Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Psychopathy Check List-Revised: (PCL-R).



Congratulations, you scored 36.8!... But you may call it 37!

I don't think there're many - if any - diagnosed Psychopaths who aren't well acquainted with the Psychopathy Check List by Dr. Robert D. Hare. Though it isn't the only diagnostic assessment procedure used, it is the most widely used, and at present it is also the most precise where specific psychopathic traits are concerned - psychopathy differs from several of the other antisocial conditions/disorders, such as Antisocial Personality Disorder and Sociopathy - and as such there're probably not many clinical psychologists and forensic psychiatrists, i.e., who aren't well acquainted with it as well.

Indeed, we more or less all know of it (some even know it in detail by heart) since it is such a central part of the diagnostic assessment procedure.


The Psychopathy Check List/PCL-R consists of 20 items.
Each of the twenty items are given one of three possible scores which are as follows:
  • 0 - It doesn't apply to the patient at all.
  • 1 - It applies somewhat, meaning the trait is there, but it is not highly dominant in the person.
  • 2 - It fits the person perfectly, it defines dominant traits in character &/or behavior.

The scoring process itself is based on thorough investigation carried out prior to the final scoring assignment.

Though there are websites that states otherwise, the assessment procedure itself consists of a number of tests, interviews and research into the patient's past, including criminal, medical and educational history, work history, physical movement between locations and home addresses, relationships and possible marital history and/or status, and - not least - interviews with as many people as possible who know or knew the subject - Family, co-workers, teachers, friends, neighbors, counselors and therapists, etc. This is not a diagnosis that is given lightly! If the clinician honors the ethical implications of the seriousness of psychopathy and stays true to his hippocratic oath.

A person who receives a score at or above 30 is considered a psychopath and will receive the psychopathy diagnosis.

The highest possible score a person can get is 40.

The average neurotypical (normal) person receives a score between 3 and 6 (4 being the average estimate).

The average non-psychopathic criminal receives a score between 16 and 22.

The average criminal Sociopath and/or Antisocial Personality Disordered individual receives a score between 22 and 26.

The serious criminal Sociopath and/or Antisocial Personality Disordered individidual receives a score between 26 and 29.

Criminal Psychopaths receive a score between 30 and 40.

A non-criminal Psychopath receives a score between 30 and 34.

Approximately 1 in 45 receives a score of 40.


Below here is the complete list with each of the 20 items:

THE PSYCHOPATHY CHECK LIST(Revised) or The PCL-R

Factor 1.
1 Glibness/superficial charm
2 Grandiose sense of self-worth

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

4 Pathological lying

5 Cunning/manipulative

6 Lack of remorse or guilt

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions]

8 Callous/lack of empathy

Factor 2.
9 Parasitic lifestyle

10 Poor behavioural controls

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour

12 Early behaviour problems

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals

14 Impulsivity

15 Irresponsibility

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

17 Many short term marital relationships

18 Juvenile delinquency

19 Revocation of conditional release

20 Criminal versatility


The Check List has two different kinds of traits, with 10 of the items in each group.

The groups have been given the terms: Factor 1. Traits, and Factor 2. Traits.

Factor 1. Traits

Factor 1 traits are sometimes called 'Classic Psychopathy Characteristics', or 'True Psychopathy Characteristics'. These are the traits that describe the Psychological, Mental or Emotional Characteristics. They pertain to how the person feels, his emotional make-up, his thought process and the general mindset resulting of these.

Factor 2. Traits

Factor 2 traits are sometimes referred to as 'False Psychopathy Characteristics'. These are the traits that describe an individual's Conduct, his Activities and Demeanor. They pertain to Antisocial Traits, Criminal and Aggressive Deviant Features in the Individual Lifestyle, Actions and Behavior.

There will be both Factor 1. and Factor 2. traits in a Psychopath.

Generally speaking there will be a heavier leaning towards Factor 1. Traits - the 'True Psychopath' Traits, though there are those who have equally strong Factor 1. and Factor 2. Traits.

In the time to come I will discuss each of the 20 items one by one and tell you, first how Dr. Robert Hare - the author of the PCL-R - defines and describe them, and thereafter I will describe how I understand them, what I think of them in relation to psychopaths in general, and in relation to our society and the culture this list in some ways is an expression of.

I will discuss the items especially in relation to how they pertain to myself as an individual who happen to have enough of these features to be classified as a psychopath, what I think about this - how it is to be considered a psychopath by my contemporaries, and how I find that each item fits or do not fit my characteristics as a personality.

I will have several arguments to put forward regarding my own Psychopathy Diagnosis, but I will also have admissions to give - for the first time in my life.

*

55 comments:

TheNotablePath said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheNotablePath said...

Self-examination sort of defeats the purpose of the PCL-R, but I will try to answer this the best way I can. There aren't many people who could actually be interviewed about me that are still alive as it is.

