What to know about what you don’t know you know. #1: Intuition is very efficient—if you don't overthink it.
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Other articles I've read agree with you, Ms. Ramsland, that the "MacDonald Triad" is not considered to be a viable or accurate predictor of future criminal or violent behavior in young people any longer, due to the reasons you stated.
And I agree that the presence or absence of cognitive empathy (the ability to read other people's emotions accurately) and affective empathy (the ability to experience another's feelings as though they are your own) is a huge factor in whether a given individual treats other people as mere objects, or as fellow human beings.
It seems to me that Dr. Robert Hare's research and conclusions regarding psychopathy in forensic populations needs to be expanded into very long-term studies of various clinical groups over the subjects' lifetimes, to gain more insight about how various factors in a child's and teen's genetic/temperamental map, his/her background/family of origin, and experiences during the formative years CAN be better predictors of future criminality and violence.
The more we understand about what causes one child to become a violent criminal in adulthood and another child to turn out relatively normal given the same environment, the better chance we have of developing better, more effective treatments and starting these treatments earlier for "proto-psychopathic" individuals, hopefully reducing or eliminating the chances for psychopathy to develop to its worst potential.
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