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‘The Hare Psychopathy Checklist’: The test that will tell you if someone is a psychopathy

Illustration of a silhouette angry man with storm cloud in his head screaming.Illustration of a silhouette angry man with storm cloud in his head screaming.

Malte Mueller/GettyImages

  • Senior corporate leaders have been numbered among those who tend to show psychopathic traits.
  • The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.
  • Read the list below to see the potential signs of adult psychopathy according to the checklist.

Many of the traits we seek in leaders, such as fearlessness, dominant behavior, and immunity to stress, are found in psychopaths.

Indeed, psychopaths are found in greater proportions among CEOs. Between 3% and 21% of CEOs are probably psychopaths, according to a 2016 study by Bond University psychologist Nathan Brooks. In 2021, Fortune found that 12% of corporate senior leaders in the United States showed psychopathic traits.  In fact, most people display some symptoms of psychopathy — superficiality, glibness, promiscuity, etc. — and that does not make you a psychopath

According to CNBC, while one out of five business leaders may show psychopathic tendencies, a certain “degree of nonconformity and unconventionally” can help drive innovation.

The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. In the test, a clinician interviews a potential sociopath and scores them on 20 criteria, such as “promiscuous sexual Behavior” or “impulsivity.” On each criterion, the subject is ranked on a 3-point scale: (0 = item does not apply, 1 = item applies somewhat, 2 = item definitely applies). The scores are summed to create a rank of zero to 40. Anyone who scores 30 and above is probably a psycho.

The test is meant to be done by a professional psychologist but if you really want to take it yourself — or make a layperson’s guess at your boss’s psychological makeup — keep scrolling:

1. Do you have “excess glibness” or superficial charm?james bondSean Connery as the original movie James Bond.

United Artists

(Answer: For sociopaths, the answer to this question is yes.)

2. Do you have a grandiose sense of self-worth?donald trump republican gop president elect smugDonald Trump.

Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

(Psychopaths do.)

3. Do you have an excess need for stimulation or proneness to boredom?Bored girl

Incase/Flickr

(Psychopaths can’t endure periods of the doldrums.)

4. Are you a pathological liar?pinnochio

Walt Disney Productions/RKO Radio Pictures

(Psychopaths don’t care about the truth.)

5. Are you conning or manipulative?catch me if you can leonardo decaprio conman liar

DreamWorks

(Psychopaths often believe they can pull the strings of the dupes around them.)

6. Do you display a lack of remorse or guilt?Guilty

Monogram Pictures

(Psychopaths don’t feel bad when they do bad things.)

7. Do you have “shallow affect?”psycho anthony perkins as norman bates

Paramount

(Psychopaths show a lack of emotions when an emotional reaction is appropriate.)

8. Are you callous, or do you lack empathy?rich poor homeless girls

Reuters/Lucas Jackson

(Psychopaths just don’t care when bad things happen to other people.)

9. Do you have a “parasitic lifestyle”?leech

GlebK / Wikimedia, CC

(Psychopaths prefer not to work for a living. They feel it is easier to take stuff from other people.) 

10. Do you have poor behavioral controls? wild things

Columbia Pictures

(Psychopaths find it difficult to keep themselves in check.)

11. Do you have a history of promiscuous sexual behavior? basic instinct

TriStar Pictures

(Psychopaths like one-night stands.)

12. Do you have a history of early behavioral problems? the omen damien

20th Century Fox

(As children, psychopaths often have a history of cruelty to others.) 

13. Do you lack realistic long-term goals?National lottery winnerAngela Kelly celebrates winning the UK’s biggest lottery jackpot in 2007.

Andrew Milligan / PA Archive/Press Association Images

(Psychopaths prefer schemes over life or career goals.)

14. Are you overly impulsive?shoppingShoppers are more suspicious of cameras in real world stores than they are cookies when shopping online.

Andrew Winning/Reuters

(Psychopaths are very, very impulsive.)

15. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility?Cruella De Vil 101 Dalmations Disney

Disney

(Psychopaths aren’t big on doing the right thing.)

16. Do you fail to accept responsibility for your own actions?Fall unicorn

Reuters/Bobby Yip

(When you’re a psycho, it’s always someone else’s fault.)

17. Have you had many short-term “marital” relationships?elizabeth taylor richard burton

20th Century Fox

(Psychopaths have an inability to commit to, or repeatedly betray, long-term relationships.)

18. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?scum

Blue Underground

(Psychopaths start young.)

19. Have you ever experienced a “revocation of conditional release”?california prison realignment jailIn this photo taken Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013, an inmate at the Madera County Jail is taken to one of the inmate housing units in Madera, Calif.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

(Even when psychopaths catch a break — like being let out of prison on probation — they tend to screw up.)

20. Do you display “criminal versatility”?grand theft auto GTAV

Rockstar

(Psychopaths differ from normal criminals because they don’t really care which type of laws they break — they’ll break any of them, under the right circumstances.)

How did you do?

If you scored more than 30 (i.e. you answered “somewhat” or “definitely” to most of these questions) then you might be a psychopath. If you scored lower than that, you are likely not a psychopath.

Read the original article on Business Insider