1 Glibness/superficial charm - 2

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth - 2

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom - 2

4 Pathological lying - 2

5 Cunning/manipulative - 2

6 Lack of remorse or guilt - 2

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] - 2

8 Callous/lack of empathy - 2

9 Parasitic lifestyle - 2

10 Poor behavioural controls - 1

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour - 1

12 Early behaviour problems - 2

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals - 2

14 Impulsivity - 2

15 Irresponsibility - 2

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions - 1

17 Many short term marital relationships - 0

18 Juvenile delinquency - 2

19 Revocation of conditional release - 0

20 Criminal versatility - 1

32/40.

Not very high in terms of Psychopathy, I guess. But maybe I'm not a psychopath?

So you have a 37, then? Wow!

Adam said...

1 Glibness/superficial charm - 2

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth - 2

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom - 2

4 Pathological lying - 2

5 Cunning/manipulative - 2

6 Lack of remorse or guilt - 2

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] - 2

8 Callous/lack of empathy - 2

9 Parasitic lifestyle - 2

10 Poor behavioural controls - 2

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour - 2

12 Early behaviour problems - 2

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals - 2

14 Impulsivity - 2

15 Irresponsibility - 2

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions - 2

17 Many short term marital relationships - 0

18 Juvenile delinquency - 2

19 Revocation of conditional release - 2

20 Criminal versatility - 2


38/40 I wasn't suprised.

Andreas said...

I really dislike Hare's list. It is the reason that I have not, yet, read any of his books.

At a glance. A person could score 16/40 and possess all of personality traits, of a psychopath, by Hare's own definition, and not be considered a psychopath. A little amusing.

A criminal/social deviant could score 24/40, and not possess a single psychopathic personality trait, as defined by Hare. 60% of the list is non-psychopathic...

I simply must remember that this derived, from criminals, for the purpose of identifying criminals. It was created for purpose, and it is serving that purpose.

It is a funny situation, when your desire for truth(or accurate assessment) is conflicting with rationale(it is a good thing that Hare cannot ID the average psychopath). It would make sense, to support his research, so that the rest could go undetected :)

Andreas said...

Have you ever heard of Cleckley's List?

Cleckley Checklist

In his 1941 book, Mask of Sanity, Hervey M. Cleckley introduced 16 behavioral characteristics of a psychopath:


1. Superficial charm and good "intelligence"
2. Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
3. Absence of nervousness or psychoneurotic manifestations
4. Unreliability
5. Untruthfulness and insincerity
6. Lack of remorse and shame
7. Inadequately motivated antisocial behavior
8. Poor judgment and failure to learn by experience
9. Pathologic egocentricity and incapacity for love
10. General poverty in major affective reactions
11. Specific loss of insight
12. Unresponsiveness in general interpersonal relations
13. Fantastic and uninviting behavior with drink and sometimes without
14. Suicide threats rarely carried out
15. Sex life impersonal, trivial, and poorly integrated
16. Failure to follow any life plan.

This is very old, and Hare would have gotten ideas from it. You can see major differences. Crime, is not even a component, since Cleckley treated patients, something I don't Hare doing. Their individual focus' colour the traits that they look for. I have no knowledge of the scoring system, but I have his book! I should look it up lol.

Zhawq said...

Andreas,

No matter what you think of the PCL-R, Hare's 'Without Conscience' is 'must read' if you want to know how psychopathy is defined (in other words: What is meant by the word).

If a person gets a score of 16 he will obviously have some traits that are in their original form psychopathic. In that sense all people do have psychopathic traits, only not in such a combination and to such an extent that their conduct becomes psychopathic - and they therefore are psychopaths.

Believe it or not, but most people actually get a score of 5(= betw. 4 - 6)!!.

The point is, my traits are human traits, they're a fundamental part of being human in more ways than one.

A non-psychopathic individual will not get a score above 30. That's why it's a "cluster" diagnosis. I don't know where you have heard a person can get a score of 40 and yet not be a psychopath. It is not true.


It was created for purpose, and it is serving that purpose.

Yes! And the purpose is control.

It is being debated whether or not to apply default 'testing' and scanning on every new born individual.

Whereas research subjects have been found mainly within the prison system (and the mental hospitals) measures are being taken to study psychopaths in normal society. The practical approach has not been established, and the whole area is in it's infancy. But as the psychopathy concept becomes more widely known - especially among people who own and run multi-million dollar businesses as well as their employees in high positions, but also among the psychopaths ourselves.

In a mass society with populations still growing and economies that are weakening, while at the same time wealth is centralized on fewer and fewer hands, many psychopaths are bound to be trying new ways of making a living (and we're not good a monotonous factory work on minimum wage).

