RAB Source Entry 2 – Raul M

Source Entry 2 “How I Discovered I Have The Brain Of a Psychopath”

My Research Question is: How does childhood trauma make serial killers?

Part 1: MLA Citation:

Fallon, James. “How I Discovered I Have the Brain of a Psychopath | James Fallon.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 2 June 2014, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/03/how-i-discovered-i-have-the-brain-of-a-psychopath. 

Part 2: Summary

The article “How I Discovered I Have the Brain of a psychopath” by James Fallon is about how in 2006 his brain went through a lot of imaging and discovered that his genetic make-up is a full-blown psychopath. As a child and as a young adult, he showed signs of psychopathic traits because he would manipulate other people, have risky behavior, and have a lack of empathy for other people. He didn’t even show anxiety though his mother denied seeing these problems. Fallon later took a psychopathic test and scored highly positive on it and showed traits of fearlessness and narcissism. But also did a lot of dangerous things like making pipe bombs and joyriding in stolen cars. As a full-blown adult, he tried treating other people around him with more care, especially his wife and this prevented him from being more dangerous.

Part 2: Rhetorical Analysis

The genre is an opinion piece. The primary audience is educators and possibly parents of young children; the secondary audience is the general reading public. The purpose is to inform. The author’s writing style is Narrative and Introspective. He employs a tone of Retrospective. Fallon uses the appeal of pathos by reference to his personal life. He also uses the appeal of Ethos because he is a professor and has credibility in discussing psychology topics. The Guardian is reliable because they are the highest-ranking non-business newspaper in terms of the highest trust figure at 33%. The article was written in 2014 so the information is current.

Part 4: Notable Quotables

“Although I made pipe bombs as a kid, and did some joy riding in stolen cars and broke into some liquor cabinets as an early teen, we always returned every piece of stolen property.” (Fallon, 7th Paragraph)

“But throughout those years, there was always the odd clinician, cleric, or teacher here and there who told me point blank that there was something decidedly evil about me.” (Fallon 8th Paragraph)

“One thing pointed out to me was that simply taking on highly risky behaviors by myself was hardly psychopathic. It was when I endangered the lives of others, unwittingly sucked into my games, that they started to resemble psychopathy.”

(Fallon, 10th Paragraph)

“For myself, I decided to try to treat my wife and other loved ones with more care. Each time I’m about to interact with them, I pause for a moment and ask “What would a good person do here?” and notice that my instinct is to always do the most selfish thing at that moment.” (Fallon, 11th paragraph)

1 thought on “RAB Source Entry 2 – Raul M”

  1. I was finally able to read this article– Definitely please re-read and annotate this op-ed again. Fallon tells important details of his personal story and that is HUGE part of this article and there are MI from his story that need to be in a good summary.

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