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Topic: Psychopaths and Sense of Smell

dr-robert started this discussion 6.2 years ago #2,472

New research suggests we may be able to sniff out psychopaths by their poor scores on a smell test.

In the study, psychologists at Macquarie University in Australia tested the noses of more than 70 college-age participants, all without criminal records. The researchers had the subjects try to identify common odors (like orange, coffee and leather) and distinguish between different scents.

The participants then were given personality tests to check for their level of empathy and psychopathic tendencies. For example, the subjects were asked to rate on a 5-point scale how much they agreed with statements such as: "I purposely flatter people to get them on my side;" "People sometimes say that I'm cold-hearted;" and "I have broken into a building or vehicle in order to steal something or vandalize."

Psycopathy is a personality disorder marked by superficial charm, a lack of empathy and impulsive tendencies.

The researchers reported a correlation between a poorer sense of smell and psychopathic personality traits.

They say this makes sense because previous research has shown that people with such traits have decreased function in the brain's frontal lobes, a region associated with impulse control and acting in accordance with social norms — and dysfunction in that part of the brain is associated with an impaired sense of smell.

Criminal psychopaths' speech patterns can also give them away, according to research presented in 2011. When speaking of their crimes, psychopaths use less emotion and focus more on their basic needs than non-psychopaths, that research found.

Psychopaths, believed to make up as much as 1 percent of the general population, may attempt to fake answers during psychological evaluations, so a measure of smelling ability could offer a helpful new way to detect psychopathic traits, the researchers said.

The study, led by Mehmet K. Mahmut and Richard J. Stevenson, was published recently in the journal Chemosensory Perception.

Hexi joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 18 minutes later[^] [v] #0

Grab yer torches 'n pitchforks!

Ailonna joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 4 hours later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Hexi, how is your sense in smell?
Mine is freakishly good, so according to this I am not a psychopath :P

Hexi replied with this 6.2 years ago, 10 minutes later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
It's dulled by me smoking cigs so *shrug* :)

Sherry joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 13 minutes later, 5 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Finally !!!! one DX I can't be stuck with!!!
I can smell anything from a mile away. I too
have a freakishly good sense of smell. Now about
the man I live with hummmm ....................
he could not smell a week old dead body in the
heat of summer.

Ailonna replied with this 6.2 years ago, 17 minutes later, 6 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

Mine sense of smell is so bad (good) I can smell a girl on her period. I don't enjoy this. But what makes no sense is that I often have a clogged up nose from allergies.

Sherry, that is terrible. Damn.....

Hexi, you are the only psychopath on this here forum now. Sorry "partner", but you have to continue to roam on alone.

Hexi replied with this 6.2 years ago, 6 minutes later, 6 hours after the original post[^] [v] #0

(Citing a deleted or non-existent reply.)
I lied, my sense of smell is AWESOME!

Adrift joined in and replied with this 6.2 years ago, 6 days later, 6 days after the original post[^] [v] #0

The most important portion of this research, in my opinion, is the fact that they have only done one experiment and it included 70 college-age participants. There's not enough data to be mined from that to support even beginning to form a legitimate theory. This forum seems like a safe haven for higher intellect, so I don't think I need to revisit the tenets of the scientific method with anyone here.

By the way, this is my first post. Hi! I'm Adrift, and I'm a psychopath. Hexi, you're no longer alone.

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