Victims and Survivors of Psychopaths

from victim to survivor

Traits

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(PCL-R)  The Psychopathy Checklist Revised

Hare cautions against going down the list and “armchair” diagnosing someone as a psychopath.  The scoring of the PCL-R requires professional training, and the comprehensive technical manual (222 pages) contains extensive definitions and behavioral examples for each characteristic.  Hare also points out these traits are not present in just one area of life, but are present in all areas of the psychopath’s life. He states many normal people have some of these traits, but not in the degree and consistency of the psychopath.  The “true” psychopath has most, if not all of these traits.  In addition, clinicians rule out other disorders that can result in similar type behaviors to the psychopath, such as Narcissism PD, Borderline PD, Histrionic.

Hare advises if you are involved with a person you think may be a psychopath and you need an opinion and help (as leaving a psychopath can be both tricky and dangerous) that you contact a qualified registered forensic psychologist or psychiatrist (many clinicians are not trained in the checklist, nor have they worked with psychopaths) for an opinion and advice (this won’t be a formal diagnosis), or get several opinions and advice if you can afford it. 

A person is scored “0” if the item does not apply, “1” if the item applies somewhat, “2” if the item definitely applies.  Scores can range from 1 to 40, providing an estimate of the extent an individual matches the proto-typical psychopath.  A cutoff of “30” is used to help diagnose psychopathy.  Clinicians also use available collateral information such as extensive interviews (the individual, family etc.), review of court documents, employment history, financial records, etc..

 1.  Glibness/superficial charm

 2.  Grandiose/egotistical sense of self-worth

 3.  Need for stimulation/prone to boredom

 4.  Pathological lying

 5.  Conning/manipulative behavior

 6.  Lack of remorse or guilt

 7.  Shallow effect

 8.  Callous/lack of empathy

 9.  Parasitic lifestyle

10. Poor behavioral controls

11. Promiscuous sexual behavior

12. Early behavior problems

13. Lack of realistic, long-term goals

14. Impulsivity

15. Irresponsibility

16. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

17. Many marriages/cohabitations/short-term relationships

18. Juvenile delinquency

19. Revocation of conditional release

20. Criminal versatility

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Written by victimsofpsychopaths

March 22, 2009 at 6:08 am

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