Ever wonder if you’re a psychopath? Well, now there’s a test for that.
OK, there’s probably always been a test for that. But this is a new one.
According to the Indy100, Daniel Boduszek of the University of Huddersfield devised the Psychopathic Personality Trait Scale (PPTS) by conducting research on inmates in a Polish high security prison. He asked 1,800 prisoners to say how much they agreed with the following statements:
- I don’t care if I upset someone to get what I want
- Before criticising somebody, I try to imagine and understand how it would make them feel
- I know how to make another person feel guilty
- I tend to focus on my own thoughts and ideas rather than on what others might be thinking
- What other people feel doesn’t concern me
- I always try to consider the other person’s feelings before I do something
- I know how to pay someone compliments to get something out of them
- I don’t usually appreciate the other person’s viewpoint if I don’t agree with it
- Seeing people cry doesn’t really upset me
- I am good at predicting how someone will feel
- I know how to simulate emotions like pain and hurt to make others feel sorry for me
- In general, I’m only willing to help other people if doing so will benefit me as well
- I tend to get emotionally involved with a friend’s problems
- I’m quick to spot when someone is feeling awkward or uncomfortable
- I sometimes provoke people on purpose to see their reaction
- I believe in the motto: ‘I’ll scratch your back, if you scratch mine’
- I get filled with sorrow when people talk about the death of their loved ones
- I find it difficult to understand what other people feel
- I sometimes tell people what they want to hear to get what I want from them
- It’s natural for human behavior to be motivated by self-interest
I’m not entirely clear on the nuances of the scoring but the more egocentric (less empathic) the response the more of a psychopath they were likely to be.
So, a psychopath’s answer list would look something like this (the “strongly” is assumed):
Agree, disagree, agree, agree, agree, disagree, agree, agree, agree, disagree, agree, agree, disagree, disagree, agree, agree, disagree, agree, agree, agree.
How’d you do?
Though the test was devised using inmates, Boduszek reportedly says it can be used on anyone:
“[to] grasp the essence of a psychopathic personality, regardless of respondents’ age, gender, cultural background, and criminal history.”
BONUS PSYCHOPATH-RELATED NEWS: in separate news, a new study by researchers at Austria’s Innsbruck University suggests that those who are attracted to bitter food and drink such as coffee, dark chocolate and gin-and-tonic are more likely to have tendencies of “Machiavellianism, psychopathy, narcissism, and everyday sadism”.
“According to the study’s author Christina Sagioglou, most people are put off by bitter tasting things because we associate them with wild, poisonous foods. Fearless psychopaths, however, are supposedly attracted by this.”
Sagioglou is quoted as saying, “To quote [psychologist] Paul Rozin for an explanation: ‘For the case of innately aversive foods, there may be pleasure from the fact that the body is signalling rejection, but the person knows there is no real threat’.”
I like all those things, so I’m suspicious of this claim.
Anyway, if you do score high on the test, please get help. I mean, you probably won’t, because you’re a psychopath, but yeah. Think about it at least.
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