The Psychopath Checklist
The term psychopath gets thrown around a lot these days with people claiming that their ex is a psychopath and to be honest they are full of baloney. Psychopathy is among the most rare mental health disorders that affects around one percent of the population and with the majority of those found in prisons around the world. In this article we are going to take a closer look at the psychopath including the much talked about Psychopath Checklist which is still rather controversial.
The dictionary defines a psychopath as the following “a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc. ”
The psychopath checklist was developed by a Canadian psychologist Robert Hare and is commonly referred to as the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. Basically the checklist has a series of questions in multiple areas where the trained professional is looking for responses which will help them determine whether the person qualifies as a psychopath. The following is the areas that are covered in the checklist
glib and superficial charm
• grandiose (exaggeratedly high) estimation of self
• need for stimulation
• pathological lying
• cunning and manipulativeness
• lack of remorse or guilt
• shallow affect (superficial emotional responsiveness)
• callousness and lack of empathy
• parasitic lifestyle
• poor behavioral controls
• sexual promiscuity
• early behavior problems
• lack of realistic long-term goals
• failure to accept responsibility for own actions
• many short-term marital relationships
• juvenile delinquency
• revocation of conditional release
• criminal versatility
The questions are all designed where the trained professional will make a statement and the person will respond with a score out of four in terms of how much they believe the statement to be true. In terms of ranking at the end the trained professional is looking for a score higher than 30 in terms of qualifying for the psychopathy diagnosis. Of course the main issue with any mental health test such as this is people lie in order to avoid certain diagnosis especially this one. If you are sitting in prison hoping to be set free one day being diagnosed as a psychopath puts a massive hurdle in the way.
Psychopath Versus Sociopath
Where as people with a psychopath diagnosis are around one percent of the population those who are considered to be sociopath affect a much higher percentage of the population. Now when we are talking about a sociopath we are talking about someone who suffers from antisocial personality disorder and a very high percentage of the prison population can be diagnosed with this disorder.
The main difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is a conscience. The average psychopath is missing this key element that makes us human. Where as a person who is considered to be a sociopath knows what he or she is doing is wrong and may feel some guilt over the action but still does it, that same question regarding right and wrong would not even enter the mind of a psychopath
Psychopath Wrap Up
When it comes to diagnosing a psychopath it involves a very experienced trained professional and examining all areas of the persons life, thought patterns and beliefs. The term unfortunately is way over used by the media and on social sites. Thankfully the most violent of psychopaths tend to spend the majority of their lives behind bars as of yet there is no real cure for this mental health disorder.