how to spot a sociopath
The following questionnaire is based on research and experiences of socialised psychopaths. For each trait, decide if it applies to the person you suspect may be a socialised psychopath, fully (2 points), partially (1 point) or not at all (0 points).
- Do they have problems sustaining stable relationships, personally and in business?
- Do they frequently manipulate others to achieve selfish goals, with no consideration of the effects on those manipulated?
- Are they cavalier about the truth, and capable of telling lies to your face?
- Do they have an air of self-importance, regardless of their true standing in society?
- Have they no apparent sense of remorse, shame or guilt?
- Is their charm superficial, and capable of being switched on to suit immediate ends?
- Are they easily bored and demand constant stimulation?
- Are their displays of human emotion unconvincing?
- Do they enjoy taking risks, and acting on reckless impulse?
- Are they quick to blame others for their mistakes?
- As teenagers, did they resent authority, play truant and/or steal?
- Do they have no qualms about sponging off others?
- Are they quick to lose their temper?
- Are they sexually promiscuous?
- Do they have a belligerent, bullying manner?
- Are they unrealistic about their long-term aims?
- Do they lack any ability to empathise with others?
- Would you regard them as essentially irresponsible?
A score of 25 or above suggests strong psychopathic tendencies. This does not mean the person is a potential mass-murderer: socialised psychopaths are not mad, nor do they have to resort to violence. Even so, a close professional or emotional relationship with a socialised psychopath is likely to prove a damaging experience.