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The Hare Psychopathy Checklist

Jesse's Café Américain The Hare Psychopathy Checklist

This is from sources on the web, and is based on Robert Hare's psychopathy checklist.
1. Look for glib and superficial charm. A psychopath will also put on what professionals refer to as a 'mask of sanity' that is likable and pleasant. It is a thin veneer.

2. Look for a grandiose self perception. Psychopaths will often believe they are smarter or more powerful than they actually are.

3. Watch for a constant need for stimulation. Stillness, quiet and reflection are not things embraced by psychopaths. They need constant entertainment and activity.

4. Determine if there is pathological lying. A psychopath will tell all sorts of lies; little white lies as well as huge stories intended to mislead. Psychopaths are gifted or dull, high functioning or low performing like other people. An untalented psychopath may harm a few; a highly talented psychopath may lay waste to nations. The difference between the psychopath and others lies in their organic lack of conscience and empathy for others. The sociopath is trained to lack empathy and conscience. The psychopath is a natural.

5. Evaluate the level of manipulation. All psychopaths are identified as cunning and able to get people to do things they might not normally do. They can use guilt, force and other methods to manipulate.

6. Look for any feelings of guilt. An absence of any guilt or remorse is a sign of psychopathy. They will often blame the victim.

7. Consider the level of emotional response a person has. Psychopaths demonstrate shallow emotional reactions to deaths, injuries, trauma or other events that would otherwise cause a deeper response. Other people are satisfaction suppliers, nothing more.

8. Look for a lack of empathy. Psychopaths are callous and have no way of relating to others in non-exploitative ways. They may find a temporary kinship with other psychopaths and sociopaths that is strictly utilitarian and goal-oriented.

9. Psychopaths are often parasitic. They live off other people, emotionally, physically, and financially. Their modus operandi is domination and control. They will claim to be maligned or misunderstood to gain your sympathy.

10. Look for obsessive risk taking and lack of self-control. The Hare Checklist includes three behavior indicators; poor behavior control, sexual promiscuity, and behavioral problems.

11. Psychopaths have unrealistic goals or none at all for the long term. Either there are no goals at all, or they are unattainable and based on the exaggerated sense of one's own accomplishments and abilities.

12. Psychopaths will often be shockingly impulsive or irresponsible. Their shamelessness knows no bounds. You will ask, what were they thinking? And the answer was, they weren't because they did not care.

13. A psychopath will not genuinely accept personal responsibility. A psychopath will never admit to being wrong or owning up to mistakes and errors in judgment, except as part of a manipulative ploy. They will despise and denigrate their victims once they are done with them. If they have any regret it is that their source of satisfaction supply has ended and they must seek another.

14. Psychopaths lack long term personal relationships. If there have been many short term marriages, broken friendships, purely transactional relationships, the chances the person is a psychopath increase. Watch especially how they treat other people in weaker positions and even animals.

15. Psychopaths are often versatile in their criminality. Psychopaths are able to get away with a lot, and while they might sometimes get caught, the ability to be flexible and adaptable when committing crimes is indicative.

If you should find yourself in a business or personal relationship with a psychopath, the best advice is seek counseling if you need, obtain assistance if you must, and run if you can. You are a diffused and multi-faceted person with many interests. A psychopath is powerfully focused on obtaining what he wishes from others, without many prohibitions or distractions. Avoidance is the best policy. Long term confinement is their best treatment.

I do not think the repetitive sociopathic behaviors and psychopathic tendencies of the Roman imperial leadership to be accidental. The mad emperors kept recurring because they were the creatures of what that culture had become, and they stood as emblems at its apex.

Men are social animals, and can go mad in groups, as well as alone. Psychopathy can be the black hole at the center of a whole galaxy of madness and sociopathy under the right conditions, and the results can be flamboyantly destructive, as we most recently saw in several places during the 20th century. The psychopaths can thrive anywhere that deception is an advantage, but their prime hunting ground is a system in crisis, a controllable chaos lacking a well defined rule of law.


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[Mar 22, 2016] POV A Perfect Devil by By Kaja Perina

May 6, 2014 | Psychology Today

Successful psychopaths have our ear, but it's the unsuccessful psychopaths who may hold the keys to this devastating disorder.

By Kaja Perina, published on May 6, 2014 - last reviewed on November 20, 2015

It is high noon for the "successful" psychopath, that manipulative but law-abiding individual said to populate the highest echelons of organizations. Psychologists firmly understand that psychopathy, like many disorders, exists on a spectrum of impairment, shaping grandiose but charismatic individuals as well as stone-cold killers.

Popular books of late have focused on the impressive feats of those in one particular zone of the spectrum, high-functioning psychopaths (think The Wolf of Wall Street) or people with subclinical characteristics such as emotional frostiness and little concern for others. The Wisdom of Psychopaths pinpoints those in the high ranks of medicine and government, and the author, Kevin Dutton, proudly speculates that his own father, a classic huckster, was a psychopath. The authors of The Psychopath Inside and Confessions of a Sociopath, a neuroscientist and a lawyer respectively, mount evidence that they each reside on this pseudosexy continuum.

