Welcome to Clip from Spiral logo

Interactive video lesson plan for: Would You Vote for a Psychopath?

Activity overview:

Neuroscientist and self-described psychopath James Fallon discusses the psychopathic tendencies of leaders and madmen. Fallon is the author of The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist's Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain (http://goo.gl/OfG8DH).

Don't miss new Big Think videos!  Subscribe by clicking here: http://goo.gl/CPTsV5

Transcript -- This team of researchers asked the biographers -- the really top biographers for all the presidents from the beginning all the way through almost up to the present. And said, rate them on this psychopathic scale. And they did and right at the top was Teddy Roosevelt. Then FDR, then JFK. Bill Clinton was right up there. People really low on the -- way low in psychopathy like Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, George Bush Sr., very low psychopathy. George Bush's son is kind of in the middle.

So anyway there's this group that are very high, group low. The thing is is that if you look at what people consider leadership -- who am I gonna follow -- they pick the people at the top. They're picking and voting for and enjoying the psychopathic traits because those are the people that you think are the ones who can lead you. And, in fact, these are -- you know, psychopaths are known for really being world champ liars -- pathological liars. Even for the hell of it, right. And so if you look at people at the top of the presidential list they did, in fact, lie. But the thing is they lied for us. They lied to protect us. And people for some reason don't seem to mind psychopathic behavior when it's done on their behalf. It's like the person who wants to get the best deal. They want the money manager that's gonna -- if they're gonna cheat, cheat for me. Make me money. If you're gonna lie, lie and save me, save us.

And so a lot of the behavior of leaders like that who have these are such that people will say they don't like it but they vote for it over and over and over again. So it must be something very essential in us. They're not thinking I want to vote for a psychopath but they like those traits and those traits are strongly associated with psychopathy.

You would also think people would say well Hitler and all those Nazi leaders must have been psychopaths. And yet the analysis by many, many psychiatrists over the years -- Hitler does not come up as a psychopath and none of those Nazis do at all. They're all family men. They're all very smart and they thought they were doing their job.

And that's why Hannah Arendt when she talked about this she didn't call it psychopathy but she -- the way she analyzed it is that people will get into a position and they're just little pieces of a bigger organization. That organization is evil, right. It's the banality of evil is what she called it. But each individual's role is sort of hidden. And so people with those tendencies can be not fully psychopathic but they will do things that within an organization will get them what they want. So they helped the launch and it's a fulcrum for general psychopathy, let's say, in a culture country. So that's a little bit different. But the individual ones -- there's a study that just came out on Mafia in Sicily. So they took imprisoned Mafia -- now these were not the very top guys but kind of the middle management of the Mafia. And all of them tested lower in psychopathy than the average person. No psychopathy. But you would think that Nazis, Mafia is psychopathy. It's not.

See there's kind of a misunderstanding of what it is. And there are really very few psychopathic killers. And there's very few of the ones you would see in a film or TV. Extremely rare people. But they are working with you and they, you know, in any organization that has more than about 35 people there's gonna be somebody in there that's really a psychopath but they put themselves there and they're usually in a spot where they can lord it over people just below them and get what they want and use a manipulation and some intimidation. And they can use it to get sex. They can use it to get money, to manipulate and steal whatever it is or just to create a world that they own. And that would be another part of this. There are -- there's a kind of psychopathy that they're not getting anything for. There's no sex, drugs, money or anything like that. But they are creating a world that they bring you into. And they control you. But most of them don't do any of these really fully criminal nasty violent things at all because they don't want to go to jail. They don't want to get caught. They like their life. They really like their life.

Directed / Produced by Jonathan Fowler, Elizabeth Rodd, and Dillon Fitton

Tagged under: Big Think,BigThink,BigThink.,Education,Educational,Lifelong Learning,EDU,Psychopathy (Disease Or Medical Condition),President (Organization Committee Title),Nazism (Idea),Barack Obama (US President),George Bush (US President),George H. W. Bush (US President),Adolf Hitler (Author),Brain,Behavior,President Of The United States (Ontology Class),Psychometrics (Field Of Study)

Clip makes it super easy to turn any public video into a formative assessment activity in your classroom.

Add multiple choice quizzes, questions and browse hundreds of approved, video lesson ideas for Clip

Make YouTube one of your teaching aids - Works perfectly with lesson micro-teaching plans

Play this activity

1. Students enter a simple code

2. You play the video

3. The students comment

4. You review and reflect

* Whiteboard required for teacher-paced activities

Share on:

Share Would You Vote for a Psychopath? on Google+ Share Would You Vote for a Psychopath? on Twitter Share Would You Vote for a Psychopath? on Facebook Pin Would You Vote for a Psychopath? Email Would You Vote for a Psychopath?

Ready to see what else Spiral logo can do?

With four apps, each designed around existing classroom activities, Spiral gives you the power to do formative assessment with anything you teach.

Quickfire

Carry out a quickfire formative assessment to see what the whole class is thinking

Discuss

Create interactive presentations to spark creativity in class

Team Up

Student teams can create and share collaborative presentations from linked devices

Clip

Turn any public video into a live chat with questions and quizzes

1000s of teachers use Spiral to deliver awesome, engaging activities that capture students' understanding during lessons.

Now it's your turn Sign up

Spiral Reviews by Teachers and Digital Learning Coaches

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Kathryn Laster @kklaster

Tried out the canvas response option on @SpiralEducation & it's so awesome! Add text or drawings AND annotate an image! #R10tech

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Room 220 Math Stars @3rdgradeBCE

Using @SpiralEducation in class for math review. Student approved! Thumbs up! Thanks.

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Miss Ord @ordmiss

Absolutely amazing collaboration from year 10 today. 100% engagement and constant smiles from all #lovetsla #spiral

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Adam J. Stryker @strykerstennis

Students show better Interpersonal Writing skills than Speaking via @SpiralEducation Great #data #langchat folks!

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Dr Ayla Göl @iladylayla

A good tool for supporting active #learning.

Spiral
Review of Spiral by teacher: Brett Erenberg @BrettErenberg

The Team Up app is unlike anything I have ever seen. You left NOTHING out! So impressed!

Get the Clip Chrome Extension & Create Video Lessons in Seconds

Add Clip to Chrome