Thursday, December 26, 2013

Taking the "Psychopath Test" - What I Learned

Patrick Bateman of 'American Psycho' before chopping up assorted personae.

Psychopaths have evidently been with us in all forms since the year dot. Contrary to most legends and beliefs, the average psychopath isn't locked up in a sanitarium and being administered thorazine every four hours along with ECT. He (or she, though less probable) may be quite functional and even be making major scientific or other contributions. Such are the little things one learns on taking the "Psychopath test".  (Which I took yesterday).

Created by an Oxford Professor,  Dr. Kevin Dutton,  The Psychopath Test is just authoritative enough to be thought-provoking and flippant enough to be inadmissible in any court.  The test itself takes maybe 4 minutes, and there's also a game you can play to determine or estimate which historical personages might have been psychopaths, and also whether some of the more noteworthy are more psychopathic than others.

I tried the game first as a lark and scored 5 out of 7 correctly- judging assorted pairs  with one of each duo to be deemed  'more psychopathic' (or less) than the person they're profiled with..  I then went on to take the test, again, just as a lark. Your first tendency is to lie - but the screen assures you that no records or files of the test will be kept, and hence one trusts that the NSA won't snatch it. (For me, I didn't give a shit since I intended to post a blog about it.)   So anyway,  I took the test and found, lo and behold, I score a 67% on the psychopath spectrum where 100% is a total psycho (maybe analogous to Patrick Bateman the character from American Psycho  who got his jollies by chain-sawing competitors from his financial firm).

At the end of my test, after the score flashed on the screen, I read this addendum message:

"You're no shrinking violet. but no daredevil either. You generally have little trouble seeing things from another person’s perspective but, at the same time, are no pushover. ‘Everything in moderation—including moderation’ might sum up your approach to life'. Though your conscience is in the right place you also have a pragmatic streak and generally aren’t afraid to do your own dirty work!"

I love the part about 'doing your own dirty work'!

Other things I learned after the test:

- Isaac Newton would have been at 61% on the scale.

- The average woman scores 34% on the test (based on cumulative stats taken)

- The average male scores 50%

- The average reader of The Financial Times scored 68%

Take it and see where you stand!

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