It’s difficult to label someone as a psychopath definitively; however, certain behaviors may indicate someone is one. A psychopath, according to Psychology Today, has a difficult time understanding why people have feelings, and this lack of empathy can be spotted in several of the least obvious ways, including the types of drinks someone orders. The following scientifically based quirks could be a warning that someone exhibits psychopathic behaviors, and interestingly, men are more likely to be psychopaths. Now that you know this, here are three things to watch out for if you suspect someone is a little off.
1. They’re immune to yawning stimuli
In a study published by Personality and Individual Differences, researchers gave 135 undergraduates the task of completing a questionnaire meant to assess their levels of psychopathic traits. Afterward, the participants were given three videos to watch in a random order — one had a person with a neutral face, one was of a person laughing, and the third was of a person yawning. While the participants watched the videos, the researchers carefully monitored their faces, looking for minute facial muscle activity.
The results of the survey showed something fascinating: The participants who scored higher on the psychopathy-related trait of coldheartedness (which Refinery29 describes as an”emotional detachment combined with an overall disagreeable disposition”) were less likely to be affected by the contagious yawning stimuli that most of us fall prey to when we see another person yawn.
Psychology Today notes that individuals who rate highly on psychopathic traits tend to be insincere, selfish, overconfident, and uncaring. The response (or lack of reaction) to connect when watching a person yawn, by responding back, seems to fall within the psychopathic personality trait of lacking empathy, which is just one piece of the entire picture. If you’re interested in testing out someone’s coldheartedness or have a sneaking suspicion about their personality, you might want to try yawning in front of them — or you can take a look on their Instagram and count the number of selfies they’ve posted. Which brings us to the next fact about psychopaths….
2. They tend to take a lot of selfies
Besides their inability to return a yawn, research suggests men who post a lot of selfies can be indicative of an annoying personality trait, sending red flags out through social media. In a study published in Personality and Individual Differences, researchers took a look at a link between men’s personality traits and how they present themselves on social media. The team surveyed men between the ages of 18 and 40 with the purpose of testing selfie-taking habits about their levels of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. These three traits are collectively known as the Dark Triad, which has become a new focus of personality psychology.The survey focused on personalities, asking them questions such as how attractive they considered themselves, how much they desired others to pay attention to them, how concerned they were with morality, and whether they had an affinity toward manipulating people. The participants were then asked about the frequency of their social media usage; for instance, how often they posted pictures and the degree to which they would edit their photos before posting them.
The survey found men who showed high levels of self-objectification and narcissism spent greater amounts of time on social media and networking sites. Further, the researchers found that people who were more narcissistic and psychopathic were more likely to post selfies more frequently.
3. They order black coffee
This one can easily be confused with someone who just wants to cut out dairy and sugar from their diet. A study published in the journal Appetite suggests that if you tend to prefer your coffee black, then you may have psychopathic tendencies. The study of almost 1,000 people found those who preferred bitter foods and beverages were more likely, as in the past two studies, to display characteristics of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and everyday sadism.”It should be noted though that the answers were self-reported by the subjects. Beware of those coffee orders next time you’re at Starbucks because trouble might be a-brewing’.