In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should warn you – I am a 40% psychopath. Well, depending on which online self-diagnostic test I take, I may be only 20%.
By Allen Clark
In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should warn you – I am a 40% psychopath. Well, depending on which online self-diagnostic test I take, I may be only 20%. Or I may even be the kind of guy a good psychopath would like to take advantage of.
Let me step back a bit. Recently I enrolled in a Yale online course called “Moralities of Everyday Life.” As part of the homework, I watched a video about a Brit who, to avoid being sent to a regular prison for beating up somebody in a pub, pretended to be a psychopath and did such a good job he was locked up in a place formerly called Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum for over 12 years. In that video I found I could test myself. What had I to lose?
Turns out there are many online tests. Each cautions you that it is for educational purposes only — that you should see a professional if you really are a psychopath. I took five tests.
Here’s what the first one told me – scores range from 1 (low) to 5 (high): “Your score from primary psychopathy (lack of empathy for other people and tolerance for antisocial orientations) has been calculated as 2.” That’s 40%. On “secondary psychopathy” (rule breaking and a lack of effort towards socially rewarded behavior), 2.5. Remember, this is out of 5.
I quickly deleted that site and hoped my wife hadn’t seen it. Turns out, if you keep on trying (obviously another characteristic of a psychopath), you may do better. Well, not at first, but try and try again, and there it was, much more to my liking: “You scored 76% empathic – higher than 92% of your peers; 0% delusional, 81% sociable, and 48% law-abiding – higher than 59% of your peers.” My kind of guy! But, then, there was this somewhat backhanded compliment: “You might have your problems, but for the most part you’re simply a normal person and most definitely not a psychopath in any way.”
Let’s give it one more try. Similar questions, same kinds of answers. Suddenly, it seemed I had gone over the far end on my search for normalcy: “Whoa there! You’re a victim! You’ve got some serious problems. Psychopaths would look for people like you to cheat. You can’t trust everyone in this mad world.”
Net, I’m not at all sure who the real me is. So, how about you? Check Google under “psychopath testing.” You might be surprised how many psychopaths are wandering around today, one in 100 most experts say. Could you be one of them?
NB: Studies have shown that that rate may be four times higher among CEOs. Hmmmm?