Hare's original inspiration is Cleckley. He often mentions him and quotes him for his 'Mask' idea as a good allegory for how we function. I can see it too, but I don't see the negative connotation that Hare and Cleckley and most people see. Rather, I see everybody using masks, but most people have one mask and use it with compulsion. I'm happy that I have much greater flexibility.

Andreas said...

Very Well, I will read his book.

I'm somewhat disapointed, that you misread my post.

1-8 are defined as Psychopathic Personality Traits.

1 Glibness/superficial charm
2 Grandiose sense of self-worth
3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
4 Pathological lying
5 Cunning/manipulative
6 Lack of remorse or guilt
7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions]
8 Callous/lack of empathy

Therefore, a person could get a score of 24/40, and not possess a single psychopathic personality trait. The 24 points refer to Social Deviancy. Those are essentially ASPD traits.

Behaviour can either be in conjunction or distinct from a person's actions.

I will freely admit that I know absolutely nothing about the severity needed to gain a point. It sounds bizarre that a person could score so lowly 4-6.

A collection of traits is one possible way to describe something but scientifically speaking, it is better to have traits that exclude the diagnosis. That is just one difference that could be, yet there are many others.

One issue is that people rely on the PCL-R as the definition of psychopathy, as opposed to psychopathy existing separately, and subsequently being charted by the PCL-R.
He sets the criteria for what a psychopath is. Then he tests them for those criteria. When said person comes back as positive for psychopathy, it reinforces what he believes a psychopath is.

Now, if we worked with fluorescent antibodies, glowing means present, not glowing means absent. It is clear cut.
Hare is looking for a pattern. Yet I showed, mathematically, that more points are placed in the non-psychopathic section, than the psychopathic section. That is a sign of a false positive: a high score with 0 points in psychopathic personality. A non-psychopath could have a score of 24/40.
I do not believe that Hare's work is invalid but I do believe that those are flaws in his research methods.

Anonymous said...

According to this I fall in with the serious criminal sociopath/APD

Ridiculous.
I've never been in trouble with the law in my life (minus things every teenager goes through).

Erin said...

I think my ex Socio B/f was a psychopath.
Thank you for this info!

David Bizar said...

I got 32, apparently.

And I am not a pychopath, I don't understand.

Anonymous said...

I got 22, but I'm surprised as I have always suspected that I have some very prevalent psychopathy traits. I can only feel strong emotions- I sometimes wonder do most people feel emotions in a regular day? Because I don't! I only feel sad/happy etc if something really terrible or great happens to me. I can also only empathize with someone for a mili-second, then my 'rational' normal side takes over. It is completely devoid of emotion, most of the time. As opposed to being a pathological liar, I am pathologically truthful, as it seems to me that most people like to live their lives in denial about things. They like to put a positive spin on things to make them easier to cope with. I don't see the point in doing this as it just prolongs problems. I confront people with 'the truth' as I see it, and get angry when they don't agree with me. There are other traits as well. does that make sense to anyone?

Chris said...

The checklist is elegant in its simplicity. It is important to understand that people with this illness do not suffer. In fact, they actually hide and deny that symptoms exist.

The checklist is perfect because it does not rely on the testimony of the 'psychopath'. The characteristics on the checklist also are PATTERNS of behavior and personality. In many ways, we all have shown these characteristics over the courses of our lives. However, the patterns must be verified and confirmed by third party evidence and witnesses.

That characterisic must have manifested itself in a way such as to involve others for their to be evidence and witnesses. The manifestation will also have probably violated the rights of another person for others to recognize and remember the incident.

It is also extremely important to understand that psychopathy is an illness based on an emotional dysfunction. Experts and anyone familiar with the condition know that their judgement lacks an emotional component. It is truly shocking to see the callousness with which they operate. It is the emotional impairment that is crucial to identifying the patterns and psychopathy itself.

Zhawq said...

David Bizar,

I'm sure if a professional did the assessment you wouldn't get 32. It is very easy to misinterpret what exactly to read into each item.


Anon 7:46pm,

22 is actually a high score, though not high enough for psychopathy. There are other conditions which may in fact relate to psychopathy, conditions which display some flat affect.

Your description of yourself reminds me of one of my few long term friends who is also not a psychopath.

You're welcome to write me if you want to hear my thoughts in this regard.


Chris,

I have to say that I don't regard my condition as an illness. I see it as a variety of the human condition, a neurodiversity.

I can't argue against my "shocking callousness". It's an emotional response, and though I do not experience it I have heard and seen it expressed enough times to know it's real and valid.

Perhaps with more information coming from a first hand point of view, rather than that of the observer, my reality can become more understandable to normal people.

Anonymous said...

