Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Study of Psychopathic Language Patterns

The following is a study from Cornell.  Take careful note of the need to explain why something is done. 

In analysis, we flag, "so, since, therefore, because, to..." and so on, if someone has a need to explain why they did something without being asked. 

This indicates a high level of sensitivity and anticipates being asked, "but, why did you.." and seek to answer it without having to be asked.  It shows a high need to explain, making the action, itself, very sensitive. 

Many crimes are solved by this highlighting, alone. 

Also note that they claim the word "match their personalities", which is profiling in reverse.  We note the personality trait (or type) from the words.  

Here is the article:  

The language of psychopathic murderers provides a window to their souls, new research shows.
The words they use "match their personalities, which reflect selfishness, detachment from their crimes and emotional flatness," says Jeff Hancock, a professor of computing and information science at New York State's Cornell University. He conducted the study with colleagues at the University of British Columbia.

Their findings appear in the journal Legal and Criminological Psychology.

The team says it analyzed stories told by 14 psychopathic male murderers held in Canadian prisons and compared them with 38 convicted murderers who were not diagnosed as psychopathic. Each subject was asked to describe his crime in detail and their stories were taped, transcribed and subjected to computer analysis.

"Psychopaths used more conjunctions like "because," "since" or "so that," implying that the crime "had to be done" to obtain a particular goal. They used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality," the paper says. "Unveiling their predatory nature in their own description, the psychopaths often included details of what they had to eat on the day of their crime."

Psychopaths were more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes, say the researchers. They tended to be less fluent in their speech, using more "ums" and "uhs."

These are more likely to be pauses with the need to think.  

The exact reason for this is not clear, but the researchers speculate that the psychopath is trying harder to make a positive impression, needing to use more mental effort to frame the story.

"Previous work has looked at how psychopaths use language," Hancock said. "Our paper is the first to show that you can use automated tools to detect the distinct speech patterns of psychopaths."

The study's authors say their research could lead to new tools for diagnosis and treatment, and have implications on law enforcement and social media.


Juliet said...

Is this a test? Is the first person who posts on this thread a psychopath? Just wondering. :)

Anonymous said...

It's a long winded way to say psychopaths aren't higher level thinkers as a rule. They navigate toward the fundamentals of sustaining life. It is also a way to psych out people into doing their bidding by implying they may be a psychopath.

A psychopath may dig through the trash to see what your last meal was because it may be his/her last meal. And, SINCE, all the research shows the common check box tendencies, the goal would be to convince the sparring partner THAT IT will never be as clever as the psychopath. It (sometimes they) may pounce in the grocery store as part of their research. They may call you from your own phone number. They may enter the home while you are away. They may visit your family members as part of their research, and often install bugging devices to monitor their prey.

All one can do his hope one of them do not fall through the ceiling of whichever home they've decided to use as part of the research. Cleaning up the bloody mess would be, uhm, more than anyone would, uh, want to touch!

Juliet said...

I'm sure that's not how they did their research - at least not if all their subjects were in prison. Most of that would be illegal, anyway.

Juliet said...

I think it's a bit worrying, as far as the 'tools for diagnosis and treatment' goes because only some psychopaths become murderers, the rest are CEOs and readers of the Financial Times, or just difficult to live or work with, I should think. Okay, that's to be simplistic - but what are they proposing? Screening kids for psychopathic tendencies would probably not be for the best, and would be counterproductive, some labels are best avoided. Can they discover why some become murderers and others become CEOs? What's the best way forward for a psychopath - for children, teens and young adults there could be helpful on-line courses on 'How to be a nice psychopath for beginners', and 'How to make the most of your Psychopathic Parent/s'. Mumsnet could discuss 'Raising your Psychopathic Baby' - should the baby's first words indicate that he or she is on the psychopathic spectrum. Even if research could or can identify psychopathic language, it's always going to be a bit too early for 'diagnosis and treatment' when no-one can predict which psychopaths are likely to become criminals or murderers, and a bit late once the crime has been committed. Well, they would need to ditch the 'psychopath' label, just to begin, as it's too suggestive of Hannibal.

Anonymous said...

Many elementary teachers have a clue as to who may become troublesome psychopaths by their childhood behavior. Torturing other children, pets, trouble at home, vandalism, etc. The same with parents, but in reverse.

Alot of people stutter and stammer when speaking in front of a stranger or a crowd. A lot use past tense. Many more, depending upon education and speech of surrounding culture would phrase words as many others do though not guilty of anything.

The research included 14 psychopaths. That is a minute percentage when included in the population as a whole.

Anonymous said...

Not every liar is a murderer, but every murderer is a liar.

S + K Mum said...

Apologies for this O/T post

The little girl found in the suitcase in Australia has been identified, her mother was also murdered and found 5 years ago :(



lynda said...

Does the new edition of the DSM now interchange the labels sociopath and psychopath? I have read where many mental health professionals are saying they are the same thing. If yes, that would cancel out the "all psychopaths are sociopaths" but not "all sociopaths are psychopaths" 14 people is hardly a broad enough study to draw any firm conclusions but I am surprised at the psychopaths need to explain. Why would they care what people thought?

Juliet said...

It's tiny - fourteen, and only one percent of the population are psychopaths, so the fourteen are a tiny percentage of a sizeable tiny percentage - the good news about psychopaths is that mostly, they don't turn out to be murderers. Well, it's better than nothing.

Anonymous said...

