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Copycat personality


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#1 Bio-Hazard

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 12:30 AM

I don't know the medical psychological term for "copycat personality."

From what I understand, copycat personality is when someone basically steals who you are and begins to transform themselves into the way you speak, the way you dress, the way you behave, and a multitude of other things.

Does anyone have information on this psychological behavior?

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#2 Royston

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 04:10 PM

This reminds of the film 'single white female' where this is the very theme of the film. I've been googling and Jeeves'ing the subject for the last half an hour but there doesn't seem to be anything I can find without knowing the actual name of this condition. In the film I think it's the passing of the killers sister at childhood that stems an obsession with a new friend where she gets the same haircut clothes et.c then tries to dominate the victim and eventually tries to murder her and her boyfriend. I watched the flick many years ago, so not too accurate a description.

The only thing that vaguely relates I can think of is the freudean take on identification where you dress, act similar in a particular social group to 'fit in', and I guess this could go to extremes. Sorry if this is no help at all, perhaps if you search realted topics with the film you may find something.

'Copycat' seems to get sites on copycat killings, and early child behaviour but nothing about this condition ??
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#3 Bio-Hazard

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 04:17 PM

I understand the situation behind the copycat personality murders, I'm not looking for information on that. Seems we have tons of psychiatric things on google, but this one is a bit complicated to track down.

I believe there was also a more severe noticable case in the move Don't Say a Word (2001).

-movie spoiler-
[hide]in the movie the girl has been in an institution for many years and takes on the drug and cutter personalities of the people around her.[/hide]

I'm sure this could be a real psychiatric case in some people. Even some of the most absurd things when people think their body part is malfunctioning when it is perfectly fine can be called a disorder.

So there must be some type of name for this disorder.

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#4 Glider

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 06:00 PM

I've never heard of that as a clinical condition. I have heard of cases of obsession that have resulted in more or less what you describe, but not as a condition on its own.

There are more limited symptoms of other conditions that result in the copying of speech and the meaningless repition of phrases (echolalia) and the same with certain movements (echopraxia), but I've never heard of a condition involving the adoption or copying of a complete persona.
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#5 Bio-Hazard

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 07:52 PM

However, don't sociopaths tend to steal anothers personality?

Somewhat like conforming.. but noticing that the best way to conform is steal another's personality..

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#6 Glider

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 05:48 AM

I don't think so. Sociopaths can be charming and manipulative, but they also tend to have a grandiose sense of self, which would work against their adopting the personality of another (the other's personality simply wouldn't be good enough).
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"The strongest knowledge (that of the total unfreedom of the human will) is nonetheless the poorest in success, for it always has the strongest opponent: Human vanity" (Nietzsche, 1879).




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