Every week I tend to indulge in a little NPR action while tooling around in the Photoshop. A few podcasts behind, I recently listened to This American Life episode #436, “The Psychopath Test” and was totally enthralled with the idea that a test to assess a person’s psychopathic capacity EXISTS. The PCL-R, created by Robert Hare, was published in the 1990s and is currently used by the American criminal justice system to determine which convicts are fit for parole and which are, essentially, unable to be reformed due to their high tendency toward psychopathic relapse. This blows my mind. The consequences of this deterministic approach to criminal justice are only now beginning to be understood, however Alix Spiegel’s interview with Robert Dixon, an inmate in a California maximum security prison, demonstrates how this test may unfairly limit someone who truly has potential to amend their behavior.
Ira Glass, the show host, mentions in the beginning that he and his entire staff took the PCL-R as they tried to guess who among them would score the highest. Find out which staff member is a certified psycho and take in other tales of testing below. Right down there. Click it. I made it so easy for you.