In this Ted Talk essay on “Strange Answers to the Psychopath Test” by Jon Ronson, the author argues that mental health has become a significant issue. There are many different forms of mental illnesses. Psychopaths are people or individuals who lack a conscience and are incapable of empathy for anyone other than themselves in society. In particular, Ronson’s talk highlights psychopathic behavior, and it plays a crucial part in raising awareness about mental health conditions.
The Main Theme of the Video
The main point of the video is to question the actual definition of a psychopath and what truly is sanity or madness. Ronson talks about clinical ways of spotting and understanding psychopathic behavior in society because they can manipulate individuals and the system by faking illnesses (07:38-07:58). The video uses a case study to show how psychopathic behavior can be spotted in the community. In addition, the video highlights the difference between normal and psychopathic behaviors. Therefore, the main theme of the video is to help to spot and identify psychopathic behavior in people.
The video relates to my personal experience because I have come across an individual showing some traits of psychopathic behavior. The video highlights that some traits of psychopathic behavior may include “glibness, superficial charm and grandiose sense of self-worth” (Ronson 08:02-08:08). The individual I came across was cunning and manipulative because he did not care about how his behavior affected the others or how the other members of society perceived him. Hence, the video highlights how to spot psychopathic behaviors and traits.
Importance of the Information
The video is essential because, in modern times, mental illness has become one of the biggest challenges in the health industry. Mental health is referred to as a prefix of problems, just as the term ‘mental health services’ has carried euphemistic value for those responsible for them (Pilgrim 15). It is highlighted that referring to mental health as a problem can escalate it because of stigmatizing. Thus, the video highlights the importance of understanding people with mental health.
Applying the Information
The information can be applied to understanding people with mental illness. It is essential to understand psychopathic behavior because it helps to identify not guilty by reason of insanity (NGRIs) and socially dangerous people (Carabellese et al. 2). In the video, people can learn that psychopaths do not always know they are psychopaths, which can help to avert their prosecution and give them the assistance that they require. Thus, the information can be applied to understand how to handle situations where one comes across a mentally ill individual.
The one surprising thing in the video is that it is easy for psychopaths to manipulate people. Research shows that psychopaths manipulate people to get what they want, which leaves one feeling deceived and hurt (Whitbourne and Hagan par. 1). It is with no doubt that psychopaths do self-gaining acts and only think of themselves as nobody else. Hence, it is surprising that psychopaths can have that high degree of self-indulgence with no guilt.
In conclusion, mental illness is a subject to be given great attention by the medical society and the community. The video highlights some of the effects associated with psychopathic behavior. The message is important because it helps people to understand psychopaths and get ideas on how to interact with them.
Carabellese, Felice, et al. “Female Psychopathy: A Descriptive National Study of Socially Dangerous Female Ngri Offenders.” International Journal of Law and Psychiatry, vol. 68, 2020, pp. 1-9, doi:10.1016/j.ijlp.2019.101455.
Pilgrim, David. Key Concepts in Mental Health. 4th ed., SAGE Publications Ltd, 2017.
Ronson, Jon. “Strange Answers to the Psychopath Test.” Ted, 2012, www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.
Whitbourne, Susan Krauss, and Ekua Hagan. “The Top 5 Ways the Psychopathic Will Try to Manipulate You.” Psychology Today, 2017, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/fulfillment-any-age/201712/the-top-5-ways-the-psychopathic-will-try-manipulate-you.