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20 Signs That You Are a Psychopath (or Sociopath)

August 2, 2011
By Judith Aquino
Business Insider
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We all know CEOs are charismatic, competitive, and work-obsessed, but are they also psychopathic? British journalist Jon Ronson says some fit the bill. 
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“I think my book offers really good evidence that the way that capitalism is structured really is a physical manifestation of the brain anomaly known as psychopathy,” says Ronson, author of “The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry” in an interview with Forbes.

“Basically, high-scoring psychopaths can be brilliant bosses but only ever for short term…they always want to make a killing and move on.”

Armed with psychologist Robert Hare’s widely used psycho diagnostictool, the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), Ronson explored the world of mental health and criminal profiling to understand what makes some people psychopaths.

About four percent of leaders with substantial decision-making power can be classified as psychopaths, according to Hare.

Want to know where you fall on the list? Take the psychopathy test and find out. Each of the items in the test is scored on a three-point scale: A value of 0 is assigned if the item does not apply, 1 if it applies somewhat, and 2 if it fully applies. Keep track of the items that best describe you and read on for the results…

[See scoring rubric below. Keep a tally and we'll tell you at the end if you are a psycho]

1. You have glibness and superficial charm

Image: From the film "American Psycho" (screenshot)

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points
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2. Grandiose sense of self-worth

How badly do you want to be my new apprentice?

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

3. Constant need for stimulation/proneness to boredom

In order to keep their edge, some CEO's can't help themselves, getting up to all sorts...

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

4. Pathological lying

The climb up the corporate ladder requires some very special skills (Image: From the film "Catch Me if You Can" screenshot)

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

5. Cunning/manipulative

The hidden talents of a CEO are often revealed behind the sceens...Image: "The Silence of the Lambs" screenshot

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

6. Lack of remorse or guilt

"Greed is good", was the mantra for a generation of charlatans on Wall Street.

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

7. Shallow affect/emotional range

Status makes some people happy, or so it seems...

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

8. Callous/lack of empathy

Showing no pity, and no mercy.

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

9. Parasitic lifestyle

FIND A HOST: Parasitic lifestyles are part and parcel of surviving in the corporate jungle.

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

10. Poor behavioral controls

Airs and graces are not always evident when profiling a corporate high-flyer.

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

11. Promiscuous sexual behavior

Some people just can't help themselves.

Does not apply: 0 points

Applies somewhat: 1 point

Fully applies: 2 points

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LET’S SEE IF YOU GOT WHAT IT TAKES TO MAKE IT IN A CRUEL AND UNUSUAL WORLD OF BOARDROOM CHUTES AND LADDERS.

NOW SCORE IT UP…

Click Here to see the original CEO psychopath test (at Business Insider)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2011 1:57 pm

    These signs more aptly describe the symptoms of sociopathy which is much more common than psychopaths. It is estimated that 3 in 100 people are sociopaths. The book “The Sociopath Next Door” describes it in detail. All of the people pictured in this article could be labeled sociopaths…

  2. Innocent Bystander permalink
    August 15, 2011 11:05 am

    W8 a minute.

    Giving ONE lunatic the grand term sociopath is bullshit.

    A sociopath is a PUBLIC BODY MADE UP OF PSYCHOPATHS.

    This is revealed by the spell checkers REFUSING TO ACCEPT SOCIOPATHIC as a word or (a) ‘behavior’, but do accept SOCIOPATH AND SOCIOPATHS … AS IN GROUPS.

    But said spell checkers accept PSYCHOPATHIC.

    A sociopath is not a singular loner!

    Sociopath and Sociopaths represent mindless mobs displaying psychopathic behavior and, by definition, EVERY DEAD FICTIONAL ORGANIZATION is a sociopath!

    In fact, a lot like .. a ‘lifestyle’(?), on the order of Genghis Khan’s marauding hoards.

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