Given today's advanced research, understanding of media as we watch it play out on the live streams and TV, some arseewipe decided to taunt another driver on a New Mexico Interstate and the end result was the death of his daughter.

Yep! You heard it right. With his entire family in the vehicle, he amused himself by playing cat-and-mouse with another driver-unknown to him his circumstances, mental health, or even his primary residence be it in state or out.

C5H11ONO said...

I disagree with "only one percent of the population are psychopaths". If we interchange the labels of sociopaths and psychopaths as one, then we have a ton! I likened a sociopath to one that has the same traits as a psychopath, but has not yet killed. If a sociopath shares the same speech patterns then it is wise to note their choice of words are being matched to their personality type.

We are infested with sociopaths.

Tania Cadogan said...

Off topic

Florida authorities believe the drug-addicted parents accused of murdering their nine-week-old boy allegedly let the baby waste away in his crib and closet for more than a week after his father horrifically beat him to death.

Police charged Joseph Walsh, 36, with first-degree felony murder Tuesday in the death of his infant son, Chance, who had been missing for more than a month of Sarasota County in Florida.

According to a probably cause affidavit, his body was discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded area less than 13 miles from his parent's home.

The baby's mother, 32-year-old Kristen Bury, and Walsh reportedly told authorities that the infant had died in their North Point home early September 16.

Police charged Bury with first-degree felony murder in her son's death on Saturday.

According to Inside Edition, Bury allegedly told investigators that Walsh repeatedly struck Chance.

'You are going to break his f****** neck,' Bury claims she told Walsh, according to the affidavit.

'Joseph said to Kristen that he was going to bash his (Chance's) head into the ground at one point during the argument.

'Kristen never called 911 or took any measures to prevent Joseph from abusing Chance.

'(The couple) made the conscious determination not to contact EMS or any other medical assistance.

'Joseph said during his interview that Kristen told him she did not want them to call 911 because she did not want to lose both people she loves in the same day.'

Bury complained about the smell after the infant died and was left to decompose in his crib, according to the court document.

'Joseph wrapped Chance in numerous garbage bags, and then placed the decomposing remains of Chance in the closet of the bedroom,' the affidavit said.

About eight days after the infant was gruesomely murdered, the couple made two trips to Elliot Court where they dug a shallow grave to bury their son on September 24.

Authorities were directed to the infant's gravesite by Bury, where they found a fragment of blue surgical gloves, Inside Edition reported.

'Kristen disclosed that Joseph was wearing blue 'hospital [surgical] gloves' when he was digging the hole, but the gloves were damaged by the shovels and fragments were likely left behind,' according to the court document.

Walsh reportedly told police that they left Florida to 'start a new life somewhere else' on September 27.

Authorities said that they were involved in a car accident in South Carolina and told relatives roughly three different accounts of what happened to Chance.

Tania Cadogan said...


Sarasota County Sheriff Tom Knight has said he's 'confident' that the body discovered at the gravesite Bury directed them to is Chance, despite not having a positive identification of the body.

Walsh is being held without bond on the murder charge and on $150,000 bond for one count of child neglect, Inside Edition reported.

He is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday.

Bury is also being held without bond for the murder charge and on $150,000 bond for the child neglect charge. She appeared in court for the first time on Saturday.

The infant's grandmother, Sally Susino, called authorities concerned about the baby's well-being on October 4.

Police from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office appealed for help in finding the boy, though a later search of the couple's home revealed blood spatter and evidence of a body.

According to an arrest report, seen by Fox 13, police found 'droplets of blood and evidence of blood spatter on the walls and ceiling and cadaver dogs indicated the presence of human remains'.

The probable cause affidavit, obtained by People, shows the couple had another son, Duane, who died a year ago.

Duane was 2 weeks old when he allegedly died of a kidney infection stemming from a botched circumcision, a family friend told the magazine.

The document says Bury had spoken to her stepmother about how she 'despised' Chance because he wasn't Duane, and admitted to having thoughts about hurting him.

That stepmother, Ms Susino, told police she had last seen baby Chance on September 9, almost a month after he was born.

She said she became concerned for the boy's welfare after such a long absence, and decided to try and locate him after hearing that Walsh and Bury had been in a car accident in South Carolina.

Police said she and the baby's other grandmother, from the paternal side, had gone to the couple's house to try and find the boy, and when nobody was there they decided to call police.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3283086/Father-charged-murder-nine-week-old-son-telling-baby-s-mother-going-bash-infant-s-head-ground-beating.html

Perplexed said...

What would statement analysis make of the following message that was posted on an anonymous social media app (Yik Yak) at a college in TN? Yik Yak posts are short and also anonymous. No one knows who makes each post.

This is supposed to be a word-for-word transcription of the message:
"There would be a shooting at Lee University next week and 53 would die and 59 would be injured."

That's it. Nothing before or after that sentence.

Is this a threat? The news reports say it is, but it doesn't contain a pronoun or verb ("I will shoot...") that would make it a threat. Looks like the DA is prosecuting it as a threat. Strangely, though, the college students don't seem to interpret it as a threat.

Is it a threat? Just taken by itself, with no other context.


Anonymous said...

It is a legitimate threat. Would DIE, must Die means death any way you slice it.
Being the suspect is Nigerian, the 112 is symbolic to him and perhaps others.

They are down playing the terror in the media. This 18 year old meant it!

Anonymous said...

I am going to transcribe this video. Unless Peter opens a new post about Deorr, I will post it here.


Anonymous said...

Disregard above comment re: Deorr.