Jordan B. Peterson - How Narcissistic Psychopaths Fool You

Essence

The Living Force
#1
Just found this short video of Jordan B. Peterson, where he talks a little about psychopaths' manipulations in a lecture to his students. He says that everyone will encounter a psychopath in their lives at some point, that everybody can be fooled, and also mentions Robert Hare and his experience of being taken in. He brings up the example of the serial killer and sexual sadist Paul Bernardo, whose police interrogation videos can be watched on YouTube, and goes on to say how brilliant his maneuvers are, in his full-of-himself-demeanor and his blatantly dismissive body language.

I wonder how deep his knowledge on psychopathy is (by now) and whether he regurlarly drops hints about the topic to his students.


https://youtu.be/djEKllJJukk

Here's a video of a prison interview with Paul Bernardo:


https://youtu.be/hLTAjW5Twlk
 

PhoenixToEmber

Jedi Council Member
#2
He's definitely mentioned the topic a few times. I've been watching as many of his class lectures and talks as I can and I recall him bringing up psychopathy on a number of occasions. His recent off-campus lecture series exploring a psychological analysis of the biblical stories is particularly interesting - there are three parts on his YouTube channel so far. I highly recommend it.
 

Mariama

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#3
I just watched both videos. I thought the psychopath was also a master of deflection and distraction and he somehow reminds me of Tom Cruise. Thanks, Aiming, for posting. I love these short JP videos, short but to the point and they give much food for thought. :flowers:
 

Essence

The Living Force
#4
PhoenixToEmber said:
His recent off-campus lecture series exploring a psychological analysis of the biblical stories is particularly interesting - there are three parts on his YouTube channel so far. I highly recommend it.
Thanks for this recommendation, PTE, I'll check these out as well after I'm finished with listening to his lectures on personality.


Mariama said:
I love these short JP videos, short but to the point and they give much food for thought. :flowers:
Yes, they do, though I prefer his full-length lectures and generally really appreciate his way of presentation and tying in the various concepts into a greater concept of improving oneself as a human being. I've often had the thought that it would've been so good to have had a teacher like this when back in school, since he's not only a teacher merely conveying material but tying it in with how to conduct one's life in a proper fruitful way - even if he doesn't have the whole banana.
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#5
Aiming said:
I wonder how deep his knowledge on psychopathy is (by now) and whether he regurlarly drops hints about the topic to his students.
It would appear that it is deeper than the surface. You can write to him about this subject, and he might write back even.

Noticed this on his site:
 

Attachments

luc

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
#6
voyageur said:
Aiming said:
I wonder how deep his knowledge on psychopathy is (by now) and whether he regurlarly drops hints about the topic to his students.
It would appear that it is deeper than the surface. You can write to him about this subject, and he might write back even.
My impression is that he has clearly studied the subject in his quest of understanding evil and he is familiar with Hare's work, and probably others. But he somewhat underestimates the implications.

In one of his talks he said something along the lines of "psychopaths are found out easily when they work somewhere, and so they need to always move on". Maybe he knows more than he admits publicly, but he seems to think along the lines of Scott M. Peck in his book 'People of the Lie', i.e. that evil springs forth not so much from a lack of conscience, but from people with a conscience who deny and fight it in a desperate attempt to avoid spiritual growth.

At least that's how it looks to me. And while there may be truth in this, I think this line of thought underestimates the cleverness of the truly intelligent and successful psychopaths and all that this entails.
 

Voyageur

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#7
luc said:
voyageur said:
Aiming said:
I wonder how deep his knowledge on psychopathy is (by now) and whether he regurlarly drops hints about the topic to his students.
It would appear that it is deeper than the surface. You can write to him about this subject, and he might write back even.
My impression is that he has clearly studied the subject in his quest of understanding evil and he is familiar with Hare's work, and probably others. But he somewhat underestimates the implications.

In one of his talks he said something along the lines of "psychopaths are found out easily when they work somewhere, and so they need to always move on". Maybe he knows more than he admits publicly, but he seems to think along the lines of Scott M. Peck in his book 'People of the Lie', i.e. that evil springs forth not so much from a lack of conscience, but from people with a conscience who deny and fight it in a desperate attempt to avoid spiritual growth.

At least that's how it looks to me. And while there may be truth in this, I think this line of thought underestimates the cleverness of the truly intelligent and successful psychopaths and all that this entails.
What you say might be so. If he happened to have read PP he might acutely see all the things that were/are happening to him for what they are, and perhaps he has. The hysteria, the following, the underhandedness etc., the macrosocial dynamics of how things have developed. Just in his case alone it can be seen in the fervent opposition he faces, from faculty to the government and all those who would follow their lead.

As mentioned in the SoTT Talk thread, he would be an interesting guest to speak with to explore his thinking in more depth on this subject. I'm thinking that his knowledge of Hare (it's a small community) does not end just there on the subject, yet don't know.
 

