A Good Psychopath by Dr Kevin Dutton

Reviewed by Sixth Former Anamika Pillai:

Earlier this week, Dr Kevin Dutton, research psychologist at Oxford University’s Department of Experimental Psychology, gave a fascinating talk to members of the public and pupils as part of The North Wall’s public programme. Dutton is a fascinating Psychologist – the man who has used his research into  ‘Psychopathy’ to compare Donald Trump to Hitler. Dutton was patient and constructive in his approach, when targeted with a vast array of questions ranging from psychology to law to admissions at Oxbridge.

Dutton distinguished himself from the various other talks I had attended at St Edward’s. Firstly, The North Wall was full to the brim with pupils and visitors, all eager, perhaps, to gain an insight into where they lay on the psychopathic spectrum. Dr Dutton delivered his arguments with clarity and vigour as well as a humorous undertone that brought chuckles from the audience. Conversely, Dutton’s various references to the ‘Silence of the Lambs’ fastened us to the edge of our seats. Dutton allowed each and every member of the audience to feel part of his quest to understand psychopathy and he achieved this by giving us the opportunity to take part in activities which revealed whether we may ourselves be psychopaths. These activities included: guessing whether an individual in a video was guilty of murder, a few tries of ‘spot the difference’ and a simple personality questionnaire.

Personally, I was affrighted by my results which exposed a slightly higher potential for psychopathic tendencies in comparison to the other members of the audience. However, I was comforted by Dr Dutton’s reasoning that these tendencies could prove useful in daily life, assuming I can control them.

Finally, the evening ended cheerfully with books being sold and signed and I revelled over my new copy of ‘The Good Psychopath’s Guide to Success’.

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