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Wicked Nerdery

Where psychology, pop culture, and true crime collide

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Psychopath

Is The Walking Dead’s Negan a Psychopath?

With the seventh season of The Walking Dead approaching there’s one name on every fan’s lips…Negan. Love or hate him, there’s no doubt he’s going to make a serious impact (no pun intended) on the post-apocalyptic world. He’s charming enough to amass a large group of followers, brutal enough to keep numerous communities under his thumb, and smart enough to lure Rick and his crew into a deadly trap. Given these characteristics and his seeming delight in cruelty it’s understandable that one of the more frequent labels thrown at him is psychopath.

The question is: Is that an appropriate label for the leader of The Saviors?

If we look at a key tool in diagnosing psychopaths – the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R) – and compare Negan’s behavior (in the show and comics) we might find our answer…

(Note: Going forward there will be spoilers for the comic…Possibly the show.)

Continue reading “Is The Walking Dead’s Negan a Psychopath?”

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Secret Psychopath: House of Cards’ Claire Underwood

In a previous post I discussed how a psychopath like the Joker can fly under the radar by playing crazy.  I also mentioned that that isn’t the only way a psychopath can go unnoticed by the rest of society; they can also play subdued.  This is how most function without notice, by appearing and behaving like the average, everyday, person.  They have jobs, families, friends, and show the appropriate emotions at the appropriate times.  Admittedly there are still moments they slip into their more cold, calculating, and ruthless nature, but those times are often dismissed as a single event (even when it’s a repeated one) or a quirk.  …This seems to be what House of Cards’ main female protagonist – or will that be antagonist now? – Claire Underwood is able to do.

Continue reading “Secret Psychopath: House of Cards’ Claire Underwood”

Secret Psychopath: The Dark Knight’s Joker

Psychopaths are not easy to spot; in no small part because they are masters of disguise, skilled at fitting in even when they stand out.  With the ability to read a room and the expectations of those within it they can follow social norms to fly under the radar or openly defy them to whatever advantages there might be.  Whichever they choose though rarely are psychopaths spotted for what they are.  It’s only if you look closely, dissect with a rational mind, that you can see beyond the surface behaviors to the true person beneath.  It holds in real life and it holds in the fictional world…there are a number of characters in TV, film, and comics that hide themselves behind either subdued or over-the-top behavior so that you don’t notice who, what, they really are.

Continue reading “Secret Psychopath: The Dark Knight’s Joker”

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