The Psychopath Test

Jon Ronson is a journalist who writes books the same way Louis Theroux makes documentaries. He goes and interviews odd people and pokes them gently but persistently until interesting stories fall out.

In his book The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry he looks at what psychopathy is, how it is diagnosed (there is a checklist), what can be done about it (very little) and where you might find psychopaths. The answer to the last question is apparently prisons and CEOs.

He starts off by narcissistically whining about his own problems and anxieties. I find this annoying at first as he sounds too similar to myself for comfort, but gradually come round to it as the book goes on. He is very much a character in the story. Given a preference, I think I would opt-out of that, but it doesn’t ruin the book.

If you ever worry that you are a psychopath, then good news, that probably means you are not one. Psychopaths typically do not suffer from anxiety. However, if you want to double check, you could use the PCL-R, a checklist developed by Robert Hare.

Ronson also provides advice for psychopaths looking to avoid the media spotlight – be as boring as possible because then no journalist will want to write about you. Statically, that should be useful to just under 1% of my visitors…




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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 14th, 2015 at 11:04 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.