She studied extreme psychopaths. Here’s what it taught her about human nature

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Abigail Marsh, a psychology and neuroscience professor at Georgetown University, explains how the world is impacted by those with psychopathy, and, additionally, those who practice extreme altruism. 

Psychopathy, she says, is a neurodevelopmental disorder affecting a small percentage of people, who are different from a very early age due to their unique brain development. Conversely, she talks about people who are exceptionally altruistic—those who go out of their way to help others, often at great personal risk. These individuals are humble, believe in the goodness of others, and are highly empathetic.

She concludes by explaining that acts of generosity have been increasing on a global scale, and how these trends have proven that it is possible for individuals to change their own natural levels of altruism. Through awareness and action, we can build a more caring and helpful society for ourselves and generations to come. 

If you’re curious about your own levels of altruism, Marsh suggests using online tests like the TriPM or HEXACO personality tests. 

This video She studied extreme psychopaths. Here’s what it taught her about human nature is featured on Big Think.

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