Psychology of some mass shooters

I found this very interesting:

An evolutionary psychology explanation for mass shootings

Psychologists Joseph Vandello and Jennifer Bosson have coined the term “precarious manhood” to describe a dilemma that only men seem to face.

In a nutshell, they argue that “manhood” – however an individual male’s culture might define it – is a status that must be continually earned. And one’s self-worth is tied to being perceived as a “real man.”

It’s precarious because it can be easily lost – especially if the man fails to measure up to the relentless challenges that life throws at him, be they tests of physical bravery, or competition with other men for respect and status.

Nicolas Henin was a Frenchman who was held hostage by ISIS for ten months. Here’s how he described his young, murderous, Jihadi captors:

They present themselves to the public as superheroes, but away from the camera are a bit pathetic in many ways: street kids drunk on ideology and power. In France we have a saying – stupid and evil. I found them more stupid than evil. That is not to understate the murderous potential of stupidity.

Apparently, a lack of attention from others results in a lack of status, resulting in a lack of access to women. Combined with a young man’s testosterone, it creates a toxic, combustible mix.

Islamic law allows for men to have multiple wives. This contributes to a lack of female access for lower status males and (if you believe this study) a greater inclination for violence.

Of course this doesn’t explain the San Bernardino shooters. But it may explain others and provide another indicator for predicting future violence.


9 thoughts on “Psychology of some mass shooters

  1. Psychology isn’t really a science, so the merit of this stuff is not clear. But if it has validity, that suggests China is in deep trouble (along with India) because young males are significantly overrepresented in the population due to braindead population control policies.

  2. i prefer a shorter analysis. they are assholes who enjoy bullying and killing others. it’s just cleaner and less ambiguous this way. i see no reason to make excuses for the bastards, or to inject any sort of rationale into the discussion, as to why they do what they do.

    they do it because it is fun, when you have the upper hand, to kill, maim and bully.

    that’s it. that “explains” it.

    • I think you just explained serial killers. Mass shooters, on the other hand, seem to think “I’ll show them.”

  3. In its broadest terms, it is the system of intimidation and pressure (the authoritarian system).

    We’ve all participated in it, and many of us have embraced and even relished it. No one fully escapes its influence. Well, except for one guy, and he was murdered for it – you don’t attempt to render the authoritarian system null and void without attracting the ire of those who live by it.

    Culture (root word being “cult”) is a powerful force working against the human mind and spirit. You lose your innocence when you become influenced by culture. Some cultures are far worse than others, but they all exert control over the mind, and almost always through intimidation and pressure, reward and punishment, fear, temptation, obfuscation and manipulation.

    To take advantage of all that for evil purposes, get someone to perceive himself a victim and now he’s ready to lash out. All he needs then are a few subtle suggestions and he’ll lie, steal, rob and kill for you. It need not be a young man either, but of course young men have their special weaknesses, as do other categories of people (or type-casts). The manipulator need only discover the specific weaknesses, and then use them for leverage.

    The exertion of power then, is all mind control. In that regard, slavery requires the cooperation of two willing parties – the slave masters and the willing slaves. The jihadists believe they are working to become the world’s slave masters but, as will all would-be slave masters, they are themselves slaves.

    The Psychologists haven’t got a clue as to any of this. Their trade is in itself an authoritarian system.

  4. If the premise of the post is correct, we’d better prepare for war with or within China, where there are tens of millions more young men than young women, due to the one child rules so zealously enforced just a few short years ago.

    • And India, which has the same problem, from what the WSJ recently reported.

  5. I have made the point for years that these incidents of mass shootings [not San Bernadino, that was straight out terrorism] became prevalent with the introduction of SSRI class of drugs. I have not been able to find a single incident where the information was available of one of these losers not being on them. Though from my reading it seems that the most dangerous time is when they stop taking them. But no one seems to ever see this correlation [and yes I am well aware that correlation is not causation]. This is not offered as an excuse, but just maybe the straw that breaks the camels back. Just my 2 cents for what it’s worth.

  6. I wonder about the usefulness of this topic. The thing to do with killers is not to worry about what made them want to kill; the thing to do with them is shoot them and preferably do it first.

    • It’s potentially useful for predicting someone has an inclination to be a mass shooter or violent. Not that anyone would or should care why once they began hurting innocent people.

      Hire the guy a call girl as a birthday present or introduce him to someone that might be a good match for him. Or maybe just include them in trip to a strip joint.

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