Factor 1.
1 Glibness/superficial charm 0

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth 1

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 1

4 Pathological lying 0

5 Cunning/manipulative 2

6 Lack of remorse or guilt 1

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] 2

8 Callous/lack of empathy 2

Factor 2.
9 Parasitic lifestyle 0

10 Poor behavioural controls 0

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour 0

12 Early behaviour problems 0

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals 2

14 Impulsivity 0

15 Irresponsibility 0

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions 0

17 Many short term marital relationships 0

18 Juvenile delinquency 0

19 Revocation of conditional release 0

20 Criminal versatility 0

Total points: 11

I have now without a doubt proven that I am not a psychopath by this brilliant self-assessment test.

Anonymous said...

I scored 11 on the PCL-R.

Anonymous said...

Where does a secondary psychopath fit on this scale ? as I understand they have more factor 2 traits than 1 ?

Anonymous said...

'The psychopathy handbook' Chapter 9.

Answered my own question. Nice to be able to rely on myself ;)

Anonymous said...

Factor 1.

1 Glibness/superficial charm 1

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth 2

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 2

4 Pathological lying 2

5 Cunning/manipulative 2

6 Lack of remorse or guilt 1

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] 1

8 Callous/lack of empathy 1

Factor 2.

9 Parasitic lifestyle 0

10 Poor behavioural controls 1

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour 2

12 Early behaviour problems 2

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals 2

14 Impulsivity 1

15 Irresponsibility 1

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions 2

17 Many short term marital relationships 0

18 Juvenile delinquency 1

19 Revocation of conditional release 0

20 Criminal versatility 1

Total points: 25
And a diagnosis of secondary psychopathy.

Anonymous said...

Yes it IS quite possible to get a score between 4 - 6.
My score was 5.

I suppose it's quite obvious I am not a psychopath.

Anonymous said...

This checklist was created by our enemies who wish to eliminate and control us.It also comes from an out siders perspective and is not a completely accurate portrayal of anyone's personality. Repeat after me, we are all individuals

Anonymous said...

I got 13 points. I tend to identify in myself most of factor 1 characteristics, but only a few of factor 2.
I don't know if I feel good for having such a low score or if worry, for having the "true" psycopath traits...

Factor 1.
1 Glibness/superficial charm 1

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth 2

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 2

4 Pathological lying 0

5 Cunning/manipulative 1

6 Lack of remorse or guilt 2

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] 0

8 Callous/lack of empathy 2

Factor 2.
9 Parasitic lifestyle 0

10 Poor behavioural controls 0

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour 0

12 Early behaviour problems 0

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals 0

14 Impulsivity 1

15 Irresponsibility 1

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions 1

17 Many short term marital relationships 0

18 Juvenile delinquency 0

19 Revocation of conditional release 0

20 Criminal versatility 0

Anonymous said...

Hare's psychopathy checklist revised is inaccurate and dangerous because-

It was created for the purposes of criminal psychology and was designed, and is repeatedly used to condemn people who have committed a crime, to a life in prison without parole. A common logic used is that we are inherently dangerous and incapable of becoming productive members of society. We feel no guilt. We will never change.L.O.S.

Many classic psychopaths in the business and political world do not score very high on the pcl-r, although they are some of the most ruthless and successful psychopaths in history. And are atypical of the pathology of psychopathy.

What's more, many of the points on the list are completely behavioural based - criminal versatility, revocation, juvenile delinquency, many short term relationships,early behavioural problems, promiscuous sexual behaviour, parasitic lifestyle.

Obviously these check points are not based on how your brain/physical make up is different to the norm, or try to quantify this difference. They are based on the end result - behaviour- and what's more a subjective interpretation of this behaviour.
Two people may have very similar behaviour but have extremely different reasons and processes driving these behaviours.

The reason behavioural checks are included in the list is because modern psychology views psychopathy as a disorder. It also views any behaviour that differs from the "norm" and has negative consequences attached to it as dysfuctional, and if it can be grouped into a common cluster it is labelled a disorder. I did a diploma in professional counselling and this is not a joke. Most people in the industry can see through this major flaw and as such a very hesitant to label people. It will be called a disorder.

In a nutshell, the checklist is a tool that has some merit. The more I become aware of my "psychopathy" the more I can see the picture it is painting. And is has been of use to many people,.....but

It is innately inaccurate and misleading. What is more, its creation and maintenance has nothing to do with helping people understand their psychopathy, or in the aid of providing therapeutic benefit. Is is largely a tool used by law enforcement to gain harsh, and often extrodinary powers of authority, to punish and keep offenders from reentering society. For instance in Australia we have a life sentence of 25 years. But When prisoners are labelled danegerous psychopaths " never to be released", Special circumstances are activated which let infinite sentences be served.
One only need read the behavioural checks on this list to see what they are playing at.
KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Anonymous said...

It rates me high, 40
I rate it low, wrong and misleading

Anonymous said...

