Tag Archives: science

Is Dexter Morgan a Psychopath?

Dexter Morgan is a fictional character from the hit TV Series, Dexter. Dexter works in the forensics department of Miami Homicide as a blood spatter analyst, and he moonlights as a vigilante serial killer. He lives by the ‘code’ of his father – never get caught and only kill bad people (amongst other things).

His work is meticulous. He makes sure that the people he kills are all guilty of a crime before he decides to kill them. He does his best not to get caught. The catch is that he does not feel remorse and lacks empathy. He is able to put a straight face right after his ‘adventures’. He is charming, shy and extremely intelligent – much like every psychopath portrayed in the media.

However, when subjected to Hare’s Psychopath Checklist (1991, 2003)- one of the accepted checklistsused to identify psychopaths, Dexter scores poorly. Despite all the terrible things that Dexter has done, I would not identify him as a psychopath. Unlike actual psychopaths, Dexter is capable of maintaining relationships throughout the series. He was very close to his sister and was a good, loyal husband to Rita. He was also academically successful and was able to keep a career for a very long time. His lab reports were mostly of excellent standard and he was considered as an expert in his field. In addition, the voice-overs throughout the show reveals that Dexter kept on analysing his life. He was trying to make sense of almost everything that happened to him. This is unlikely to be the case in real-life psychopaths as most of them seem disinterested in self-reflection and self-awareness.

If you have seen the series, I invite you to try to score him up on this LINK.

So what is he if he’s not a psychopath? I’m not too sure, in all honesty. I think he serves as a reminder that not everyone you meet is who they seem to be. He’s a chilling reminder of what people are capable of and how vigilant we should all be.

A serious question

Today’s Daily Prompt asks: If you had to come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met, what would it be? What would the right answer be?

Question:How do you know that what you believe in is right?

Answer By looking at the evidence available. I am prepared to change my mind.

I always ask this to determine people’s open-mindedness. Not everything we believe in is true. Some can be true today but may not be tomorrow. An open, yet critical mind will take you far in life.

Genetic Imprinting Theory, Autism, Schizophrenia and Bad Reporting

Let us take a closer look at how news reporters use words to manipulate the meaning of scientific research. I’m going to use the recently published article by Byars, Stearns and Boonsma (2014) on the opposite risk patterns for autism and schizophrenia and its association with birth size.

Here is the link for the original study: royalsocietypublishing

Here is  The Independent’s take on it: independent.co.uk

and here is ABC’s take on it: abc.net

Which one reported it better? Which one would you be more inclined to read? Why?

Full Disclosure Chip

Today’s Daily Prompt:A mad scientist friend offers you a chip that would allow you to know what the people you’re talking to are thinking. The catch: you can’t turn it off. Do you accept the chip?

The idea of having a device that tells me what people are thinking is too good an opportunity to miss. I’m going to say YES even though I cannot turn it off, providing that I am the only one who would ever have it.

I can only imagine dealing with car-, insurance-, and mortgage sales representatives who would try to con me. Job interviews would also be easier, not to mention my future job as a psychologist!!

How can I turn it off? Well, I would not talk to people if I do not want it activated!!

Vending Machine that dispenses ideas

Today’s Daily PromptSoft drinks, electronics, nutrient-free snacks – you can get all of those from a vending machine. But what type of vending machine is sorely needed but doesn’t yet exist? Share your automated retail fantasies with us!

First of all, I must say that this prompt is a very, very cool one! Kudos to the peeps at Daily Post!!

I found it very hard to think of a really cool, yet non-existent vending machine. What I really wanted already existed – a vending machine that dispenses cars. Look:

What I think this society needs is a vending machine that dispenses really bright and cool ideas. Most people (that I have encountered) lack imagination, creativity and innovative ideas, and I feel that we could all use an easy way out. I know that this idea sounds ridiculous as each of us may have a different opinion of what constitutes a good idea and what doesn’t. Also, who would monitor and manufacture the vending machines? Nevertheless, even though it is a wild idea, I would stick to it.

There’s a catch, though. Every idea that you get from the vending machine comes with the chip that Sheldon Cooper  described in the Big Bang Theory:

PINGBACKS:

UNDERTHEMONKEYTREE

tuckedintoacorner

alanewart

agent909

thoughtsofamisfitjunkie

thefloralbunny

keyboardpizza

fibercompulsion

kansamuse

Dirt Road

pippakinclawz

artmoscow

psychologistmimi

rebeccaraelyn

flowersandbreezes

nonsmmokingladybug

jaynesdailypost

angloswiss-chronicles

alotfromlydia

missayleen

abouquetofroses

mydeliblog