I am not certain that the psychopath can feel appreciation. I’m certain this is related to our shallow affect, but it is nonetheless another example of how the psychopath is insulated from the emotional bonds that neurotypicals make with each other. Whether it is having a feeling state for gifts or services received, such emotions of gratitude or appreciation are rarely, if ever, felt.
I went to a family Christmas dinner earlier today. As with last year, I ended up sleeping through dinner only to wake up to presents under the tree for myself. Therein was a non-trivial amount of money and other goods and it was clear that there was some sacrifice by those who gave me the presents. I quickly put the money in my wallet and left without acknowledging the gifts. Yes, that reaction was fairly callous – entirely for other reasons related to a general disdain for family -, but I didn’t feel appreciation anyway. As another example, my therapist will go out of her way in order to make sure that I’m okay during times of severe bipolar depression, and I intellectually realize that she is doing such but emotionally I am not grateful for such. I can fake appreciation, like many other emotions, but ultimately there is no emotional bond between me and the one who did good things for me.