Are you the next Ted Bundy or Sayalay Anuttara? Take our personality quiz to find out!
Psychopathy is correlated with a manipulative upbringing, trauma in the formative years, and below average intelligence.1
Frequently asked questions
- What is a psychopath?
- Psychopathy is a personality disorder, characterised by narcissism and manipulation. Canadian psychologist Robert Hare – the author of seminal articles and books on psychopathy – describes psychopaths as “remorseless predators who use charm, intimidation and, if necessary, impulsive and cold-blooded violence to attain their ends.”
- What is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?
- The terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” are sometimes used interchangeably. Sociopathy is also a personality disorder typified by a failure to adapt to ethical and social norms. However, according to Robert Hare, there is some difference between them. While the term “sociopath” refers mainly to behaviour, “psychopath” refers to inner experience.
- What are the signs of a psychopath?
- Psychopaths have the following traits: grandiose sense of self-worth, superficial charm, pathological lying, manipulativeness, shallow affect, lack of empathy, lack of guilt, and a parasitic lifestyle. Psychopaths have low levels of anxiousness and a bold interpersonal style. They speak softly and do not deviate in voice emphasis between neutral and emotional words.
- How do I deal with a psychopath?
- The best way to deal with a psychopath is to not deal with a psychopath. But if communication is unavoidable, try not to talk face-to-face. Do not express your emotions or show them sympathy; they will take advantage of it.
- Can psychopaths love?
- No, psychopaths have impoverished affective functioning. They have no emotional attachment to another person, and simply use other people to achieve their own goals. They may have “friends” and be married, but these relationships are not based on feelings of friendship and love. They are based on cold calculation.
- How many people are psychopaths?
- Roughly one in 1,000 people is a psychopath. In 2009, Jeremy Coid and his colleagues conducted a study aimed to measure the prevalence of psychopathy in England, Wales and Scotland. The prevalence was 0.6%. However, this used a cut-off of 13 rather than the clinically recommended 18, which would have left the prevalence closer to 0.1%.
- Can psychopaths be cured?
- No, psychopathic features manifest themselves in early childhood and remain relatively stable over time. Currently, there are no methods of direct influence on psychobiological factors of psychopathy. What can be changed to some extent is the behaviour of a psychopath. However, even this type of intervention can be successful only early in childhood.
- How accurate are these results?
- They're as accurate as an online test that relies on honesty can be. This is not intended to be a professional assessment, and the design of the test and statistics reflect that. While the questions come from experience and academic research, this is not a replacement for the Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R), which should only be given by a licensed practitioner.
If you would like to read more about psychopaths, a popular book is The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson.