little list popped into my head while doing some reading over the weekend – and
I finally remembered where to find it listening to the Radio National Breakfast program this morning. It’s the Psychopathy Check List. There’s more detail
about it at the Swinburne Uni site,
but it “can be used to aid in making a diagnosis of psychopathy or can be a
trait measure of psychopathic personality.” Subscribers may find it useful to
consider while they’re forming opinions of their own over the next few days.
and SUPERFICIAL CHARM – the tendency to be smooth, engaging, charming, slick,
and verbally facile. Psychopathic charm is not in the least shy,
self-conscious, or afraid to say anything. A psychopath never gets tongue-tied.
They have freed themselves from the social conventions about taking turns in
talking, for example.
GRANDIOSE SELF-WORTH – a grossly inflated view of one’s abilities and
self-worth, self-assured, opinionated, cocky, a braggart. Psychopaths are
arrogant people who believe they are superior human beings.
FOR STIMULATION or PRONENESS TO BOREDOM – an excessive need for novel,
thrilling, and exciting stimulation; taking chances and doing things that are
risky. Psychopaths often have a low self-discipline in carrying tasks through
to completion because they get bored easily. They fail to work at the same job
for any length of time, for example, or to finish tasks that they consider dull
PATHOLOGICAL LYING – can be moderate or high; in moderate form, they will be
shrewd, crafty, cunning, sly, and clever; in extreme form, they will be
deceptive, deceitful, underhanded, unscrupulous, manipulative, and dishonest.
CONNING AND MANIPULATIVENESS – the use of deceit and deception to cheat, con, or
defraud others for personal gain; distinguished from Item #4 in the degree to
which exploitation and callous ruthlessness is present, as reflected in a lack
of concern for the feelings and suffering of one’s victims.
OF REMORSE OR GUILT – a lack of feelings or concern for the losses, pain, and
suffering of victims; a tendency to be unconcerned, dispassionate, coldhearted,
and unempathic. This item is usually demonstrated by a disdain for one’s
SHALLOW AFFECT – emotional poverty or a limited range or depth of feelings;
interpersonal coldness in spite of signs of open gregariousness.
CALLOUSNESS and LACK OF EMPATHY – a lack of feelings toward people in general;
cold, contemptuous, inconsiderate, and tactless.
PARASITIC LIFESTYLE – an intentional, manipulative, selfish, and exploitative
financial dependence on others as reflected in a lack of motivation, low
self-discipline, and inability to begin or complete responsibilities.
BEHAVIOURAL CONTROLS – expressions of irritability, annoyance, impatience,
threats, aggression, and verbal abuse; inadequate control of anger and temper;
PROMISCUOUS SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR – a variety of brief, superficial relations,
numerous affairs, and an indiscriminate selection of sexual partners; the maintenance
of several relationships at the same time; a history of attempts to sexually
coerce others into sexual activity or taking great pride at discussing sexual
exploits or conquests.
BEHAVIOUR PROBLEMS – a variety of behaviours prior to age 13, including lying,
theft, cheating, vandalism, bullying, sexual activity, fire-setting,
glue-sniffing, alcohol use, and running away from home.
OF REALISTIC, LONG-TERM GOALS – an inability or persistent failure to develop
and execute long-term plans and goals; a nomadic existence, aimless, lacking
direction in life.
IMPULSIVITY – the occurrence of behaviours that are unpremeditated and lack
reflection or planning; inability to resist temptation, frustrations, and
urges; a lack of deliberation without considering the consequences; foolhardy,
rash, unpredictable, erratic, and reckless.
IRRESPONSIBILITY – repeated failure to fulfil or honour obligations and
commitments; such as not paying bills, defaulting on loans, performing sloppy
work, being absent or late to work, failing to honour contractual agreements.
FAILURE TO ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN ACTIONS – a failure to accept
responsibility for one’s actions reflected in low conscientiousness, an absence
of dutifulness, antagonistic manipulation, denial of responsibility, and an
effort to manipulate others through this denial.
SHORT-TERM MARITAL RELATIONSHIPS – a lack of commitment to a long-term
relationship reflected in inconsistent, undependable, and unreliable commitments
in life, including marital.
JUVENILE DELINQUENCY – behaviour problems between the ages of 13- 18; mostly
behaviours that are crimes or clearly involve aspects of antagonism,
exploitation, aggression, manipulation, or a callous, ruthless tough-mindedness.
REVOCATION OF CONDITION RELEASE – a revocation of probation or other
conditional release due to technical violations, such as carelessness, low
deliberation, or failing to appear.
CRIMINAL VERSATILITY – a diversity of types of criminal offences, regardless
if the person has been arrested or convicted for them; taking great pride at
getting away with crimes.