spectrum disorders. Below is a basic list of symptoms pretty much
identical to what was listed on the radio.

[...]

These children are born without an understanding of social decorum and must learn what is appropriately acceptable in their society. The must be diagnosed, and the parents taught how to think help the child (adult) readjust their behavior in the world to be accepted. Mr. Hare (I will not use the title behind his name) has just opened a whole new can of worms for parents and people with Asperger Syndrome, and many other conditions - including a severely dysfunctional upbringing.

Responsible authors do RESEARCH. It is obvious that Mr. Hare was more interested in horror stories. He should have just written fiction with all the facts he failed to include in what little prison "research" he did.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
alaa sami
In the first part of the book the author only describes the phenomenon of psychopathy, in the second - finds his fear of a psychopath and he does not know what you can do with them. Absolute lack of in-depth analysis of the phenomenon of psychopaths.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sravanthi
It took me a while to get thru this book and could relate to the psychopaths mentioned in the book since I had dated one for 2 years. I mainly wanted to get ideas on how to deal with them and how to avoid them and the book listed ways for both.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenny nicolelli
Very interesting look at the science behind the behaviour of those people we've all identified as a little "off" - even if we've never admitted it aloud to ourselves. Read it with an open mind and be forewarned, thus safer in the face of these people's manipulations and emotional distance. They're everywhere and we don't matter to them!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie davis
The sum and substance of this research suggests that there are two species of humankind one if which is a cold calculating rational predator. At the least the reader will come away with an insight into brash manipulation as a way of life.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lesha
I have found Without Conscience to be a valuably enlightening though poignant read. It is very educational in that it explores the composite workings of this dysfunction yet I find it sad that these incorrigiably lost souls virtually cannot be none other than the self-destructive human "spiders" that they are. Therefore, in the best interests of Public Safety, our noble law-enforcement agencies in order to protect and serve those of us who have been raised in the guidance of good religious teachings of charity and good-will unto others, in order to protect us from such distinguished individuals, it would not be too much to ask to monitor them as if they were sex offenders once they cast their webs so far.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
abdelrahman anbar
Not a fan. Dr. Hare is a little too pretentious in how he writes for my liking. Psychology is ever changing, so to boast about your findings and revelations with such matter-of-factness is somewhat frustrating to read (especially since this was written in the 90's and it was so early on). It was also very repetitive in nature - like we get it psychopaths are beguiling and manipulative. 3 stars because of the extensive research and examples presented.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
rebecca eden
Have you heard the term "psychopathy" before? If not, this book is a great place to start. Robert D. Hare is also the man who created the "Psychopathy Checklist", which is used to determine whether or not a person is in fact a psychopath. He cautions in this book not to use the description of the psychopathy checklist to identify yourself or others as psychopaths(and encourages the reader who may interested in such a diagnosis to find a qualified psychologist to work with). The explaination of the checklist is interesting, well described, easy to read, point by point, and based on studies he has conducted within prison populations (and a few studies done in the corporate environment). The descriptions of these specific individuals, and their own words in describing both their crimes and emotional(or really lack of emotional)reactions or basis for their crimes, is chilling. The actual checklist is not included in the book. It is a riveting piece of work that helps the reader to identify the concept of psychopathy and is helpful in examining what could be done (which may not be much, see the book's section about treatment and rehabilitation of the psychopath). A psychopath may still be difficult to identify, and diificult to place oneself in the "shoes" of a psychopath, but this book is a valuable tool to understanding the people around us.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
h beeyit
Excellent book, a must read for anyone. Whether you work with psychopathic individuals, have known one, or just want to know about them.
I was raised by a high functioning psychopathic parent and have read many books on the subject. This one goes into great depth and is my most recommended, alongside Psychopathy: An Introduction to Biological Findings and Their Implications (Psychology and Crime).
Please Rate The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us - Without Conscience
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