The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry is a psychology book written by British author Jon Ronson in which he explores the. The Psychopath Test book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In this madcap journey, a bestselling journalist investigate . The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry [Jon Ronson] on prespomattvesbe.tk *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. In this madcap journey.
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The difficulty with reviewing Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test is that, if I am to be honest, I risk sounding like a person with no sense of. "I think my book offers really good evidence that the way that . Sources: "The Psychopath Test" by Jon Ronson and prespomattvesbe.tk download The Psychopath Test Main Market by Jon Ronson (ISBN: ) from site's Book Store. Everyday low prices and free delivery on eligible.
One unexpected byproduct of working with Julian and Evan was that the talk became less funny, but more emotional and maybe even more creepy. You get to the end and you talk about gray areas, painting this picture of a society that likes black and white but lives in a world of color. Because on the one hand I do believe that the Robert Hare checklist really is as admirable and as scientific as psychology can ever be.
However, an awful lot of people — and Hare himself complains about this — an awful lot of people misuse his checklist and become power-crazed when they use his checklist.
You know, I became a bit power-crazed. Parts of my talk are a cautionary tale to not do what I did — to not start diminishing people through labels. It was really, really interesting talking about Tony and Broadmoor. Nobody ever thinks about gray areas. And the answer came back that they had all scored zero, which, if I understand correctly, is what happens to almost everybody. If there was a secret psychopath lurking, I would have been very surprised. Is that correct, though? That the vast majority of people score zero on the psychopath test?
Certainly — or three, four, five. I remember Robert Hare told me that he would give himself like a four or a five, with the top score being When you meet a high-scoring psychopath, the difference is stunning. The problem is that people go on the course, on the Hare course, and they get so drunk with power that they start wildly labeling.
They start using the checklist like a weapon. You will always regret the decision because the psychiatric system is way worse. In the end, Tony was locked up for at least seven years more than he should have been because he faked madness and he scored high on a checklist, and the checklist indicates that he was at higher than normal reoffending rate. Which is back to why gray areas are hard. Because he is psychopathic in some areas, and then not so in others.
My entire experience with psychopaths, that I know of, is by watching them in movies or reading about serial killers. But presumably it manifests in other ways? I have thought sometimes that the sanest people, the people who are just very balanced, very happy, are probably lower achieving than other people.
My kind of irrationality happens to be fear or anxiety. I think all these different disorders propel us onward. This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness. Along the way, Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting.
A skill which seemingly reveals that madness could indeed be at the heart of everything. Combining Jon Ronson's trademark humour, charm and investigative incision, The Psychopath Test is both entertaining and honest, unearthing dangerous truths and asking serious questions about how we define normality in a world where we are increasingly judged by our maddest edges. Review Text I began The Psychopath Test late at night, tired, dispirited and ill - then found myself laughing like the proverbial loon for page after page.
Will Self Guardian show more. Review quote The belly laughs come thick and fast - my God, he is funny. Ronson's new book is provocative and interesting, and you will, I guarantee, zip merrily through it.
About Jon Ronson Jon Ronson is an award-winning writer and documentary maker. He is the author of many bestselling books, including Frank: Adventures with Extremists.
He lives in London and New York City.
I opened the manual again. And instantly diagnosed myself with twelve different ones. We journalists love writing about eccentrics. We hate writing about impenetrable, boring people. It makes us look bad: If you want to get away with wielding true, malevolent power, be boring.
When I asked Robert Spitzer about the possibility that he'd inadvertently created a world in which ordinary behaviours were being labelled mental disorders, he fell silent. I waited for him to answer. But the silence lasted three minutes. Finally he said, 'I don't know.
I supposed there was no reason why psychopaths shouldn't have unrelated hobbies. People who are normal i. No shit. Practically every prime-time program is populated by people who are just the right sort of mad, and I now knew what the formula was. The right sort of mad are people who are a bit madder than we fear we're becoming, and in a recognizable way. He did another experiment, the Startle Reflex Test, in which psychopaths and non-psychopaths were invited to look at grotesque images, like crime-scene photographs of blown-apart faces, and then when they least expected it, Bob would let off an incredibly loud noise in their ear.
