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Dangerous Instincts

Friday, October 28, 2011

Former FBI profiler and expert on psychopathy and criminal behavior Mary Ellen O’Toole explains that our gut instincts and a sense of fear alone can’t protect us from danger. In Dangerous Instincts, she outlines how to protect yourself and your family from harm, and what to look for when you hire someone to work inside your home or with your children, and what signals to evaluate when hiring a new employee in your office.

Guests:

Mary Ellen O’Toole

Comments [20]

Orla from manhattan

Very disappointing segment, all about what fails, nothing about what works. The FBI woman seemed intent on keeping it secret to flog her book. She should have been pressed for some answers in the interview.

Oct. 28 2011 01:32 PM
John A.

As a case analyst, most of the people she met were ones who permitted and not rejected the violator. So nearly all gut instincts she heard of were the ones that "failed positive" and not negative. 'Erring on the side of caution' is when gut instinct would not hurt the person using it.

Oct. 28 2011 01:30 PM
yourgo from astoria

She seems like a woman who maybe doesnt have sharpened street smarts.

Where did she grow up?
and what branch and location of the FBI did she work for?

On the streets, in foreign countries where you dont speak the language gut instincts are sometimes the only thing that you can rely on.

Oct. 28 2011 01:24 PM
Grant

Ridiculous.

Oct. 28 2011 01:24 PM
Kate from Brooklyn

Doesn't the FBI have a record of keeping files on, even persecuting, innocent people because of their political beliefs? How do we know this woman isn't just locking up innocent people and telling us to fear them without cause? Seems like she thinks everyone she ever interrogated was guilty.

Oct. 28 2011 01:23 PM
John A.

I note the comments; perhaps the guest needs to better anticipate a non-analytic audience.
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I think she's saying to not waive the reference check even when you're "hitting it off".

Oct. 28 2011 01:22 PM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

As the Madoff scandal proved, people tend to let their guard down when the perpetrator has a lot in common with them - race, religion, class, sex, ethnicity etc.

Oct. 28 2011 01:22 PM
Edward from NJ

I think we can rely on our guts if we train ourselves. We have evolved into organisms that rely on outside information and have let slip our own internal data sources. We no longer know how to use our instincts. This is the same principle behind making a wolf a dog. Isn't it?

Oct. 28 2011 01:22 PM
Edward from NJ

What are these "tools" she keeps talking about? I feel like there's some secret knowledge that we need to "buy the book" to learn.

Oct. 28 2011 01:21 PM
Kate from Brooklyn

Doesn't the FBI have a record of keeping files on, even persecuting, innocent people because of their political beliefs? How do we know this woman isn't just locking up innocent people and telling us to fear them without cause? Seems like she thinks everyone she ever interrogated was guilty.

Oct. 28 2011 01:21 PM
harry malakoff from Chelsea

The writer cites incidents which make up such a tiny percentage of rendezvous that one in a million would grossly overstate the odds. Her paranoia would result in each of us building a 100 story tall wall around us.

Oct. 28 2011 01:20 PM
Khadija Boyd from brooklyn

Brilliant, hey? Lady, you must have missed 101 teachings, heuh, training.
k
&, please, you are not looking into a mirror. Basta w/the "halting voice".

Oct. 28 2011 01:20 PM
rubyritz

Look, anyone can make a mistake in judgement, especially when dealing with a con artist. But to say never trust your gut is crazy. I've had an "uncomfortable feeling" keep me out of trouble more than once.

Oct. 28 2011 01:19 PM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Uh...so...are we supposed to conduct FBI-level background checks on handymen?
Her general point is well taken though.

Oct. 28 2011 01:19 PM
Lee from Manhattan

Unconvincing in what ways? Push back with regard to which claims.

Oct. 28 2011 01:18 PM
Aaron from Brooklyn

I always thought 'gut instincts' were feelings we get despite the obvious facts of a situation, not because of. It seems like the guest is suggesting the opposite.

Oct. 28 2011 01:18 PM
Jon from New York

Her analysis of online dating basically relies on using your gut instinct. She says "if their profile seems over the top" or "if they seem to be trying to hard" then you should be wary. But these are examples of relying on your intuition. All her examples are compatible with the thesis that people should actually be trying to hone their gut instincts instead of avoiding them.

Oct. 28 2011 01:17 PM
MP from Brooklyn

OK, got it, gut feeling doesn't work - what does?

Oct. 28 2011 01:15 PM
Jon from New York

I find this guest utterly unconvincing. Please keep pushing back hard.

Oct. 28 2011 01:14 PM
rubyritz from inwood

not buying this...

Oct. 28 2011 01:13 PM

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