As I am sure many people have, I have occasionally thought that someone was truly “psycho”, but never before did I take those thoughts seriously or pursue them further. However, there have been times when I have been tempted to do so, and recently that temptation overcame my reluctance to pursue the thought further. In particular, a concern about psychopathy (or sociopathy) of one or more individuals created an itch in my brain that simply had to be scratched. So scratch that itch I did; and here’s what turned up.
I was reading about the behavior of a certain individual (one of the aforementioned individuals) and the word psychopath was used to describe that person’s personality. When I went researching that word, I ran across a simple test that is used by many psychologists and psychiatrists to make initial assessments of psychopathic personalities. The test, created by Canadian psychologist Robert D. Hare1, consists of 20 simple behavioral observations that are easy for the layman to understand and assess their applicability to anyone whose behavior they can observe.
Now, of course, any test applied by a layman to any individual is totally unprofessional and meaningless; but it is amusing and it can be insightful if performed in a serious manner. Having applied the test to the particular person that created the itch in by cerebrum I came up with a total score of 35 (out of a possible 40 points), which was substantially above the 30 point threshold for classifying someone as a psychopath. What’s more, my score correlated with the score obtained by more than one professional psychologist who applied the same test to the same individual. (So now I feel vindicated.)
So, having beaten around the bush long enough, I’ll cut to the chase. Click here to bring up the test to see for yourself. For fun, apply the test to yourself, any of your friends, family, co-workers, boss or anyone else you have knowledge about their behavior. (I find it especially interesting to apply the test to people in high places.) A table is provided at the end of the test to place your assessment scores and the total.
Go ahead, try it.
PS If anyone follows up and applies the test to anyone in particular, I would be interested in the results. You can send the results to me in this email.
1 Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy_Checklist