Next to such titles, The Psychopath Whisperer sounds like it could be the autobiography of a Hollywood rainmaker. In fact, it is the professional memoir of Kent Kiehl, a highly regarded research psychologist whose work focuses on the dangerous outer edge of the spectrum. Kiehl's subjects are more likely to be found doing hard time than making backroom deals. For him, there is a "perfect" psychopath, one who achieves a 40 out of 40 on the 20-item Hare Psychopathy Checklist, the global gold standard for assessing psychopathic traits. (The average American male scores a 4; a score of 30 or more is psychopath-grade). One in four inmates in a maximum-security prison is a psychopath.

Kiehl trained under pioneering researcher Robert Hare and went on to do seminal brain imaging of psychopaths, pinpointing the paralimbic region as the area critically atrophied in afflicted individuals. Now at the University of New Mexico, Kiehl directs a lab known for mobile imaging: Researchers crisscross the state with an MRI machine hauled in a custom-built trailer to scan the brains of prison inmates. (Kiehl learned at his previous gig at Yale that unlike prisoners, psychopaths in the general population are unreliable research subjects: Devoid of conscientiousness and motivation, they routinely fail to show for their scheduled brain scans!)

No matter the appeal of tales of psychopaths in the corner office, it is prisoners—by any definition the "unsuccessful" psychopaths—who advance our understanding of the disorder. Simply, they are the ones who are most routinely screened and studied—and on whom interventions are tested.

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist inventories traits such as need for stimulation, grandiosity, callousness, and shallow affect. Raters are taught to ignore the "index offense" when evaluating prisoners: "The individual should get the same psychopathy score regardless of the crime that leads to his or her imprisonment," writes Kiehl. So a death-row inmate who is unrepentant about a brutal murder should receive high scores of "callousness/lack of empathy" and "failure to accept responsibility for his own actions" only if he exhibits such characteristics consistently and in multiple domains. "This avoids the common issue where one monstrous deed leads raters to score the individual high on all traits." Such caution appears humane as well as statistically sound: We'd all wish to be judged with our worst day excised from the mix.

Diagnosing children is arguably as dicey as evaluating death-row inmates. Although a diagnosis of psychopathy may sway some juries to commute a death sentence, a child so branded is at risk for behaviorally fulfilling the prophecy. Kiehl cites a case in which he believes a dim-witted teen committed murder in part because an unskilled clinician had incorrectly labeled the juvenile a "psychopath" to his face. Moreover, diagnosis of juveniles is difficult for many reasons, including the unwillingness of parents to accurately rate their children.

In dealing with potentially psychopathic behavior in children and teens, clinicians highlight affective deficits: Those who show psychopathic tendencies are labelled "callous/unemotional" (CU).

Callous/unemotional youth represent a paradox that goes to the heart of psychopathy: CU traits are highly stable over time and are predictive of adult criminality and scores on the Hare checklist. Kiehl has never met a psychopath who did not have serious antisocial problems as a teen; in fact, most had criminal convictions. And yet...successful intervention with juveniles is possible, at least if it adheres to the "decompression model" that Kiehl lauds. This model acknowledges a reality that all clinicians know but few treatment facilities are equipped to handle: Callous/unemotional individuals are impervious to punishment. Actually, punishment and attempts to evade it often fuel their aggressive and manipulative tendencies.

The solution may be programs that double down on rewards. In a well-studied decompression program at the Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center in Wisconsin, all staffers—cleaning crew included—are on the lookout for prosocial behavior and reinforce it using incentives such as candy and access to video games. According to Kiehl, the approach works. During a four-year follow-up, 64 percent of MJTC youth were arrested, as opposed to 98 percent of youth in alternate programs—a 34 percent reduction in the rate of recidivism. To Kiehl, the clinicians who perform these intensive interventions are the real psychopath whisperers.

Label Creep

Kiehl argues that the term "psychopath" should be retired in describing functional individuals such as steely-nerved neurosurgeons or cutthroat financiers. The label carries as much confusion as stigma: "Psychopath" has been overextended almost since its 1888 inception, when coined by a German psychiatrist to describe the "suffering soul." By 1920 the term had ballooned to include almost anyone who behaved abnormally.

In the juvenile realm, the callous/unemotional label must be distinguished from that of conduct disorder. Eighty percent of children diagnosed with conduct disorder will never receive a diagnosis of psychopathy. Conduct disorder is really a smorgasbord of problems: There are more than 32,000 combinations of symptoms that could generate this label, argues child psychologist Alan Kazdin, making conduct disorder as much a grab-bag diagnosis today as psychopathy was a century ago.

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