Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Sociopath Next Door

For my second read in February, I read The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout.

This book was a very different read for me. It was a mix of textbook, case study and a psychologists observations. It takes the term "sociopath" which usually brings to mind cold, calculated and heartless killers and makes you think about the fact that you have likely encountered a sociopath in your everyday life. They aren't just criminals or killers, the majority of them it seems are not, but sociopaths do all have one thing in common: they lack a conscious.

I enjoyed the "case studies" Stout describes in a few of the chapters. She says they are compilations of former patients, people she's read about, etc. They describe the different types of sociopaths that are out there and really get you thinking about people you have known/know. I suspect a few people I have encountered in the past could have been sociopaths after reading this book and I'm going to guess if you read it, you'll be thinking about people you used to know as well.

The only thing about this book that bothered me was it has moments where it is a bit repetitive. I think Stout really wanted to get some stats and information to stick in your mind, which it does, but it gets a bit redundant in places while reading. (You will know what 1 in 25 or 4% and the definition of conscious are for sure when you finish reading. Actually no, you'll know it a quarter of the way through and she'll keep reminding you).

Other than moments of repetitiveness and a few sections that really read like a textbook, the book is interesting overall. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in psychology, who has possibly known a sociopath in the past or wants to know how to spot one in the future or for those who just enjoy reading an informative book on a new topic. I especially enjoyed Chapter 3: When Normal Conscious Sleeps and Chapter 8: The Sociopath Next Door.

No comments:

Post a Comment