Deconstructing psychopathic personality stereotypes

Research Tuesdays - June

In this latest Research Tuesdays event, Psychopathy’s Upside, University of Adelaide psychology researchers Kevin Dutton and Elaine Fox will explore psychology stereotypes – challenging psychopathy misconceptions and sharing insight into the nuances of optimism and pessimism.

June's Research Tuesdays event has been rescheduled from its original date of Tuesday 13 June to the new date of Tuesday 27 June. Please see the below links to rebook your in-person tickets. Online tickets will automatically carry over to the rescheduled event.

“The infamous character of Hannibal Lecter is only one chilling example of psychopathy in popular culture,” said Professor Dutton.

“Those familiar with The Silence of the Lambs know that Dr Lecter was not only a cold-blooded cannibal: he was also a man of impeccable taste, charm, confidence, persuasion, and mental fortitude.”

According to Professors Kevin Dutton and Elaine Fox, it is these positive traits of Hannibal’s that more closely relate to psychopathy than his violent tendencies.

“In fact, psychopathic personality characteristics can actually predispose people to great personal and professional success, and there is much to learn from those who exhibit these characteristics,” said Professor Dutton.

As well as discussing the ins and outs of psychopathy, Professor Fox will also explore what makes some people optimists and others pessimists, and how often optimism is misunderstood.

Join the University of Adelaide’s Kevin Dutton and Elaine Fox in deconstructing psychology stereotypes.


Kevin Dutton is Australia’s first Professor of the Public Understanding of Psychology at the University of Adelaide. Before this ground-breaking appointment, Dutton spent two decades as a research scientist at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge. He is a bestselling author, notably recognised for his book The Wisdom of Psychopaths - Lessons in Life from Saints, Spies and Serial Killers. Dutton also co-hosts the podcast Psycho Schizo Espresso with Iron Maiden frontman Bruce Dickinson.

Professor Elaine Fox is Head of the School of Psychology at the University of Adelaide. She was previously Professor of Psychology and Affective Science at Oxford University, where she founded the Oxford Centre for Emotion and Affective Neuroscience (OCEAN). Fox is also a bestselling author, having penned Rainy Brain, Sunny Brain: The New Science of Optimism and Pessimism, and her new book Switchcraft: The Hidden Power of Mental Agility.


The Research Tuesdays lecture series is very popular so early registration to attend the in-person event is advised, and the talk will also be available to watch streamed online.


Tuesday, 27 June 2023. 5:30pm.


The Braggs Building, North Terrace campus, The University of Adelaide


Click here to reserve an in-person ticket.

Click here to register for the online webinar.

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