The test was designed for criminals in prisons.
Do you really think that the near 99% of people can tolerate the damages that psychopaths cause in societies?
Would you prefer how the inuit deal with psychopaths?
I am sorry you have this brain problem - that is because I can empathize. I am far more sorry about the empaths who are destroyed by psychopaths.
Children are different, I could never label a child. Since we have lived with psychopaths forever, we can generously share the world provided you do not do criminal acts.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I just did the test and scored 36, I am not surprised but spoke to my therapist i see sporadically, (i have always wondered why I was a little different). Apparently he has known for ages what I am but didnt tell me as he didnt want to upset me. I pointed out that as a borderline psychopath I was unlikely to care.
He is a nice man and he helps me understand and deal with the people in my life better.
Thanks for your blog, I appreciate having somewhere to discuss it. Are there many other girls on here?
Does anyone know about any differences between male and female psychopaths?
thank you
V

Anonymous said...

Having scored in the range of 23-29 with an average of 26 on the PCL-R and having evaluated through the scale many different ways, it almost amusing to see how tight the definition of a psychopath is kept.

15/16 on factor 1 traits

8-14/24 on factor 2 traits

Add the element of control, though in my case some of it could also be contributed to a relatively young age, or intelligence and a score on the checklist drops off dramatically. Or the score remains high and it is simply the matter of being better able to not get caught at certain activities. Of course, Hares checklist is tailored to the criminally known so perhaps it can actually best be viewed as having just the right amount of accuracy in its purposes instead of being viewed as flawed. Either way, would be better to have been discredited/circumvented.

The vestiges of control though look just so unattractive and it is so easy to let them slip, I suppose this is where the make of intelligence comes in and defines those who make the bar and continue on and those who quite simply "don't", essentially the ones you here about.

Cipher said...

1 Glibness/superficial charm - 2

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth - 2

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom - 2

4 Pathological lying - 2

5 Cunning/manipulative - 2

6 Lack of remorse or guilt - 2

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] - 1

8 Callous/lack of empathy - 2

9 Parasitic lifestyle - 2

10 Poor behavioural controls - 2

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour - 2

12 Early behaviour problems - 1

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals - 2

14 Impulsivity - 2

15 Irresponsibility - 2

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions - 1

17 Many short term marital relationships - 0

18 Juvenile delinquency - 1

19 Revocation of conditional release - 0

20 Criminal versatility - 1



31/40...

I don't really feel remorse or guilt, but I do get scared of getting caught after doing something "bad". I believe this is primarily induced by shame, and not by morals.

Does anyone recognize this?

Tali Tavali said...

1 Glibness/superficial charm - 1

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth - 1

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom - 3

4 Pathological lying - 3

5 Cunning/manipulative - 3

6 Lack of remorse or guilt - 3

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] - 3

8 Callous/lack of empathy - 3

9 Parasitic lifestyle - 3

10 Poor behavioural controls - 3

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour - 3

12 Early behaviour problems - 3

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals - 3

14 Impulsivity - 3

15 Irresponsibility - 3

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions - 3

17 Many short term marital relationships - 0

18 Juvenile delinquency - 2

19 Revocation of conditional release - 0

20 Criminal versatility - 2

Should i worry?^^

Anonymous said...

ok,
I am not sure how this is suppose to work. but I understand that this test is supposed to be given by a licensed psychologist, and not be self-given. So as I understand it, none of your results are right anyway. Also, I understand that a person can have none of the traits from area 1 but can have all, which by the way if there is only 10 with a max of 2 points each (10*2=20) not sure how some get 24 just for that one area. might have to ask my BH specialist to give me the test to see how I score, since one has diagnosed me as PTSD with antisocial behavior and another has me listed as having PTSD with depression, anxiety and homicidal ideology.

Anonymous said...

If I am perfectly honest, I think this test is flawed because the psychopath could be able to bring about a web of lies and others believing that they are not a psychopath. For example, I scored 37 and if someone else was doing it even my worst enemy would only score me a 25-30

CPU said...

These poor brain damaged people are even proud to be a psychopath.
Their Problem is they don't have real emotions, they don't feel love.

They are not even realy alive.
They cannot decide whats wrong or right, they can only think that they are right and they live themselfes much.

I would say psychopaths are mentally ill persons thats all. They are not special, they are not perfect, they are not even evil or the devil, thats only what they like to play.

They are just disabled persons, diabled in their damaged brain, disabled in their behavior.

But they want us to know that they so enjoy beeing like this.
Well that is a just another lie.

Nobody believes a psychopath.
Psychpaths don't even know how to enjoy.

Psychpaths are like machines, if I pull the trigger I know exactly what is happening. And that is violence.







Anonymous said...

Unfortunately its far too easy to be misdiagnosed as a psychopath using this test when you can actually have a neurological problem
http://www.theaftd.org/frontotemporal-degeneration/disorders/bv-ftd
Four of my cousins were pointlessly rotated through rehab and diagnosed with every sort of antisocial personality disorder, etc. until it became all too clear they had dementia. Rule out physical causes.

