TRAITS of a SOCIOPATH
On this page you will find two lists of traits. The top list is written in simple terminology. The list below it is the official, Hare Psychopathy Checklist, developed by Robert Hare, PhD.
Below are the traits most commonly attributed to a sociopath. Every person is inherently different, and that includes each sociopath. This is not an attempt to diagnose anyone.
An individual could stand out as having just 2-3 traits and be a sociopath, because more traits could be well-hidden.
Sources: Wikipedia.org, Sociopathic.net, & personal observations (50+ years)
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Hare Psychopathy Checklist
Robert Hare, PhD
Psychopathy is most commonly assessed with the PCL-R, which is a clinical rating scale with 20 items. Each of the items in the PCL-R is scored on a three-point (0, 1, 2) scale according to two factors. PCL-R Factor 2 is associated with reactive anger, anxiety, increased risk of suicide, criminality, and impulsive violence.
PCL-R Factor 1, in contrast, is associated with extraversion and positive affect. Factor 1, the so-called core personality traits of psychopathy, may even be beneficial for the psychopath (in terms of non‑deviant social functioning). A psychopath will score high on both factors, whereas someone with ASPD will score high only on Factor 2. Both case history and a semi-structured interview are used in the analysis.
The following findings are for research purposes only, and are not used in clinical diagnosis. These items cover the affective, interpersonal, and behavioral features. Each item is rated on a score from zero to two. The sum total determines the extent of a person’s psychopathy.
- Factor 1 — Aggressive Narcissism
- Glibness/superficial charm
- Grandiose sense of self-worth
- Pathological lying
- Lack of remorse or guilt
- Emotionally shallow
- Callous/lack of empathy
- Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
- Factor 2 — Socially Deviant Lifestyle
- Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
- Parasitic lifestyle
- Poor behavioral control
- Promiscuous sexual behavior
- Lack of realistic, long-term goals
- Juvenile delinquency
- Early behavioral problems
- Revocation of conditional release
- Traits not correlated with either factor
- Many short-term marital relationships
- Criminal versatility
More information: Hare Psychopathy Checklist
Licensed under CC — compliments: Wikipedia.org