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The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience | [Kent A. Kiehl]

The Psychopath Whisperer: The Science of Those Without Conscience

We know of psychopaths from chilling headlines and stories in the news and movies - from Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy to Hannibal Lecter and Dexter Morgan. As Dr. Kent Kiehl shows, psychopaths can be identified by a checklist of symptoms that includes pathological lying; lack of empathy, guilt, and remorse; grandiose sense of self-worth; manipulation; and failure to accept one’s actions. But why do psychopaths behave the way they do? Is it the result of their environment - how they were raised - or is there a genetic component to their lack of conscience?
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Publisher's Summary

We know of psychopaths from chilling headlines and stories in the news and movies - from Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy to Hannibal Lecter and Dexter Morgan. As Dr. Kent Kiehl shows, psychopaths can be identified by a checklist of symptoms that includes pathological lying; lack of empathy, guilt, and remorse; grandiose sense of self-worth; manipulation; and failure to accept one’s actions. But why do psychopaths behave the way they do? Is it the result of their environment - how they were raised - or is there a genetic component to their lack of conscience?

This is the question Kiehl, a protégé of famed psychopath researcher Dr. Robert Hare, was determined to answer as he began his career 20 years ago. To aid in his quest to unravel the psychopathic mind, Kiehl created the first mobile functional MRI scanner to study psychopaths in prison populations. The brains of more than 500 psychopaths and 3,000 other offenders have been scanned by Kiehl’s laboratory - the world’s largest forensic neuroscience repository of its kind. Over the course of The Psychopath Whisperer, we follow the scientific bread crumbs that Kiehl uncovered to show that the key brain structures that correspond with emotional engagement and reactions are diminished in psychopaths, offering new clues to how to predict and treat the disorder.

In The Psychopath Whisperer, Kiehl describes in fascinating detail his years working with psychopaths and studying their thought processes - from the remorseless serial killers he meets with behind bars to children whose behavior and personality traits exhibit the early warning signs of psychopathy.

A compelling narrative of cutting-edge science, The Psychopath Whisperer will open your eyes on a fascinating but little-understood world, with startling implications for society, the law, and our personal lives.

©2014 Kent A. Kiehl (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (129 )
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  •  
    DORIS H. 08-16-14
    DORIS H. 08-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An autobiography with splatter of neuropsychology."
    Any additional comments?

    This book primarily is about the author's career.
    There are interesting stories and information about psychopathy, less than 25% of book.
    Well produced, excellent narrator.

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clydene San Diego, California 06-19-14
    Clydene San Diego, California 06-19-14 Member Since 2014

    So many books, so little time...

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More Please"

    This is a fascinating and interesting book. I have eread all the books by Dr. Robert Hare, so when I learned that Dr. Kiehl had worked wtih Dr. Hare I was sold on this book. Dr. Kiehl has taken this very complex field of neuroscience and the psychopath and had made it digestible for the non neuroscience major.

    I loved this book. It explains a lot of things about psychopaths. I would highly recommend this book especially if you have read the Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout and Snakes in Suits by Robert Hare.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ddddddd Melbourne, Victoria Australia 07-01-14
    ddddddd Melbourne, Victoria Australia 07-01-14 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not about the results"
    Would you try another book from Kent A. Kiehl and/or Kevin Pariseau?

    This is more the life story of this author, not much about the key insights. Can be a shorter book! I will have to think about it.


    Has The Psychopath Whisperer turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Nope


    Have you listened to any of Kevin Pariseau’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Psychopath Whisperer?

    Keep it short and focus on insights. This is less about the science and more about the story of the Researcher. The book in itself is not bad but it is not true to the Title. It's misleading.


    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnn Boston, MA, United States 11-14-14
    JoAnn Boston, MA, United States 11-14-14
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    "SUPER interesting"

    This was a terrific book about someone who professionally practices the field of abnormal psychology. As a "Criminal Minds" addict, I loved hearing the practical science behind psychological diagnoses. I was very impressed by Dr. Kiehl's career path (as a psychology major, it illustrated the grueling path of becoming a research professional well.. and made me happy that I chose a more practical carreer!) and thought his case studies were beyond interesting. I also feared that many of my questions would go un-answered in this book, but this was not the case. While he used convicted felons as his primary source of knowledge, I learned about the development, diagnosis, treatment, and current issues in the field of psychopathy... as well as some insight to my favorite "unsubs" on Criminal Minds!

    This narrator will have to reign among my favorites. He read in the exact style I prefer- few accents/affectations on the dialogue, velvety voice, and inflections that clearly indicated the punctuation of the standard text.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-14-14
    Scott Scarborough, ON, Canada 11-14-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ev'thing you wanted to know but were afraid to ask"
    What did you like best about this story?

    This book is a mostly entertaining, first hand account of Kiehl’s professional experiences studying criminal psychopaths. It is informative without getting too technical (though there is a heavy focus on Kiehl’s brain imagining work) and the listener will come away with both a sense of who/what constitutes a psychopath as well as the somewhat unsettling notion that there are still more unknowns than knowns about its causes and treatments. Kiehl relates all this in a breezy, informal narrative that includes many fascinating case studies of youth and adults he has worked with over several decades. The title is probably misleading – Kiehl makes no claims to having any great gifts or abilities to relate to psychopaths but what the book does admirably is to shed light on the many falsehoods, misconceptions, and unknowns we have about this (thankfully) small sub-set of humankind. The narration is good in conveying Kielh as the “kind of guy you would like to go out with for a beer” while also subtly reminding the listener that these are real people we are hearing about. My only complaint is that the narrative occasionally diverges too much from the topic or digresses into detailed tangents (e.g. the procuring of various MRI machines) that could have either been edited down or out. Still, as long as you are neither scared off or repulsed by the topic, TPW is worth a read.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Annie Fitt The Middle Peninsula, VA 11-05-14
    Annie Fitt The Middle Peninsula, VA 11-05-14 Member Since 2013

    The Ragtag Horde

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Boring Psychopaths?"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I didn't think it was possible to take a subject like Psychopathy and make it boring, but this author has managed it splendidly.


    What could Kent A. Kiehl have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Let me count the ways! Learn to edit, for one. Pacing was slow, characters flat and one dimensional, too much information about irrelevant things (do we really need to know every detail about moving psychopaths from the prison to the hospital, including the author buying everybody donuts, and Starbucks coffee?) and not enough about people and things we should care about. This book is a good example of why the humanities are still relevant - the best writers of non-fiction understand what makes a book inform and grip the audience.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kevin Pariseau’s performances?

    I didn't like the narration - Pariseau had odd, jerky timing, with little pauses at inappropriate places that I found very irritating. To be fair, I think perhaps reading a better written book I might have been more tolerant.


    What character would you cut from The Psychopath Whisperer?

    Kent A. Kiehle - that is who I would have cut!


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waste your money on this book. If you are interested in the subject check out "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson, or "The Sociopath Next Door" by Martha Stout.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MistyKat Australia 11-03-14
    MistyKat Australia 11-03-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Interesting and a great read"

    Interesting and full of wow, really, aha moments. Other than the knowledge you will gain from reading this book, you will also enjoy the way Kent has made it into a story.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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