Anonymous said...

I spent maybe a hour or two on each trait. Going over how it could or couldn't fit and making sure I knew what it meant. I thought of things that would prove it and disprove it. I scored a 34 after hours of going over the test and reflecting on my past. I know this is not a real diagnosis but it's interesting to know what this test is about. I don't think I could do the test in a 5 minute period. My answers would be wrong.

Anonymous said...

I honestly cannot even fathom getting a score of 5. I suppose that's not a bad thing, as far as normal society is concerned, but it must be awfully boring.

Anonymous said...

When I did the test I received a 0/40. It most certainly is possible to receive a grade of 5 or below, and 5 will only be the average for normal individuals, meaning many in the normal population can score somewhat above or below 5, as is my case. According to Hare and others, some have even stated the average for the normal population is between 3-4.

I have studied psychopathy at university and believe it is largely a brain disorder. Furthermore, one must remember that there are different shades of psychopathy: not all psychopaths display the disorder in the same manner, and a some are more or less able to integrate into society. I would be interested in knowing what the true number of psychopaths are in society given this acknowledged continuum of the definition.

Anonymous said...

Those of you that state that it must be boring to score between a 4 and 6... I think that is awfully telling of how psychopaths view others, as boring and easily manipulated.
I am a 6, and I am a highly empathetic person, but that does not mean I am without fault, and I am not easily manipulated by others. Empathetic people are often very good at manipulation, but they choose not to do it out of a sense that it doesn't feel right or good.

I've definitely encountered psychopaths before in my life, and I don't know if this list is as effective as it is hailed to be. But I do think that it is terrible to have your life destroyed by selfish people who don't care who they hurt - and so for those saying that it's "boring" to not feel inclined to do so, it's not. It's intense and sometimes pretty undesirable and brutal to feel so strongly attached to others. Especially when they are psychopaths.

Lyra said...

I think of Psychopathy as a survival mechanism. Psychopaths are different, they are not neurotypical, filled with emotions. Neurotypicals from a young age learn that you must use emotion to survive in this world. Psychopaths did not learn this way; they did not have the ability to learn this way. Instead, they found other strengths of theirs that neurotypicals are confused by, since these strengths don't rely on the use of warm smiles, love, empathy. And there are some psychopaths out there who are considered to be the petty thieves, because they have not figured out how to use their strengths.

Zhawq said...

Lyra,

this is exactly how I see it. '^L^,

tigeresss said...

How does the test differ for females, and in particular if one has never been incarcerated? I've been reading various posts and I find myself filled with intrigue...

Anonymous said...

I scored a 12, all of which came from Factor 1. Where do I fit on the scale?

Thomas Hubbell said...

David Hood's book called "Self Illusion" certainly seems to give many explanations why one should not try to assign a fixed personality type to any one person. We are who we are moment by moment.

Lisa McNichols said...

Geez. I got a 3, and that was only because I was trying to pump my score up! I consider myself to be a pretty interesting person. I can be the kindest, most compassionate person you have met and hang in there with a hurting person for YEARS. But I am also as hard as nails and can be VERY aggressive when someone threatens me or someone else. I suffered greatly as the unprotected child of a Borderline Personality Disordered mother and have a son who has some form of antisocial personality disorder. I became a Christian when I was 15, and I think it has been God that has given me the strength I have, because I was so broken at that time. And even after I became a Christian, I was still subject to constant abuse. I'm definitely still a work in progress! Thank God I don't live in the Deep South anymore! Try being a strong-willed, intelligent, aggressive woman there!!!

Anonymous said...

There's a category called "Almost A Psychopath" (AAP), which is used by the the psychiatrists at Harvard to characterize those who are higher than a 0 on the PCL-R. There are a lot of AAPs out there in this world.

Anonymous said...

you're full of shit. its wish fulfillment. you feel like a social outcast who isn't understood so you wish you could abandon all of your fears and dependence to avoid a further sense of loneliness. ultimately you wish you wouldn't care what people thought of you but you do. that's why you wrote this blog. like many loners i'm sure you've developed callousness but that hardly makes you a psychopath. i'm sure you'll deny this but it seems clear that this psychopathy of yours is a self diagnosis. this is a never ending loop in which you become more and more convinced you are a psychopath and become obsessed with only the facts that further prove your diagnosis and ignore the others. there are plenty of online articles on the web about the dangers of self diagnosis. i came to the conclusion of your fallacy because you clearly are obsessed with your own diagnosis and are clearly being very ostentatious which is evident by the fact that you posted at the top you had a score of 36.8. rather than being obsessed with diagnosing yourself i would suggest accepting yourself psychopath or no rather than becoming obsessed with diagnosing yourself as psychopathic. i'm a forensic psychologist which means i've actually met psychopaths and they would never bother blogging because they actually don't give a shit what other people think. i doubt you'll approve this because you're afraid and you know i'm right

Anonymous said...

