Psychopath Spotting

Why the psychopath raised in an abusive home becomes a serial killer and the one raised in a loving family becomes a CEO. An interview with the author of The Psychopath Test.

What's the Latest Development?

In a new book, The Psychopath Test, British journalist Jon Ronson (otherwise known as the author of the bestselling The Men Who Stare At Goats) talks to psychologist Robert Hare about his psychopathy checklist and examines its impact. One of the reasons he decided to write it: "I heard from various psychologists...that the most powerful madness of all when it comes to shaping society is psychopathy. Because whilst only 1% of regular people are psychopaths, 4% of business leaders are psychopaths."

What's the Big Idea?

"Capitalism at its most ruthless is a manifestation of psychopathy." But Ronson says he deliberately avoided reaching a polemical conclusion about labeling mental illness, though he adds: "there's a lot of compelling evidence that the pharmaceutical industry is somewhat psychopathically compelled to get people diagnosed and medicated for financial reasons."

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