Fallon and Black: Great Name for a Psychopath Comedy Duo?

Here’s something more or less just for fun today. I wonder if “Fallon and Black” could be the name for a comedy duo on psychopathy (I don’t mean Jimmy Fallon). What got this strange train of thought going was my wife excitedly yelling down the stairs at me this morning, “You have to see this video!” She helped me find the CNN video interview of James Fallon, who recently wrote The Psychopath Inside: A Neuroscientist’s Personal Journey into the Dark Side of the Brain.

If you can’t find Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s CNN video interview, then you could view the one below:

Well, I immediately looked up at my bookshelf where sits the newest edition of Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder (Sociopathy) written by my colleague, Dr. Donald Black, MD. I have not had a chance to start reading it–until today. I’ve read the first edition, though, and I can tell you, the revised and updated version is even more interesting than the original. I can’t tell you my impression of Fallon’s book because I haven’t read it.

Maybe some readers who have could comment on their opinions of his book.

Anyway, after I looked at the Fallon video, I wondered if there was a similar recording of an interview of Dr. Black–and I found it.

Can you see why I find the comparison of Fallon and Black so interesting? The videos are a fascinating study in contrasts. On the one hand, Fallon’s verbal glibness, shirtsleeves, and restlessness remind of interviews I’ve actually had with men whom I thought might have Antisocial Personality Disorder. On the other, Black’s measured, academic erudition, white coat, and row upon row of heavy books behind him make him look like the polar opposite of Fallon.

Fallon was interviewed on a TV program called “CrimeTime,” and Black was interviewed in his comfortable office in the old Psychopathic Hospital  at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in Iowa City. The scenarios could hardly be more different.

But both have written about psychopathy, arguably a form of Antisocial Personality Disorder on the extreme end of the spectrum, as Black points out in his book. I get it that Fallon is an expert on the neuroimaging evidence for brain abnormalities in those with psychopathic traits. Interestingly, Black never mentions Fallon in the section on brain imaging in his book. Both men mention Robert Hare, who developed the main tool for identifying psychopathy, the Psychopathy Checklist–Revised (PCL-R).

Both books were published within months of each other in 2013, yet my guess is that the two men probably don’t know anything about one another.

My question for readers is: Which author do you find more trustworthy, Fallon or Black? Who’s a criminal?

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