Everybody wants to be happy, and yet happiness is endlessly
This Psychopathy Checklist is a diagnostic tool used in clinical, legal and research settings. It was designed for prison inmates but psychopaths are in all walks of life – as John Ronson recently found many Fortune 500 CEOs scored highly! The key tools of the psychopath are charm, an inflated idea of their own importance and a lack of empathy. Admittedly these attributes can bring success, but their unstable personalities cause havoc on the people around them.
The short test is here. For each question score a 0 if it does not apply, 1 if it applies somewhat, and 2 if it fully applies. The cut off score for psychopathy is explained at the end of this post. Enjoy!
1. Superficial Charm: Charming, unselfconscious and never tongue-tied.
2. Sense of Entitlement: Believe they deserve special respect. Demands special treatment.
3. Needs Excitement: Craves the new, loves risk, bores easily, changes jobs and relationships rapidly.
4. Pathological Lying: Convincingly dishonest, uses excuses, half-truths, deceptions, lies, and fantasies.
5. Manipulative: Will use and cheat others for personal gain.
6. Lack of Guilt: Callous and remorseless use of others. Cold towards those they upset.
7. Shallow Affect: Exploitative, mimics emotion to get what they want but can be cold and cruel.
8. Lack of Empathy: It’s all about me! Never considers other’s needs, wishes or fears.
9. Parasitic Lifestyle: Pattern of intentional, manipulative use of others to provide what they want.
10. Poor Control: Unable to control irritability, impatience and anger; often acts hastily.
11. Promiscuous: Brief affairs and relationships, or in multiple relationships at once.
12. Early Problems: Prior to 13, a pattern of lying, theft, vandalism, bullying, drugs or alcohol use.
13. No Long-Term Goals: Inability to execute long-term plans, a nomadic existence, aimless.
14. Impulsive: Unable to resist temptation or frustration, with no regard for the consequences.
15. Irresponsible: Wide gap between what they say and what they do. Ignores commitments.
16. Denial: Denies responsibility, blames others, manipulates with denial and excuses.
17. Short Relationships: Is inconsistent and undependable, leading to short relationships and friendships.
18. Juvenile Delinquency: From 13-18 a pattern of exploitation, aggression or manipulation.
19. Revocation of Probation: A revocation of probation or other conditional release due to non-compliance
20. Criminal Versatility: Involved in different offenses – proud of getting their needs met.
So how did you score? The cut-off for a diagnosis of psychopathy is 30 in the USA and 25 in the UK.
John Ronson talks about his findings in ‘Psychopaths Make The World Go Round” here: