Do You Speak Like a Psychopath?

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Cornell University's Jeffrey Hancock, along with Michael Woodworth of the University of British Columbia, have been studying how convicted killers (including 18 "certified psychopaths") speak, in hopes of helping detectives identify suspects via social media, online postings, texts, and, of course, the traditional interrogative methods, too. So, how do you know if you speak like a psychopath? Some clues, after the jump!

• Psychopaths tend to use the past tense more frequently, perhaps to suggest detachment from the crime.

• Look out for frequent "uhs" and "ums" -- they might indicate it's difficult to talk about an event -- or they might just indicate someone uncomfortable with speaking.

• Psychopaths more frequently use "cause-and-effect words" like "so" and "because."

• They also speak a lot about material needs -- what they ate, money, etc. -- instead of love, family, or other social needs.

The researchers "hope the exercise will determine if the language patterns used in social media can show whether a person is a psychopath."

Lessons: Always speak in the present tense, and watch your tweets for "ums" and "uhs"! Also, that person who's always posting about their delicious sandwich on Facebook is clearly a psychopath. Unfriend them immediately. As for people who write in the royal (or "journalistic") we, we just don't know.

Psychopathic killers leave clues in speech patterns - and possibly texts & tweets: NY professor [NYDN]

[JDoll / @thisisjendoll]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.


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4 comments
QueZ
QueZ

What a load of crapola. Either the authorities are clueless or this article seriously oversimplified what they are doing and how they are determining psychopathic clues.

Dave
Dave

For every psychopath that hurts someone,there are a thousand who dont.Please don't demonize those who dont give a fuck.I guess the days are gone when you would be looked at sideways for being silent.

Aguilera
Aguilera

Everyone do that sometimes, I am not an exception neither. I do think it depends on the situation that we belong to. it makes me feel great sometimes.

hippie canyon
hippie canyon

That reminds me of this, um, book I "bought"  last week about language and meaning.  Because I left it on the 6 train, I,  uh, will never get to know if it was worth the risk... I mean the $22.95. So,  I was pissed at the world & went and had a few beers to try to forget about it. But don't worry, I ordered a pastrami sandwich to soak up some of the alcohol.

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