Zero. Maybe 1 if you factor in my impulsive behaviors due to ADHD. It's hard to wrap my head around the stuff on this blog but I'm trying.

Anonymous said...

What is it that makes this blog hard to wrap your mind around, as you put it? I have ADHD but think it's very easy to understand most of what he writes. Specially what he's been writing the last one of two years. Earlier on when he first started the blog he sometimes wrote some pretty weird stuff and was hard to keep track of because psychopaths often have some ADHD kind of thing going that makes it difficult for them to stick with or finish something that they've started. But as I said, that has changed a great deal since he began to take this whole thing serious and made a great effort to become better at writing in a way that people can follow and learn about psychopathy from.

Don't know what's the problem with your ADHD since a lot of readers actually happen to have it too, and they understand him fine, but that's why I'm asking you to say more precisely what the problem is that you have with "wrapping your head around the stuff on this blog". I'm just another interested guy following the blog because I'm interested in the subject. I don't know if I have some of the same personality traits as psychopaths, but it is possible, and I want to find out.

Anonymous said...

Had a PCL-R assessment carried out on myself during a 15 year stint in one of Her Majesty's Prisons. Offence: the worst one person could do to another. I scored 4. Strange isn't it?

Anonymous said...

To all those people doing self assessments, your self assessments are a complete waste of time in regard to this test. Most of the population will have many or in some cases all of these traits, but would still score 0 for many of those traits for the purposes of this testing. If you read this list of traits and then conjure up an idea of the stereotypical Hollywood teenager, or your own if you have one, they could be considered superficially charming, self important lying manipulative remorseless shallow unempathic irresponsible bored parasitic directionless impulsive irresponsible and promiscuous people in the average teen movie, but they would mostly score 0 with a few 1's dotted here and there for the purpose of this testing. All people tell lies at times, or lack remorse at times where they should, or are manipulative at times, or bored. That is not the same as scoring 1 or 2 on this test. There is no need to try and prove to yourself or others that you are a psychopath, you aren't.

A genuine psychopath would have absolutely no interest in taking this test and it would not occur to them to get on the internet to try to self diagnose. They are unaware that there is anything wrong with them or unusual in this regard so it would not occur to them to do so, and would be considered a pointless exercise, waste of time. Don't worry if you have some or many of these traits, it is in most cases perfectly normal and most normal people have many of these traits as part of their personality.

Zhawq said...

Anon Nov. 12. -15 - 9:00 PM

I agree with your assessment of the average person, people in general. It seems very clear to me that what you describe is exactly how it is.

Did you know that the average person's score falls between 4 and 6? (at least in the US and Canada; I bet it's the same in most European countries, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand too).

I've written this before, but I don't think it was in this thread, so I'll write it again.

One time - it was during the early days of my blog - I found a forum where people discussed the Psychopathy Check List and scored themselves. One girl/young woman had found herself to have a score of 6. I found it so unlikely that I told her, very politely and discrete that I doubted anybody including herself could have such a low score and suggested she either try again or maybe she had subconsciously given herself less scores than was really fitting.

The following day I returned to see if she had responded. What I found was somewhat different: I had been banned (even though I never revealed my own score nor the fact that I have the psychopathy diagnosis). lol

It was something of a surprise to later find out that her score was most likely the only correct score of the lot and very representative for what the average person scores under a regular assessment. '^L^,

Anonymous said...

Interesting test. Initially I scored a zero and thought I must be in the grip of self delusion and so I went back and thought about this or that specific instance and ended up with a 3.

About being boring and being bored... I am autistic and can display the intensity that people speak of when describing narcissists or psychopaths. Some like this and others find it unnerving. Because I am in my head most of the time and most often rational, people either find me boring or interesting, and half of those people probably find me interesting because I am generally interested in whatever someone is passionate about and have shown an interest in their passion. Some people like to look at the world in depth and others not. I do and my curiosity bores some people; meanwhile, their small talk bores me when I am in social situation where I must engage in it repeatedly. When left to myself, I only remember feeling bored once.

I wonder if boredom motivates many of the behaviors on the checklist. I have difficulty imagining, though, boredom motivating me to engage in behaviors that could hurt others. Of course, I have difficulty imagining being bored except when I think of after church coffee hour with the same conversations repeated over and over again. (I get why neurotypicals do this; I just find it painful.)

