Psychopath Test: How to Spot a Psychopath in Your Life
The Psychopathy Spectrum test is a widely-used index and instrument for measuring psychopathic tendencies, traits, and behaviors. The Psychopathy Spectrum test does not address all possible psychopathic orientations and does not purport to accommodate respondents who seek to trick the measure or who fall outside the normal spectrum of psychopathy. Contrary to popular belief, the Psychopathy Spectrum is not the only way of measuring psychopathy. Indeed, the output of the Psychopathy Spectrum overlaps considerably with the narcissistic, borderline, and anti-social personality styles, as found in the alternative theoretical frame utilized in psychiatric manuals, such as the DSM. To test for these styles in the DSM framework, please consult our Personality Style Test.
Many people confuse psychopathy with sociopathy. These are pop psychology terms whose meaning are not well-defined by researchers, but you can understand the differences between a psychopath and a sociopath here.
Jon Ronson investigates whether corporate leaders can, in fact, be psychopaths by visiting a former Sunbeam CEO named Al Dunlap. This is an excerpt from Ronson's book, The Psychopath Test. (15 minutes)
The screening tests are called the Triarchic Psychopathy Measure (TriPM), which is used to assess adults, and the Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits (ICU), which is used to assess children and adolescents.
Callous-unemotional traits are the core emotional and social risk factors for psychopathy. The Preschool Version of the ICU (Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits), developed by Paul Frick and colleagues, can reliably assess these traits in children between the ages of 2 and 5 (psychopathic traits can emerge as early as 2 or 3 years of age).
Callous-unemotional traits are the core emotional and social risk factors for psychopathy. The ICU (Inventory of Callous Unemotional Traits), developed by Paul Frick and colleagues, can reliably assess these traits in children and adolescents between the ages of 6 and 17.
All validated measures of psychopathy have strengths and weaknesses and are more appropriate in some settings than others. The PCL-R test was created for use in forensic settings and requires a trained examiner to administer. As a result, it is not well suited for assessing yourself or someone you know.
Scores on the TriPM and ICU are not clinical diagnoses. A person cannot be clinically diagnosed as a psychopath. For a mental disorder to be a clinical diagnosis, it must be listed in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-10) or The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-5 (DSM-5), which are the manuals that mental health professionals use to diagnose mental illnesses. Psychopathy is not listed in these manuals.
The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry is a 2011 book written by British author Jon Ronson in which he explores the concept of psychopathy, along with the broader mental health "industry" including mental health professionals and the mass media. It spent the whole of 2012 on United Kingdom bestseller lists and ten weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list.
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He meets Toto Constant, who he speculates is a psychopath, corporate leader Albert J. Dunlap, who the magazine Fast Company speculated was a psychopath, as well as a young man detained in Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital who states he is a victim of the psychiatric industry's unfalsifiable diagnoses.
He speaks to Anthony Maden, a professor and the forensic psychiatrist in charge of the Dangerous and Severe Personality Disorder (DSPD) unit at Broadmoor, who tells him that the controversial DSPD scheme would not have happened without Hare's checklist, adding: "Personally I don't like the way Bob Hare talks about psychopaths almost as if they are a different species" and "Even if you don't accept those criticisms of Bob Hare's work...it's obvious, if you look at his checklist, you can get a high score by being impulsive and irresponsible or by coldly planning to do something. So very different people end up with the same score."
He considers the book a cautionary tale against diagnosing someone without really knowing them, and about the need to avoid confirmation bias. He thinks that is "part of the reason why there are so many miscarriages of justice in the psychopath-spotting field." He does believe that Hare's construct of psychopathy applies to some people, and that their victims deserve sympathy, but is concerned about the "alarming world of globe-trotting experts, forensic psychologists, criminal profilers, traveling the planet armed with nothing much more than a Certificate of Attendance, just like the one I had. These people might have influence inside parole hearings, death penalty hearings, serial-killer incident rooms, and on and on."
The Psychopath Test was well received but also came in for criticism, largely from professional psychiatrists. Its writing style was lauded but the main criticism was a lack of depth in investigating psychopathy.