The non-psychopaths would leap with astonishment. The psychopaths would remain comparatively serene. View all 4 comments. Yesterday I saw a talk show on TV in which a Belgian politician said that the stock market is no gauge for happiness.
This is so true. It reminded me of this book, in which the author, in his quest to uncover psychopaths, visits Al Dunlap. This was a man who actually enjoyed closing down plants and firing people Scott, Sunbeam. The fact that the share price skyrocketed while he was CEO and fired huge numbers of employees, is really unsettling.
Ronson's book is filled with stories about people Yesterday I saw a talk show on TV in which a Belgian politician said that the stock market is no gauge for happiness. Ronson's book is filled with stories about people he meets in the madness industry. He encounters some experts in the field, some scientologists, a criminal labeled as a psychopath, a death squad leader These encounters were interesting enough to me to enjoy reading this book.
However, it's a lightweight read and not everything he writes in his book fits the title. The author is not an expert, and he makes himself too central to the narrative, which is really sad because I thought he was a bit lame. Not mind-blowing, but a worthwhile read.
View all 18 comments. This is what I might call "an oddly interesting book". I say that because in retrospect I'm a bit surprised that it holds the interest so well. From this the book springboards into a look at Psychopathy, its diagnosis and by extension the way in which psychiatric disorders are not only diagnosed but agreed on that is agreed to ex This is what I might call "an oddly interesting book".
From this the book springboards into a look at Psychopathy, its diagnosis and by extension the way in which psychiatric disorders are not only diagnosed but agreed on that is agreed to exist as disorders. Rambling a bit and full of introspective thoughts by the author most of which are interesting and entertaining if not always germane we go through a series of interviews that range from "Tony" to Bob Hare who basically formulated the most used Psychopath test.
Tony was a young man who has been in Broadmoor for years, sent there after a relatively minor offense. The author was brought there by representatives of the church of Scientology in an attempt to discredit psychiatry in general. Other interviews included Emmanuel Constant, a former Haitian death-squad leader. He also interviewed a corporate hatchet man type exec. There is a lot that's interesting here and the book will I believe keep you involved. After looking into how disorders get into and are pulled out of DSM-IV-TR, considering the implications of Hare's list and how it effected the author as he found himself setting out to find and identify "free range psychopaths and the attitudes around these he came to an interesting conclusion.
That they may be dangerous tools leading to over diagnosis. While this book may be a bit more disjointed than some of the author's other works And in fact our unhappiness and our strangeness, our anxieties and compulsions, those least fashionable aspects of our personalities, are quite often what lead us to do rather interesting things.
Below is a list of traits from the first factor called "Aggressive Narcissism". One person out of one hundred. Come along with me and play 'spot the psychopath' Grandiose sense of self-worth 3.
Pathological lying 4. Lack of remorse or guilt 6. Shallow affect genuine emotion is short-lived and egocentric 7. Callousness; lack of empathy 8. Failure to accept responsibility for his or her own actions Sarah Palin 1. Everything she has ever said is Glib. Truly believed she could be vice president She got herself nominated for the vice presidency didn't she? Enjoys shooting wolves from a helicopter without a care in the world.
Does not give a fuck have empathy for the poor and the sick. Has not accepted the responsibility for destroying the Republican party Dick Cheney 1.
Well you can't win them all. Made himself president.
Weapons of mass destruction? Again, made himself president. Shot his friend in the face. He not only wasn't sorry, he made the friend apologize for getting his face in the way.
Do cyborgs have emotions? Does not give a fuck about anyone, for any reason. Started an unnecessary war that has killed thousands for personal profit and has never "I'm sorry" once.
Alex Start reading at comment Okay a personal joke I kid, Alex. Sort of. This could go on and on, so I'll stop here. I've always believed society to be a fundamentally rational thing, but what if it isn't?
What if it is built on insanity? Jon makes us look twice at the world around us and how we are all defined by our 'maddest edges' Being normal is a disorder these days.
She said if you're beginning to feel worried that you may be a psychopath, if you recognize some of those traits in yourself, if you're feeling a creeping anxiety about it, that means you are not one.
View all 39 comments. I thought this would be a great tool for self-diagnosis, but actually Ronson skitters from one case to another without really making any definitive point. Psychopathy is probably not an absolute for most people, as there are many among us who exist in some sort of sociopathic gray area myself included.