I've not seen the check list for people most likely to be victims of psychopaths, but it is clear to me that I've had too much empathy--a common misconception about autistic people is that they are not empathetic when it is likely that most have difficulty responding in a manner expected by neurotypical people--, trust, and loyalty for my own good. I've had a few long-term relationships and have drawn (at the very least) narcissists into my life. As someone who has been more trusting than most, I've stayed out of relationship for nearly a decade at this point, and now, instead of giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I distrust just about everyone. The hyper caring traits tend to run in my family, and I've been trying to figure out how my female cousins, who are as soft-hearted as me, ended up with partners who are genuinely kind people that are real, that are not simply posing or acting the part.

I think there are plenty of people who would not score high enough on these traits to be considered antisocial or psychopathic--it's been designed with prisoners in mind after all--, but who live lives behind masks. I think it is living behind a mask(s) more than anything that wrecks relationships and ends up harming the one who loved the mask wearer. So scoring relatively low on this without revealing one's true self, without risking authenticity in relationships, is nothing to cheer about.

Anonymous said...


1 Glibness/superficial charm 0

2 Grandiose sense of self-worth 0

3 Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom 1

4 Pathological lying 0

5 Cunning/manipulative 0

6 Lack of remorse or guilt 1

7 Shallow affect [i.e. superficial experience and expression of emotions] 1

8 Callous/lack of empathy 0

9 Parasitic lifestyle 0

10 Poor behavioural controls 0

11 Promiscuous sexual behaviour 0

12 Early behaviour problems 0

13 Lack of realistic long-term goals 0

14 Impulsivity 0

15 Irresponsibility 0

16 Failure to accept responsibility for own actions 0

17 Many short term marital relationships 0

18 Juvenile delinquency 0

19 Revocation of conditional release 0

20 Criminal versatility 0

3/40

After looking at all the comments on here, I feel like I've scored way too low, but this is genuinely as accurate of a self-examination that I can do. I guess I'm just not a psychopath - maybe I'd score higher if someone else did it for me?

Anon Guy said...

I entered for a friend and he got a 28 yet he's not necessarily violent yet very ends to means'. He seems to have a conscience and empathy though its buried deep, he hides behind a suave demeanor and beautiful manners and seems to be a selfish asshole with a hidden heart of gold.

Anonymous said...

Assuming they are evaluated accurately, would it be likely for a person with Borderline Personality Disorder to receive a higher score on this checklist than a neurotypical person(both of whom would be scored lower than a psychopath)?

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Anon March 13, 2:20 PM,

it is totally possible and in fact highly likely that someone with BPD scores relatively high on the PCL-R though it goes without saying that they don't score 30 or above since that would mean they're psychopaths, and to be a psychopath AND have BPD doesn't go well together because BPD'ers - contrary to what many believe - do indeed have a very high emotionality, that is when they're in a certain state of mind. The reason why many people confuse BPD with psychopathy is that people with BPD, when they're in a certain state of mind, often present an astonishing level of callousness and lack of empathy.

During these periods they will often express a sense of emptiness which they can have because they know how it is to be at the opposite end of the spectrum where strong emotions are prevalent. Psychopaths don't have any experience with that end of the spectrum and therefore do not feel any sense of 'emptiness'. This expressing a sense of emptiness is a good cue that a person is not a psychopath but someone suffering with BPD.

- I use the word 'suffering' because these people do indeed suffer more than most of us think, and that makes it even more sad that they so often end up being rejected due to their clinging and dramatic, controlling and manipulative behavior.

Veronique said...

My score is 6. Yaay I'm not a psychopath :) Anyway I did hear that psychopath do not think they are psyhopaths so just that makes it impossible. But I have some weird social behaviours that I can't explain. I can't laugh at what people say, nobody is funny to me, I laugh at the most weird things, sometimes I don't laugh for days or weeks, sometimes I laugh to the point of crying (that happened when I was with my brother at a funeral). Just seeing other people cry and sad made me chuckle because I wasn't used to see them cry. Also I don't have a f*cking clue what to do when somebody is crying or upset. Whenever my best friend cried I was like: yeah that is unfortunate (inside of me I wanted to just leave).
Making facial expresions is very tiresome for me, people think I'm a bitch because I look really serious most of the time. When somebody is explaining something to me I can understand that it is supposed to be funny and interesting but I just can't make myself and look surprised and interested like: oh really? OMG that is sooo cool. Nope.
Also I can't stand crowds, being in a supermarket that is full of people. When I'm in a city for a long time I feel as if I'm going to explode and lose my mind because I can't stand people talking loudly, laughing, cars driving by.. too much stimuli makes me go a bit nuts.
My senses are overly stimulated by everything: I smell everything, I hate when somebody touches me, I can't stand tags on clothes.. etc etc.

For example when at college lab practicals we tested the two point discrimination and I could discriminate two points on my upperarm at 15mm which is unheard off. Other one is feeling pressure at different points (with miofilaments).

I'm thinking maybe I kind off fall into the autistic spectrum disorder? Thoughts?