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The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
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The Psychopath Test (edition 2012)

by Jon Ronson

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1,743894,050 (3.82)86
Member:Opinionated
Title:The Psychopath Test
Authors:Jon Ronson
Info:Picador (2012), Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
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The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

Recently added bycharlytune, labrick, Octane, dyfdd1, kissedbyink, private library, Stuckey_Bowl
  1. 20
    The Sociopath Next Door by Martha Stout (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: This book also deals with recognizing and dealing with people who lack the ability to empathize with others and who see emotions as a weakness to be exploited. The tone is more scholarly and clinical.
  2. 00
    Them: Adventures with Extremists by Jon Ronson (Sandydog1)
  3. 01
    A Wolf at the Table: A Memoir of My Father by Augusten Burroughs (WildMaggie)
    WildMaggie: The personal experience of living with one versus the science of finding one.
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» See also 86 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
Amusing and eclectic book about aspects of psychopathy. The book flagged toward the end as the author raised new issues and then skate over the top of them. Overall a fascinating read, though. The chapters on wacky 1960s experiments were frightening and funny. The author's bitterness about A A Gill really made me laugh. ( )
  Sashshearman | Mar 30, 2015 |
Two and a half stars, really. It was a quick, engaging read and amusing for the most part, so I think it at least deserves an "ok" rating. I usually go for nonfiction that has more substance to it and comes from someone with a bit of actual authority on the subject, rather than, well, a journalist. Since I had already read the wikipedia article about psychopaths, I didn't actually learn much of anything from Ronson's book (the most informative bit was his explanation of the PCL-R psychopath checklist). I doubt the author really needed to fly all over the Western world to come up with his conclusions: psychiatry isn't exactly a hard science and the categories it creates aren't foolproof by any means; the industry is full of ethical dilemmas regarding various diagnoses (ADD, childhood bipolar disorder, autism and of course psychopathy); and the public eats up stories about crazy people, because deep down we all suspect we might be a little bit crazy ourselves. ( )
  tayitude | Mar 8, 2015 |
Two and a half stars, really. It was a quick, engaging read and amusing for the most part, so I think it at least deserves an "ok" rating. I usually go for nonfiction that has more substance to it and comes from someone with a bit of actual authority on the subject, rather than, well, a journalist. Since I had already read the wikipedia article about psychopaths, I didn't actually learn much of anything from Ronson's book (the most informative bit was his explanation of the PCL-R psychopath checklist). I doubt the author really needed to fly all over the Western world to come up with his conclusions: psychiatry isn't exactly a hard science and the categories it creates aren't foolproof by any means; the industry is full of ethical dilemmas regarding various diagnoses (ADD, childhood bipolar disorder, autism and of course psychopathy); and the public eats up stories about crazy people, because deep down we all suspect we might be a little bit crazy ourselves. ( )
  tayitude | Mar 8, 2015 |
It's comforting to know that I am not, in fact, a psychopath. I wasn't quite sure, until I read this book. It gives you a definitive answer.

Part of me was hoping that I was a psychopath, because it would sure explain why I'm so fucked in the head. Apparently, just being a crazy person that thinks about killing people all the time, does not make me a psychopath. In fact, I learned from this book that there is a really short answer to the question: Am I a psychopath? If you think you might be a psychopath, you are not one. It's that simple. So, you don't even have to read this book now. I saved you some time.

But, if you think: Fuck that noise! I'm not a goddamn psychopath. I'm just smarter and better than all you fuckers. Then, you might want to read this book. Because you're probably a goddamn psychopath.

So, fuck psychopaths in their dirty assholes. Or don't. Because, if you're close enough to fuck their dirty asshole, they're probably going to kill you. Then fuck your dirty asshole. Because they're sick like that. ( )
  gecizzle | Mar 5, 2015 |
This was very interesting but a little disturbing. If you are interested in psychology, you will probably like this book. It raises some intriguing questions about the mental health industry. I walked away from this book feeling more suspicious of it than before. ( )
  DaphneH | Dec 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 89 (next | show all)
Mr. Ronson’s latest book has less ballast. Though he retains his own paranormal ability to locate and befriend wing nuts of every stripe, he has to try a little harder than usual to get “The Psychopath Test” going. Chalk up some of that forced quality to the fact that Mr. Ronson’s BBC Radio 4 program, “Jon Ronson on ...,” is considered comedy. Throw in the fact that most psychopaths aren’t really all that funny. Still, his winning style pervades most of “The Psychopath Test,” as when Mr. Ronson wonders whether he will have psychopaths for readers. According to the second characteristic on the 20-item Hare Psychopathy Checklist (from which this book takes its title), some of them will. “Grandiose sense of self-worth” is one of their notable traits. “What should my message to them be?” he asks one Harvard Medical School psychologist. “Turn yourselves in?”
 
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For Anita Bhoomkar (1996-2009),
a lover of life and all its madness
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This is a story about madness.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In this madcap journey, a bestselling journalist investigates psychopaths and the industry of doctors, scientists, and everyone else who studies them. The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronsonhow to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues. And so Ronson, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, enters the corridors of power. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud in Coxsackie, New York; a legendary CEO whose psychopathy has been speculated about in the press; and a patient in an asylum for the criminally insane who insists he's sane and certainly not a psychopath. Ronson not only solves the mystery of the hoax but also discovers, disturbingly, that sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, moreand more, defined by their maddest edges"-- "In this madcap journey, a bestselling journalist investigates psychopaths and the industry of doctors, scientists, and journalists who study them"--… (more)

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