Who is a psychopath? Who is a sociopath? Or are they synonymous? Or somewhat technical? We generally perceive a psychopath or sociopath as a ruthless serial killer or a maniac. Truth is, psychos and sociopaths are a lot more subtle than you thought, and could be that next door neighbor you hang out with. Here’s the catch: you’re more likely a psycho or socio if you thought you’re pretty much sane. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist could tell you whether you exhibit traits of psychopathy or not.
Related media: Psychopath Test – Take This Quiz Yourself
Psychopathy Vs Sociopathy
First thing first, let’s take a quick crash course of both terms before you get know if you’re a psycho or not. Psychopathy and sociopathy are both seen as a mental state of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) in which a person exhibits certain amoral traits that are often perceived as abnormal.
For psychopathy, a person might exhibit both amoral and antisocial behavior, showing a lack of empathy and the ability to love or establish a meaningful interpersonal relationship, expresses egocentricity, and demonstrates a failure to learn from experience and other behaviors associated. The term “psychopath” is used to describe someone who is callous, unemotional, and morally depraved.
Sociopathy, on the other hand, a person might exhibit antisocial behavior, (show signs of having empathy), tend to lie, break rules, act impulsively and lack regard for their own safety or others. Symptoms could detected at infancy, but can’t be diagnosed until adolescence or adulthood. The term “sociopath” is used to describe someone who is easily emotional disturbed, and shows signs of social insecurity.
So what’s the difference? Psychopaths are classified as people with little or no conscience (though they do follow social conventions), whereas sociopaths do have a limited, albeit weak, ability to feel empathy and remorse.
Whence Cometh Psychopathy?
In a 2016 study published on the Science Journal site Phys.org, Dr Kevin Dutton of Oxford University ranked then United States president-elect Donald Trump as “above Adolf Hitler” (no wonder anyway) on a standard scale used to measure potential psychopathy in adults, (arch rival Hillary Clinton scored quite high, too).
Obviously, Trump sure does display some symptoms of psychopathy, according to clinicians who diagnose psychopaths and sociopaths. Most psychologists and criminologists use the terms interchangeably, but aforementioned, we’ve given the difference; however experts disagree on whether the two are meaningfully different. As a matter of fact, one in every ten people might display some symptoms of psychopathy — superficiality, glibness, sexual promiscuity, and so on, but that does not make you a psychopath.
For most political leaders, a few psychopathy traits might not be all that bad. Traits like fearlessness, dominant behavior, and the immunity to handle stress are found in psychopaths. And indeed, a greater proportion of CEOs are thought of as exhibiting traits of psychopathy. According to a study by Bond University psychologist Nathan Brooks, between three percent and 21 percent of CEOs are probably psychopaths. However, the average rate of psychopathy in the normal population is about one percent.
The Hare Psychopathy Checklist
This is the standard screening test for potential psychopaths. For this test, a psychologist interviews a potential psycho and scores them on a 20 checklist criteria, such as “sexual promiscuity” or “impulsivity.” For each criterion, the subject is ranked on a three-point scale where 0 means item does not apply, 1 is item somewhat applies, and 2 is item definitely applies. The point are later summed up between zero to 40. If you happen to score 30 and above, then you’re probably a psycho. The test is supposed to be done by a professional psychologist, but if you really want to take it yourself. Good luck!
1. Do you have “excess glibness” or superficial charm?
2. Do you have a grandiose sense of self-worth?
3. Do you have an excess need for stimulation or proneness to boredom?
4. Are you a pathological liar?
5. Are you conning or manipulative?
6. Do you display a lack of remorse or guilt?
7. Do you have “shallow affect”?
8. Are you callous, or do you lack empathy?
9. Do you have a “parasitic lifestyle”?
10. Do you have poor behavioral controls?
11. Do you have a history of promiscuous sexual behavior?
12. Do you have a history of early behavioral problems?
13. Do you lack realistic long-term goals?
14. Are you overly impulsive?
15. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility?
16. Do you fail to accept responsibility for your own actions?
17. Have you had many short-term “marital” relationships?
18. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?
19. Have you ever experienced a “revocation of conditional release”?
20. Do you display “criminal versatility”?
What was your score? Let us know in comments.
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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Tue, Mar 16, 2021.