That Lying Psycho on Facebook! Detecting Psychopathy Through Speech Patterns

Audre Studios via WeirdArts.comFrom now on, we’re speaking only in present tense with lots of caring words. As reported in LiveScience:

. . . researchers interviewed 52 convicted murderers, 14 of them ranked as psychopaths according to the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised, a 20-item assessment, and asked them to describe their crimes in detail. Using computer programs to analyze what the men said, the researchers found that those with psychopathic scores showed a lack of emotion, spoke in terms of cause-and-effect when describing their crimes, and focused their attention on basic needs, such as food, drink and money. . .

The use of the past tense can be an indicator of psychological detachment, and the researchers found that the psychopaths used it more than the present tense when compared with the nonpsychopaths. They also found more dysfluencies—the “uhs” and “ums” that interrupt speech—among psychopaths . . .

Their analysis revealed that psychopaths used about twice as many words related to basic physiological needs and self-preservation, including eating, drinking, and monetary resources than the nonpsychopaths, they write . . .

The researchers are interested in analyzing what people write on Facebook or in other social media, since our unconscious mind also holds sway over what we write. By analyzing stories written by students from Cornell and the University of British Columbia, and looking at how the text people generate using social media relates to scores on the Self-Report Psychopathy scale . . .

Go read the rest for more details about how law enforcement might use this, for example, to help find the Long Island serial killer who advertised for his victims on Craigslist.

We don’t feel safe saying any more than that.

Image via Audre Studios and WeirdArts.com

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