Surprise, surprise! My downfall? Here, take the test! This was a bit of a disappointment. It was hard for me to see where Ronson was going with each chapter. Though I found the examination of mental illness, especially the stigmas around it and the potential harms of labeling to be really fascinating, the book as a whole lacked direction. When I read So You've Been Publicly Shamed , I felt like each chapter really compounded on one another to create a vivid and interesting picture of shame t This was a bit of a disappointment.
When I read So You've Been Publicly Shamed , I felt like each chapter really compounded on one another to create a vivid and interesting picture of shame through the lens of an empathetic viewer. While Ronson maintained that empathy in The Psychopath Test , I felt a bit less invested in the stories he shared and found it harder to connect with his points. However, the last few chapters were awesome.
I'm not bummed I listened to this one because Ronson is a wonderful narrator and has a unique perspective in almost everything he does, but it didn't live up to what I'd expected. If you're curious about this topic, I'd recommend listening to this episode of the Criminal Podcast where he talks about psychopathy and even some of the subjects he handles in this book.
View all 3 comments.
Apr 08, Diane rated it really liked it Shelves: I'm a fan of pop-psych books, so I was primed to enjoy this one. Journalist Jon Ronson was asked to investigate a mysterious, anonymous book that had been sent to numerous academics around the world. As he was following up on leads, he developed a theory that whoever sent it was somehow mentally ill — a crackpot , to use his term. During his investigation, Ronson heard the term psychopath and learned about a test designed by Robert Hare to rate someone's level of psychopathy.
Hare described psycho I'm a fan of pop-psych books, so I was primed to enjoy this one. Hare described psychopaths as "predators who use charm, manipulation, intimidation, sex and violence to control others and to satisfy their own selfish needs. Lacking in conscience and empathy, they take what they want and do as they please, violating social norms and expectations without guilt or remorse.
What is missing, in other words, are the very qualities that allow a human being to live in social harmony. Ronson became obsessed by this psychopath checklist and decided to interview some criminals, taking inventory of their antisocial behaviors.
As the subtitle says, Ronson took quite a journey through the madness industry, interviewing a variety of psychologists, psychiatrists, researchers and even conspiracy theorists. He also talked to Scientologists, who are famously anti-psychiatry. The book is filled with interesting anecdotes and stories, and I was fascinated by all of it.
I especially liked the discussions about the damage that psychopaths can do, both in prisons and in society. Researchers have noted that about 1 percent of the non-prison population would be classified as psychopaths, but a higher percentage of them are business and political leaders — industries that have a lot of power.
In prison, about 25 percent of the inmates are psychopaths, but they have been found to cause more than 60 percent of the violent crime there. Readers who want a straightforward book on the history of psychopathy will be disappointed; instead, the story meanders, based on whoever Ronson was interviewing that day.
Ronson is witty and clever and has a pleasant writing style. I picked up this book after seeing him interviewed on several talk shows, and I am curious to look up his other works. I would recommend this to anyone interested in psychology. Favorite Quotes "I remembered those psychologists who said psychopaths made the world go around.
They meant it: Suddenly, madness was everywhere, and I was determined to learn about the impact it had on the way society evolves. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies. They don't learn from punishment. The best you can hope for is that they'll eventually get too old and lazy to be bothered to offend. And they can seem impressive. People are dazzled.
So, yeah, the real trouble starts when one makes it big in mainstream society. View all 10 comments. This book is quite lame, to put it simply. This book neither has much to say, nor is it that entertaining. Even the pop-psych The Sociopath Next Door is better than this book. Like, who cares? It is self explanatory that this review will make me enemies. Fortunately, those who know me are really the only ones at risk. Like many people, I took my first psychology class in high school and my interest was piqued.
My second psychology class was during college, as was my third and fourth. I then diverged into the world of sociology which fascinated me and graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor's degree in sociology.
Yay for me! Like the hundreds of psychology graduates, I was It is self explanatory that this review will make me enemies. Like the hundreds of psychology graduates, I was now qualified to do one of three things 1 move onto graduate school, 2 sell clothes at a department store or 3 get married and forget all about my career aspirations. Naturally, I sold clothes at JCPenney for one full year before I wanted to slit my wrists - not for suicidal ideation but simply to break up the monotony of my incredibly meaningless life.