Dr. Hare also released a longer rebuttal of Ronson's book, stating that it trivializes the work of clinical professionals and presents psychopathy in an unrealistic and overly simplistic manner. In contrast, he thought his own books Snakes in Suits and Without Conscience were more realistic, less sensationalist and more evidence-based depictions of sociopathy and psychopathy.
You passed the psychopath test! You are a smart, assertive and dedicated person, but you are NOT a psychopath! You like to speak with other people, work, travel and learn. You don't feel caged in your daily life, and you are always there for others. Do you agree with your result? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Sometimes you are a little distant from other people. You are no stranger to difficult times and a little depression, but overall, you are fairly friendly, outgoing and enjoy the company of others. You don't like to be on your own too much, you are very empathic, and you do feel bad when you see someone in need (heck, you might even help others from time to time!)Don't worry about your potential to become a psychopath, as long as you keep yourself surrounded with good people and a healthy lifestyle, you will be fine!Do you agree with your result? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Umm we're a little scared to say this but ok, here we go: You didn't pass the psychopath test.You are not a very social person, you prefer being alone in your apartment, doing your own thing, with no intervention from the outside world. You are not a very empathic person, but you don't see that as a problem, you see that as an advantage! Our advice to you is to try to be more social (without kidnapping anyone!), and see how you feel, you might like it! Do you agree with your result? Share your thoughts with us in the comments!
Are you curious to find out if you have psychopathic tendencies? If so, take this free online psychopathy test to get an idea of whether or not you may be a psychopath or sociopath. Our Psychopath Test is a screening tool designed to check for psychopathic tendencies. It is based on the general psychopath definition and is not meant to be used as a diagnostic tool. Instead, it is intended to give you an idea of whether you have psychopathic tendencies.
The quiz includes 18 questions that cover narcissism, manipulation, and sadism. It also provides a comprehensive assessment of your personality traits and behaviors. Additionally, there are statements in the test that must be applied to yourself and rated according to the scale provided. Answer each question as honestly as possible. There are no right or wrong answers and no time limit. Just go with your first instinct. After you've answered all the questions, you'll be given your results.
Even if antisocial personality disorder is one of the so-called Axis II mental disorders, which are usually life-long psychological problems that first arise in late childhood or early adolescence, some treatment approaches like psychotherapy could help psychopathic individuals how to adapt better to the social environment and change their maladaptive behavioral patterns.Time is Up!
Author/documentary filmmaker Jon Ronson has made a career writing about people on the outskirts. His Them: Adventures with Extremists and The Men Who Stare at Goats have both been hits; in fact, the latter book also became a major motion picture. His latest full immersion into craziness begins when he learns of a British prisoner who, in a foolhardy plan for early release, pretends that he is insane. This foxy hoax worked so well that the convict finds himself incarcerated as incurably mad. From that dizzying takeoff, Ronson's book cruises to theories about CEO and politician psychopaths and interviews with neurologists about telltale clues of mental dysfunction. A refreshing take on the grim topic of lunacy.
In this engrossing exploration of psychiatry's attempts to understand and treat psychopathy, British journalist Ronson (whose The Men Who Stare at Goats was the basis for the 2009 movie starring George Clooney) reveals that psychopaths are more common than we'd like to think. Visiting Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital, where some of Britain's worst criminal offenders are sent, Ronson discovers the difficulties of diagnosing the complex disorder when he meets one inmate who says he feigned psychopathy to get a lighter sentence, and instead has spent 12 years in Broadmoor. The psychiatric community's criteria for diagnosing psychopathy (which isn't listed in its handbook, DSM-IV) is a checklist developed by the Canadian prison psychologist Robert Hare. Using Hare's rubric, which includes "glibness," "grandiose sense of self-worth," and "lack of remorse," Ronson sets off to interview possible psychopaths, many of them in positions of power, from a former Haitian militia leader to a power-hungry CEO. Raising more questions than it answers, and far from a dry medical history lesson, this book brings droll wit to buoy this fascinating journey through "the madness business." (May)