The Psychopath Test written by Jon Ronson (author of The Men Who Stare at Goats)
explains how psychopaths can be identified by a series of questions called the
Hare Psychopath Test.
It claims that there are under 1% of the population (under 700,000 in a population of 70 million) are psychopaths who have not murdered or killed anyone.
They are extremely devious and manipulative. They are trying to fool the rest of us(?) that they are just like us. They like to live in big cities to be amongst the buzz: to satisfy a constant boredom and need to be stimulated.
In the Psychopath test it is not so much the questions that are asked. But the way the genuine psychopath answers them. Psychopaths are curious that everyday people are upset or frightened when presented with say graphic images of mutilated corpses. Psychopaths find this strange. They realise that they have to fit in. They somehow have to copy this empathy and humanity to fool the rest of us that they are the same as us. The test fleshes out this insincerity of reacting to this pain and suffering of others. The genuine psychopath does not recognise others’ pain and blames the person for putting themselves in that position.
The psychopath is mercilessly driven individual who craves success at any cost. Other peoples’ feelings do not count. The example used was of the US Sunbeam company which had a series of CEOs who shut factories down decimating communities. But every time a factory was closed the stock went up. The author interviews Al Dunlap one of these CEOs. He calmly answers the questions in the Psychopath test showing he is a psychopath while making a rational argument for all his answers. The picture is of an evil man.
Dr Kiehl a neuroscientist at the University of New Mexico tends “ to see psychopaths as someone suffering from a disorder, so I wouldn’t use the word evil to describe them.”
Whether they are made or evil they seem charming and plausible while leaving destruction and chaos around them. As I have written before the psychopath operates in areas where the risks are high and the rewards are great. They do this by genuinely not being able to recognise that there are any risks.
This is a similar scenario that created the 2008 credit crisis which the world economy is still recovering from. This creates an alarming thought: that there are psychopaths taking enormous risks on behalf of others.
They reap the rewards and others pick up the pieces.
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2013
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Disclaimer: This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique.