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Info Heroism: The bright side of psychopathy?

Stephanie Pappas
LiveScience
Mon, 17 Jun 2013 06:12 CDT

Heroes and psychopaths may have something in common, according to new research that links psychopathic personality traits to selfless behavior.

The finding may seem incongruous, given that lack of empathy for others is a key trait of psychopathy, which is also marked by impulsivity, superficial charm and lack of remorse. But some personality traits of psychopaths may be, in some situations, positive, said study researcher Scott Lilienfeld, a psychologist at Emory University in Atlanta.

"Personality traits can be good or bad depending on the person and depending on the situation and also how they're channeled," Lilienfeld told LiveScience. Take fearless dominance, which describes a boldness frequently seen in psychopaths, he said.

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