Mariama

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#8
Aiming said:
Mariama said:
I love these short JP videos, short but to the point and they give much food for thought. :flowers:
Yes, they do, though I prefer his full-length lectures and generally really appreciate his way of presentation and tying in the various concepts into a greater concept of improving oneself as a human being. I've often had the thought that it would've been so good to have had a teacher like this when back in school, since he's not only a teacher merely conveying material but tying it in with how to conduct one's life in a proper fruitful way - even if he doesn't have the whole banana.
I agree Aiming, his longer lectures are much better, but these short videos are nice when I am having lunch or have little time. I have been thinking about how to become a teacher like Jordan Peterson in my own way. But that will take some time and effort probably and it may be harder to do when you are a secondary school teacher. Still, I would like to explore this more in depth.

I am wondering what JP would say about Paul Bernardo's ex-wife. I watched a few videos after you started this thread and she could also be a psychopath IMO. The following video (five parts) depicts her character and actions and all kinds of professionals and old friends of the woman give some interesting inside information. She made a deal with the Crown and only had to serve 12 years while claiming she suffered from battered spouse syndrome. Her callousness, lack of conscience and empathy (she was involved in the rape and (accidental?) killing of her 15 year old sister) seem pretty obvious, but I could be wrong.

Michelle Martin (Dutroux's ex-wife) and her evil deeds come to mind.


https://youtu.be/3K_d9oLsy88
 
#9
In his recent stream he was asked if there are individuals that are truly evil and irredeemable,to which he answered ''no,it would be too easy''.I suppose if you look at it from a hyperdimentional view point this might indeed be the case,but I also think that he doesn't fully understand the depravity and mechanicalness of psychopathy.I mean,I'm re-reading Political ponerology for the third time and am just now starting to understand the bloody thing. It's so formulaic and lacking in any real creativity beyond treachery,so banal that even regular people ''can learn to use that particular style of communication,albeit with some difficulty,like a foreign language'' and this is in spite of the fact that their inner world is quite incomprehensible to us,given how alien and hungry their nature is.

So I think he views them as more or less human,not as an intra species predator that wears human skin.
 

HowToBe

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
#10
Hindsight Man said:
So I think he views them as more or less human,not as an intra species predator that wears human skin.
It certainly appears so. In fact some recently uploaded short clips clarify where he currently sits on this topic:

https://youtu.be/N9qKRhZmaYs


Note that there are some insightful comments in response to that video contradicting him. Also, he does start the video saying he hopes that what he says is not naive, so he considers that possibility. His argument is more or less, "We don't know enough to say that people can be doomed from birth," and that "the classic psychopathy theorists [he mentions Hervey Cleckley earlier] fail to sufficiently address the question of why psychopaths are motivated to be malevolent." (Paraphrased quotes.) Is that really true, though?

In any case, I would say that maybe in the technical sense he's correct here, but in the meantime we have to do something about psychopathy in practice. The trouble is, if the world really is filled with power positions occupied by psychopaths - and they know what they are in some sense - then giving them the benefit of the doubt doesn't work... unless there were something we could do to render ourselves - and ideally society as well - immune. But how to survive in the meantime?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12TrvtDaFQE


(After about the 3 minute mark the topic shifts.) In this video he directly attacks the idea of psychopaths in power, basically saying that it's overblown, that our hierarchical structures usually work. First he points out that the highest markers for success in We stern society are Intelligence and Conscientiousness (a trait marker for hard work):

Jordan Peterson said:
...so who gets ahead? Smart people who work hard. Now, that doesn't account for every bit of the difference between people in terms of their hierarchical structure because hierarchies aren't perfect: They're corrupt, people get to the top because they're psychopathic; although, believe me, a hell of a lot less than you think, because a psychopath has to keep moving from place to place, because once he reveals himself as deceitful and untrustworthy he has to go find new suckers to fleece.

So the idea that, you know, there's no distinction between a CEO and a psychopath - that's only made by a person who A) knows nothing about psychopaths; B) knows nothing about CEOs; and C) has something fundamental against the entire capitalist structure, because it's simply not true.

Corrupt? Sometimes. Greedy? Sometimes. Shortsighted? Sometimes running companies that are doing their best to auger themselves into the ground and so it's bad people running a dying organization. But, generally speaking, it's not the case. Our hierarchies of competence are reasonably functional. And not only functional, they're valuable; we need to know who the competent people are, and we need to reward them. And, even more importantly, we need to tell young people, "hey, there are some hierarchies of competence out there, like a thousand of them. Go be a plumber, man, but be a good one, be an honest one.
https://youtu.be/12TrvtDaFQE


I think this video also helps to clarify his view about psychopathy: he says a person can get a lot worse than psychopathic: when they don't care if they hurt themselves, as long as they hurt others in the process. He uses the example of people who shoot up schools and then kill themselves. But from a pragmatic perspective, is that really "worse" than a psychopathic group which with some degree of success enslave an entire nation and cause great deals of suffering, death and chaos?



I think in part he's orienting against the fact that people will lean on the idea of psychopaths in power as an excuse to not make efforts to accomplish, be useful, and improve themselves. Also, the idea of networks does not seem integrated into his system of concepts as well as it could be, maybe? After all, networks are just as universal as hierarchies, and the two interpenetrate or occupy different levels simultaneously. His idea about dialogue and the logos seem to flirt at the edges of the idea of networks sometimes.
 
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