Psychopaths are true predators- they con, manipulate and take advantage of other people without any guilt or remorse. Their victims are left heart broken, emotionally devastated, financially ruined, abused and sometimes murdered. Psychopaths act for self gratification alone. According to author and researcher Rober D. Hare, “If we can´t spot them, we are doomed to be their victims, both as individuals and as a society.”


A new study, using computer analysis to detect patterns, reveals that certain speech patterns, and emotional expressions, can indicate psychopathic tendencies. Researchers at Cornell University report that ” Psychopathic murderers use words that reveal selfishness, detachment, and emotional flatness“. The study used computer analysis to detect speech patterns which could lead to new diagnosis treatment of psychopathy, as well as uses in law enforcement. Perhaps, by understanding these communication cues, we could also be aware of warning signs, and better be able to protect ourselves from dangerous psychopaths or abusers.


The ground-breaking research was conducted among convicted killers, who were asked to talk about their crimes. Those diagnosed as psychopaths were compared to those who were not, their stories were taped and transcribed then underwent thorough computer analysis.


The findings reveal:

*Psychopaths use other people for personal gain or benefit, they manipulate, fake emotion and gain sympathy to do so. Their crimes and objects meet a personal need or goal, “They used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex, or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion, and spirituality.”

*Psychopaths focus almost exclusively on personal needs and exclude social or familial needs

* Psychopaths are predators, their stories often include details of what they ate on the day they committed the crime

*Psychopaths are emotionally detached, they often use past tense words or use “ums” and “uhs”, Researchers also speculate this could indicate that psychopaths are trying harder to make a positive impression or con the victim, so they exert more mental effort and it takes more work to invent a convincing story/facade.

*Psychopaths have trouble describing emotional events to other people indicating they have shallow emotions

*Psychopaths view the world as theirs for the taking.

Example: My abuser’s step-father said of this son, a gambling addict, “He sees life as one big poker game. He’s plays everyone, and you never know what is going on with him.” The step-father is now enabling and supporting the abuser, suggesting his own abusive and/or anti-social tendencies.

* The psychopath views their crime as a logical outcome or as part of a plan–it needed to be done to achieve or gain something. While their victims are hurt, offended or even killed, for the psychopath this makes perfect sense, and is a reasonable action.


This study is new, and will require further research and analysis, “The researchers caution that their analysis applies only to murderers relating the story of their own crimes, and suggest further studies of speech patterns in more neutral situations, such as telling a neutral story from the subjects’ past or describing an incident shown to them on video.” The Researchers would like to take the study onto social media at some time in the future.



Live Science, “How to Spot Psychopaths: Their Speech Patterns Give Them Away” by Wynne Parry. 10/20/2011. Victim Support Community – Various Sources


Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of Psychopaths Among Us (Details on psychopathic behavior, real stories from victims) by Robert D. Hare. 1993.