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Psychopathy and evolution


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I wonder...

Unlike say, autism which does have it's positive sides, psychopathy has none I can think of. It's existence seems to be a net loss to society.

If that's the case, why haven't genes responsible for it been bred out of the gene pool yet? Should we use gene editong to eliminate potential psychopaths given the harm they cause, once the necessary technology becomes available?

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Several issues with the argument. The first, not all traits are under selection. In fact, most are likely not. Second, many traits, including autism, are not fully genetic, and even if under negative selection are not expected to be vanish entirely. Third, whatever advantages autism confers, is highly situation dependent and especially on the more extreme end, the negatives vastly outlast the positives. Conversely, psychopaths are becoming CEOs https://www.forbes.com/sites/jackmccullough/2019/12/09/the-psychopathic-ceo/?sh=7dfff38d791e

 

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1 hour ago, CharonY said:

Conversely, psychopaths are becoming CEOs

Yes, I was going to point out that psychopaths can be quite successful at manipulating others and getting what they want.  Which undoubtedly includes reproduction (even if the interest in child nurturing is zero).  Women, like men, can make poor choices in mate selection and be duped by superficial charm and attractiveness.  E.g. Ivana Trump. 🙂

And there is not a specific clinical definition or clearcut genotype for it, though there are some genes associated with an increased risk of psychopathy.  There are some neuroanatomical studies out there that have found distinct brain variants which include a switched off orbitofrontal cortex and limbic system, smaller amygdala and differences in connections from amygdala to pre frontal cortex.  But there are also non-psychopaths (and non ASPD) who may have these variations.

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