The test that will tell you if someone is a psychopath

Illustration of a silhouette angry man with storm cloud in his head screaming.Mueller mortars/GettyImages

  • Senior corporate executives have been counted among those who tend to exhibit psychopathic traits.

  • The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

  • Read the list below to see the potential signs of adult psychopathy according to the checklist.

Many of the traits we look for in leaders, such as courage, dominant behavior, and immunity to stress, are found in psychopaths.

In fact, psychopaths are found in higher proportions among CEOs. Between 3% and 21% of CEOs are likely psychopaths, according to a 2016 study by Bond University psychologist Nathan Brooks. In 2021, Fortune found that 12% of senior corporate executives in the US exhibited psychopathic traits. In fact, most people exhibit some symptoms of psychopathy – shallowness, talkativeness, promiscuity, etc. – and that doesn’t make you a psychopath.

According to CNBC, while one in five business leaders may exhibit psychopathic tendencies, a certain “degree of unconventionality and unconventionality” can help drive innovation.

The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. In the test, a doctor interviews a potential sociopath and rates them on 20 criteria, such as “promiscuous sexual behavior” or “impulsiveness.” For each criterion, the subject is ranked on a 3-point scale: (0 = item not applyes, 1 = applicable articleSt somewhat, 2 = definitely applicable article). Scores are added together to create a grade from zero to 40. Anyone who scores 30 and above is likely a psychopath.

The test is meant to be taken by a professional psychologist, but if you really want to take it yourself — or make a layman’s guess about your boss’s psychological makeup — keep scrolling:

1. Do you have “excessive nonchalance” or superficial charm?

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Sean Connery as the original film James Bond.United artists

(Answer: For sociopaths, the answer to this question is yes.)

2. Do you have a great sense of self worth?

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Donald Trump.Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

(Psychopaths do.)

3. Do you have an excessive need for stimulation or are you prone to boredom?

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(Psychopaths can’t stand periods of stagnation.)

4. Are you a pathological liar?


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(Psychopaths don’t care about the truth.)

5. Are you a cheater or manipulator?

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(Psychopaths often believe they can pull the strings of fools around them.)

6. Do you show lack of remorse or guilt?


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(Psychopaths don’t feel bad when they do bad things.)

7. Do you have “shallow affection?”

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(Psychopaths exhibit a lack of emotion when an emotional response is appropriate.)

8. Are you insensitive or lack empathy?

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Reuters/Lucas Jackson

(Psychopaths don’t mind when bad things happen to other people.)

9. Do you have a “parasitic lifestyle”?


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(Psychopaths prefer not to work for a living. They feel it’s easier to take things from other people.)

10. Do you have poor behavioral controls?

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Images of Colombia

(Psychopaths have a hard time keeping themselves in check.)

11. Do you have a history of promiscuous sexual behavior?

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(Psychopaths like one-night stands.)

12. Do you have a history of early behavior problems?

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20th Century Fox

(As children, psychopaths often have a history of cruelty to others.)

13. Do you lack realistic long-term goals?

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Angela Kelly celebrates winning the UK’s biggest lottery jackpot in 2007.Images by Andrew Milligan / PA Archives / Press Association

(Psychopaths prefer patterns over life or career goals.)

14. Are you overly impulsive?


Shoppers are more suspicious of cameras in real-world stores than of cookies when shopping online.Andrew Win/Reuters

(Psychopaths are very, very impulsive.)

15. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility?

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(Psychopaths aren’t great at doing the right thing.)

16. Do you not accept responsibility for your actions?

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Reuters/Bobby Yip

(When you’re a psychopath, it’s always someone else’s fault.)

17. Have you had many short-term “married” relationships?

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20th Century Fox

(Psychopaths have an inability to repeatedly commit to or cheat on long-term relationships.)

18. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?


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(Psychopaths start young.)

19. Have you ever experienced a “parole revocation”?

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In this photo taken on Thursday, February 21, 2013, an inmate of the Madera County Jail is taken into one of the inmate housing units in Madera, California.Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo

(Even when psychopaths get a break — like being released from prison on probation — they tend to get it wrong.)

20. Do you exhibit “criminal versatility”?

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(Psychopaths differ from ordinary criminals in that they don’t really care what kind of laws they break: they will break any, under the right circumstances.)

How did you do?

If you scored above 30 (i.e. answered “somehow” or “definitely” to most of these questions), then you may be a psychopath. If you scored lower, you are probably not a psychopath.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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