Event Title

Inside the Mind of a Psychopath - Are We Born Evil?

Presenter Information

Madeleine Amberg

Event Type

Presentation

Start Date

8-5-2020 10:20 AM

End Date

8-5-2020 11:10 AM

Description

In 2012, both Dr. William Shoemaker and Dr. Arber Tasimi each presented their own research on how humans become evil. Shoemaker’s study involved surveying evil people in jail, and those considered to be not evil in the general population. Shoemaker then conducted brain scans on both surveyed groups to see if there were any major differences in the physical structure of their brains. After comparing the brain scans, Shoemaker found that almost all of those considered to be evil were lacking mirror neurons and had a deformed fusiform face area in the temporal lobe of the brain compared to those in the general population, suggesting that people are born evil. Tasimi’s research was conducted at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center. In his research, he acted out simple puppet shows that featured a good guy, bad guy, and a bystander for infants ranging from 6 - 18 months. Following the puppet shows, the majority of infants were attracted to and wanted to play with the good guy over the bad guy or bystander in any given situation which implies that it is a human’s environment that determines if they will become evil since babies have not had enough experience in their environment for it to shape them. In my own research, I surveyed 153 of my peers to better understand society’s opinion on the topic. The participants were first asked if they believe humans are born or made evil without being provided any background information. 92% of the surveyed agreed that humans are made evil. To avoid survey errors, the participants were asked if they were familiar with either Tasimi or Shoemaker’s studies, and none were familiar with Shoemaker, and only 2% were familiar with Tashimi’s research. Following these questions, the participants were provided with information that explained the results of Shoemaker’s study. Despite his findings, 83% still agreed that humans are made evil. Finally, when provided with the findings of Tasimi’s study, 93% agreed that humans are made evil, as Tasimi’s findings suggested. The survey results were incredibly interesting because the participants did not find Shoemaker’s evidence to be very convincing, which suggests that the general opinion is that humans are made to become evil by their environment - not by the way their brain is formed.

Faculty Sponsor: Trina Sotirakopulos

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May 8th, 10:20 AM May 8th, 11:10 AM

Inside the Mind of a Psychopath - Are We Born Evil?

Symposium Room C - Click here to attend presentation

In 2012, both Dr. William Shoemaker and Dr. Arber Tasimi each presented their own research on how humans become evil. Shoemaker’s study involved surveying evil people in jail, and those considered to be not evil in the general population. Shoemaker then conducted brain scans on both surveyed groups to see if there were any major differences in the physical structure of their brains. After comparing the brain scans, Shoemaker found that almost all of those considered to be evil were lacking mirror neurons and had a deformed fusiform face area in the temporal lobe of the brain compared to those in the general population, suggesting that people are born evil. Tasimi’s research was conducted at Yale University’s Infant Cognition Center. In his research, he acted out simple puppet shows that featured a good guy, bad guy, and a bystander for infants ranging from 6 - 18 months. Following the puppet shows, the majority of infants were attracted to and wanted to play with the good guy over the bad guy or bystander in any given situation which implies that it is a human’s environment that determines if they will become evil since babies have not had enough experience in their environment for it to shape them. In my own research, I surveyed 153 of my peers to better understand society’s opinion on the topic. The participants were first asked if they believe humans are born or made evil without being provided any background information. 92% of the surveyed agreed that humans are made evil. To avoid survey errors, the participants were asked if they were familiar with either Tasimi or Shoemaker’s studies, and none were familiar with Shoemaker, and only 2% were familiar with Tashimi’s research. Following these questions, the participants were provided with information that explained the results of Shoemaker’s study. Despite his findings, 83% still agreed that humans are made evil. Finally, when provided with the findings of Tasimi’s study, 93% agreed that humans are made evil, as Tasimi’s findings suggested. The survey results were incredibly interesting because the participants did not find Shoemaker’s evidence to be very convincing, which suggests that the general opinion is that humans are made to become evil by their environment - not by the way their brain is formed.

Faculty Sponsor: Trina Sotirakopulos