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Two studies suggest that those individuals most prone to violent behavior are narcissists. In Greek mythology, we know Narcissus as the man who fell in love with his own reflection in the waters of a spring, and whose excessive self-love killed him.
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Others are able to read through a page in a book and then recite the page from memory, or memorize hundreds of names and numbers from a telephone directory.
Complex arithmetic places special demands on what is known as your working memory, the place where you store the information you need in the short-term.
These particular subjects were then matched with people they had not met before to play a game in which the winner was able to blast the loser with an unpleasant noise, the intensity and duration of which were adjustable by the winner.
After all, as children we internalize the emotional reactions of those around us and store them in emotional brain circuits. Then, later, when we encounter a moral problem, these automatic gut feelings guide our decision- making.
Their ratings were also not changed by being given unrealistic cues, such as the claim that these jokes were the funniest jokes ever told.