NPR story about psychopathy test

NPR recently aired a two-part series about the Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), the test created by Dr. Robert Hare to measure a person’s degree of psychopathy. It was designed to predict a prisoner’s rate of recidivism, and many, many studies have demonstrated that it does exactly that.

Part One discusses the case of Robert Dixon Jr., a California inmate who was determined to be a psychopath, and consequently is unlikely to be released, even though he feels like he is reformed. Part Two features an interview with Dr. Hare, in which he says that the worries that the PCL-R is being misused.

Listen to the stories on

Part One: Can a test really tell who’s a psychopath?

Part Two: Creator of psychopathy test worries about its use

Here’s an online debate about the stories:

Expert Panel: Weighing the value of a test for psychopaths

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UPDATE: More NPR discussion of the PCL-R, with NPR staff taking the test. This segment repeats some of the stories aired previously.

This American Life with Ira Glass: The Psychopath Test

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41 Comments on "NPR story about psychopathy test"

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I dont think a 1 size fits all diagnosis works. My spath is now over 50. The intensity of which he tortured me emotionally got worse when he was in his early 40’s,now he is over 50 and is worse than ever.
Also,with this test cant the more accomplished liars say that the photo of a dead family bothers them when it actually doesnt? Pathological liars are very good at telling people what they want to hear as long as it serves their purpose

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