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Dexter Talks Psychopath Stress Management

Michael C. Hall, of TV's Dexter, talks about psychopathy with psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths

Michael C. Hall: “I think what is most remarkable about Dexter is his capacity for stress management.”

Michael C. Hall, in a conversation about his TV character at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City on October 24th. He spoke with psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths.

Hall: “And I think that’s because of his ability to, as the heat goes up, his internal temperature goes down. The crazier things get, the cooler he feels. He almost craves chaos. He seems to attract it, cultivate it, encourage it, because it’s the only thing that somehow soothes him.”

Dutton: “Yeah, it’s very realistic actually, because what you find is that the more chaotic a situation, the more that psychopaths have to make decisions under pressure, the better their decision-making gets. And we’ve seen it with Dexter, the more the pressure builds, the cooler he gets. And that is exactly what you see with psychopaths, it really is.”

—Steve Mirsky

[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]

[You can hear more of Dutton talking to Michael C. Hall on an upcoming edition of the Science Talk podcast. And you can hear me talking to Dutton about his book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, on the December 28th and 29th Science Talks. Just go to www.scientificamerican.com/podcast]

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