Thursday, April 05, 2012

The Psychopath Test

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson is subtitled; A Journey Through The Madness Industry. Always interested in madness; checked it out of library with only a quick glance then put off reading it, as if an unpleasant chore. Fairly interesting, but struggling to finish reading it. I have long got bogged down with descriptions, mainly of places, and houses, especially interiors. I tend to skim read those parts of fiction and some non-fiction books or news articles.

I realize background info is needed; so and so is thus and such attended college at...

...but those details likewise bore me. I also had to stop reading to check some stuff on the Internet as I went along, which is a good thing, I guess ~ learning new info such as what Perspex is and boggled my mind that  Draptomania actually existed.

Mental health issues are often a prelude to homelessness. Do not know how many psychopaths are among street living people. I probably know one of them ~ that lack of remorse is a good clue and he definitely had a grandiose sense of himself. Um, thinking about him, he was also charming, and well-groomed.

I learned via The Psychopath Test, that the movie, A Clockwork Orange begins with a scene with thugs kicking a homeless man who was lying on the ground. One of the men Ronson interviewed faked mental illness to get out of a jail sentence. The man, called Tony, plagiarized lines from movies to convince psychiatrists that he was mentally ill. Ronson wondered about an incident listed in Tony's file, saying Tony punched a homeless man for making a crude remark about a girl.

The homeless man fell to the ground and said "Is that all you got?" and Tony began kicking him.

The psychopath test is an actual checklist created by Bob Hare. The twenty points are listed in the book. The gist is that people are born psychopaths, not created by environment. Book gives the technical information on that.

I am not sure that it is possible to recognize a psychopath  on initial meeting. One is not likely to ask a co-worker what they were like as children. "So, Sue, did you bully classmates? Torture animals? Ever been locked up as a teen?" A woman is also unlikely to ask a date those questions ~ especially when he is being so charming and dazzling.

We might get a sense that another is bragging, possibly stretching the truth about how wonderful they say they are, but generally we do not think all their questions are for the purpose of gathering info to be used to manipulate and control at a later date.

Doubt that I am any wiser on the subject after reading The Psychopath Test. 

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