Review: The Sociopath Next Door – Martha Stout

Paperback: 256 pages
Publisher: Three Rivers Press (March 14, 2006)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0767915828
ISBN-13: 978-0767915823
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Psychologically speaking, a Sociopath is someone without a conscience. We all know people like that. In The Sociopath Next Door, by Dr. Martha Stout, she examines the sociopathic mind. There are 7 characteristics of a sociopath.

(1) failure to conform to social norms
(2) deceitfulness, manipulativeness
(3) impulsivity, failure to plan ahead
(4) irritability, aggressiveness
(5) reckless disregard for the safety of self or others
(6) consistent irresponsibility
(7) lack of remorse after having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another person.

Any 3 of these can give a psychiatrist the means to suspect this disorder. We see it in our leaders, our family members, our co-workers.

I found this book to be very informative, probably one of the most informative books I’ve read. I think it would be not only helpful for those in the medical field, but just for the average person in being able to understand others, and what makes them tick. I also think it’s a valuable guide for writers in understanding the human psyche.

It’s filled with multiple scenarios of different forms of sociopathic behavior, and in reading it I’m sure you’d recognize people you know, I know I did. For it’s informative nature, it’s interesting subject matter, and being written in such a manner that it does not come across as textbook dry, I highly recommend this book to all my readers. Check it out and drop back by to let us know what you thought.

About the Author

Martha Stout, Ph.D., was trained at the famous McLean Psychiatric Hospital and is a practicing psychologist and a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She is the author of The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness and has been featured on Fox News, National Public Radio, KABC, and many other broadcasts. She lives on Cape Ann, Massachusetts.

You can discuss it here or join my facebook page and discuss it there.

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8 Responses to “Review: The Sociopath Next Door – Martha Stout”

  1. Joan Herrington Slish Says:

    What if you have one in your own family?

  2. Rick Rhodes Says:

    Actually, I had that scheduled, but forgot to write the review. :-) I need to go do that. As for your question, it’s a lot more common than it seems from this book. Denzel Washington read this to prepare for his role in Safehouse. It’s a very fascinating look into the mind, and I was definitely able to see why some people act the way they do. I’d put it as a definite must read.

  3. Nancy Strickland Hawkins Says:

    I bet it would be good for a fiction writer to read too.

  4. Rick Rhodes Says:

    It would Nancy. I’m over working on the actual review right now. I’ll let you know when it’s actually there. :-)

  5. Rick Rhodes Says:

    Joan and Nancy. I have the review up now if you want to read it.

  6. Nancy Strickland Hawkins Says:

    Excellent review. Doesn’t this description sound like George Zimmerman?

  7. Rick Rhodes Says:

    It does, and one could argue that he doesn’t match 3 of 7, but all 7. If 3 gives suspicion, than all 7 should be confirmation.

  8. Nancy Strickland Hawkins Says:

    Too bad the stand your ground law gave the sociopath license to be a sociopath.