Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – Psychopath is often a term pinned by society for people who behave sadistically. Many films depict psychopathic people as cold-blooded killers. In fact, psychopaths don’t always behave that cruelly.
Keep in mind psychopathy is not an official medical diagnosis. Quoting Healthline, the actual definition of psychopathy in psychiatry is antisocial personality disorder (Antisocial Personality Disorder/ASPD).
Prakash Masand, a psychiatrist and founder of the Centers of Psychiatric Excellence, describes psychopaths as individuals who display patterns of manipulation and violence towards others.
Signs of psychopathic visible from the eyes
Quoting Psych Central, researchers have studied different visual behaviors among people with psychopathy. For example, when a normal person sees something disturbing, his pupils dilate, which is a reflection of the body’s sympathetic nervous system.
But a 2018 study of 82 men with interpersonal-affective psychopathic traits found a decrease in pupil response when they were shown negative images. A different study also found reduced pupil dilation among psychopaths when they were exposed to negative sounds, such as shouting.
Meanwhile, researchers also found that those with psychopathic traits spent longer viewing photos that depicted emotions, such as pain and shame.
Additionally, a number of studies have shown that people with psychopathy make less eye contact than people who don’t
“Sometimes, people with psychopathy use stares as a deliberate way to control and intimidate others,” says Dr. Naomi Murphy, consultant and forensic psychologist and founder of Octopus Psychology.
“But a gaze can also reflect cold, hard anger.”
Even so, Murphy emphasized that the assumption that all individuals with psychopathy have a frightening gaze is wrong.
While there are no specific, definitive traits that characterize the ‘psychopathic gaze’, there are some common traits that researchers have observed:
- Cold attitude, no empathy, or compassion
- Wide-eyed, more of the whites of the eyes are visible
- Blink less often
- A threatening stare
- The black part of the eye enlarges
- Intense stare
- Eye contact is held longer
Have a friend who likes playing victim? Maybe he’s a psychopath