The Psychopath Test

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

The Psychopath Test
Cover
Author(s)Jon Ronson
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
PublisherPicador
Riverhead
Publication date2011
Media typePrint (Hardcover
Audiobook
Pages240 (first edition, hardback, UK)
ISBN978-1-59448-801-6
 
Jump to: navigation, search
The Psychopath Test
Cover
Author(s)Jon Ronson
CountryUnited Kingdom
United States
LanguageEnglish
PublisherPicador
Riverhead
Publication date2011
Media typePrint (Hardcover
Audiobook
Pages240 (first edition, hardback, UK)
ISBN978-1-59448-801-6

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry is a 2011 book by Jon Ronson in which he explores the concept of psychopathy.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Contents

Primary themes [edit]

Ronson visits purported psychopaths, as well as psychologists and psychiatrists who have studied them, and meets with Robert D. Hare, the eponymous author of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist, a 20‑part test administered to detect psychopathy. He explores the idea that many corporate and governmental leaders are psychopaths whose actions to others can only be explained by taking that fact into account, and he privately uses the Hare test to determine if he can discern any truth to it.

He meets Toto Constant, whom he speculates is a psychopath, corporate leader Albert J. Dunlap, whom the magazine Fast Company speculated was a psychopath, as well as a young man imprisoned in Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital who claims to be a victim of the psychiatric industry's unfair diagnosis. He also researches unorthodox treatments.

The subject of how journalistic coverage of psychopathology is pursued – and whether that pursuit itself is sociopathic – is also covered.

Ultimately, he raises the question of where the line can be drawn between sanity, insanity, and eccentricity.

Reviews and controversy [edit]

The Psychopath Test received mixed reviews.[7][8][9] Its writing style was lauded, however the main criticism was a lack of depth in investigating psychopathy.

The Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy (SSSP) published a statement regarding the book stating that certain interviews in it were exaggerated or fictionalised and that they "... think that Ronson’s book trivializes a serious personality disorder and its measurement, which is not helpful to those who have the disorder or to their unfortunate victims". The statement was signed by many of the scientists featured in Ronson's book, including Robert D. Hare and Essi Viding.[10]

Robert D. Hare has also released a longer article, detailing his criticisms of Ronson's book for trivializing the work of clinical professionals and presenting psychopathy in an unrealistic and overly simplistic manner.[11]

See also [edit]

References [edit]

  1. ^ Mad Enough to Lead; The insanity of politicians and the politics of insanity review May 2012 Reason.com issue
  2. ^ Running Down a Sanity Checklist May 16, 2011
  3. ^ Murphy, Samantha (5 August 2011). "MIND Reviews: The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry". Scientific American. 
  4. ^ Self, Will (27 May 2011). "The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson – review". The Guardian. 
  5. ^ Kellogg, Carolyn (19 May 2011). "Book review: 'The Psychopath Test' by Jon Ronson". Los Angeles Times. 
  6. ^ Ronson's summary of the book in a talk at TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/jon_ronson_strange_answers_to_the_psychopath_test.html
  7. ^ "Jon Ronson - The Psychopath Test". CultureCritic. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  8. ^ "The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson". The Omnivore. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  9. ^ "The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson". I Dream Books. Retrieved 21 February 2013. 
  10. ^ "General Ronson Commentary". Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. 
  11. ^ Hare, Robert. "A Commentary on Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry". Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy.