Imagine a person told about a tragedy - 100 killed in plane wreck or 1,000 killed in an earthquake. The person yawns and say, "That's sad." He's then told about one person who is also an American, yet another stranger, who died in the midst of many. Suddenly, this person sits upright, eyes wide, and says, "That terrible!"
What mental condition would lead him to show such apathy towards the deaths of a thousand strangers and so keenly feel the death of a single stranger?