The following school year, I was admitted to a graduate program in psychology at Brigham Young University. The following two years were full-time classes, year round then two practicums and, at last, an internship with a couple of classes in the evening. It was intense, enjoyable, and I graduated with a career plan and, frankly, a head far too big to fit through the doors.
I had textbook answers and an excellent mentor who had been a pioneer in educational psychology with 30 years of private practice, running troubled youth homes, and teaching at various universities. Most people called him Dr. I called him "Daddy. You are directly responsible for my dad being able to pay my tuition.
I studiously downloadd the very expensive book in the bookstore, took it home and read it cover to cover. By the end of the weekend, I had self-diagnosed myself with 19 serious disorders. Fortunately, class began the following Monday and the professor put the diagnoses into perspective.
I have also married a social worker since then and he repeats this mantra: Many of us exhibit some of the characteristics found in the DSM. The concern is when the behavior become extreme and dictates our lives, sabotaging our ability to work or interact with others. Unfortunately, 22 years later, I am still convinced of my own neurosis and anxiety. Ah, well. It's nice to know and embrace the real me. So what does this have to do with Jon Ronson?
Jon and I really do share a debilitating bout of anxiety. My method of understanding it was to study the crap out of it then dedicate the past 21 years to pursuing a career in helping. Also, Jon is brilliantly hilarious. Like me. If I were to be clinical, I'd guess that Mr. Ronson is overcompensating for his anxiety disorder by being brilliantly hilarious. But then maybe I am simply projecting.
Seriously, though, Mr. Ronson took a circuitous route to rooting out the therapeutic approaches in the 60's and 70's which were completely true and bizarre then went to interview a man who had created a psychopath test named Dr. Hare who empowered all who took his workshop by providing a checklist for spotting a psychopath. He met with murderers in prison wards, cold-hearted CEO's and power-controlling concierge.
All psychopaths, of course. Until a friend pointed out that he was using it as a weapon rather than a diagnostic tool. This was a circular story as it led us back to a patient held at Broadmoor, a high security insane asylum for the incurable where one patient pretended to be a psychopath in order to avoid prison. Now he can't get out. Speaking of diagnostic checklists, Mr. Ronson then explores the etiology of the DSM.
My testimony of the DSM is now shaken and I'm starting to rethink my habit of taking the pocket size with me to church so I can secretly diagnose congregation members. I understood the reciprical relationship DSM has with not only insurance companies but also drug companies. Also, every revision adds more disorders that circle closer and closer to normal behavior. The explosion of autistic diagnoses has a lot more to do with including aspergers on the spectrum than the MMR vaccination and has solidified my belief the one truism - Normal is a setting on your washing machine.
Completely fascinating read and surprisingly funny. My husband kept asking me what I was laughing about. The joke and delivery was so complicated but easy to spot and understand , it would have been impossible to explain. I just gave him the book when I was finished. Really enjoyable read. View all 8 comments. An entertaining romp and with a fair bit of food for thought.
I liked this book, while at the same time being disappointed with it. My main problem with the work was that I had heard that this book dealt extensively with the idea of psychopaths as possessing traits that tended to land them in positions of power. This is a fascinating topic, is of personal interest to me, and is a concept well-worth a full-length journalistic book. Unfortunately, this is not that book.
A clever agent is selling th An entertaining romp and with a fair bit of food for thought. A clever agent is selling this book as an investigation into this topic, but Ronson does little more than flirt with this idea in a couple of places throughout the work.
In fact, the writing style is often jumpy enough that it could be argued that it is difficult to pin down exactly what the book was about. But my synopsis would be that the work is 'a philosophical approach on the nature of human personality and its' tendency to lie along maddeningly-difficult-to-classify continuums.
That said, the book is entertaining and engaging. Or how much said characteristics apply to co-workers and in-laws. I still couldn't shake a feeling that the book was a little hollow. The characters that Ronson was interviewing seemed to do the real 'work' in the book.
I was often far more engaged when hearing directly about Tony, the psychiatric patient, or the powerful CEO with the predator statue collection than I was when left to hear Ronson's meta-analysis of their interaction.