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Examining the Characteristics of a Psychopath

Part of the Forensic Psychology For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Robert Hare's Psychopathy checklist is a tool commonly used in clinical practice to assess whether an individual is a psychopath. Here are Hare’s definitions of two types of psychopath:

  • Selfish, callous psychopaths

    • Glibly, but superficially charming

    • Grandiose feeling of how important s/he is

    • Pathological liar – lies when there is no need to

    • Manipulates others, cunning

    • Lacks remorse or any feelings of guilt

    • Does not really feel strongly about anything

    • Lacks empathy

    • Does not accept responsibility for his/her actions

  • Deviant psychopaths

    • Easily bored, needs excitement

    • Feeds off other people

    • No realistic, long-term goals

    • Impulsive

    • Irresponsible

    • Lack of control over actions

    • Behavioural problems in childhood

    • Juvenile delinquency

    • Different types of offending

    • Abuses any conditions set by the courts

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