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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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1,542None4,754 (3.82)82
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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 byprivate library, Y2Ash, cobwebs, lilymorgan, spaetij, Mirapoix, solozero
  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. 00
    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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Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Jon Ronson has found great success writing about the odd in society, whether it's psychopaths or those that believe the world is being run by giant lizards. Ronson writes well about his subjects and his "fame" as an off-kilter journalist has allowed him access to figures that the ordinary schlub journo can only dream of.

Whether it be cross-dressing conspiracy theorists or Haitian death squad leaders, Ronson covers their foibles well. Recommended. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Apr 12, 2014 |
I really enjoyed reading this book. The author kept me interested and explained a lot of technical things in layman's terms. The story itself was intriguing and I was surprised to find that he was able to speak to so many people that would qualify as a "psychopath" so easily. I think the book points out that there are a lot of people among us (in the US anyway) who have traits similar to those of a psychopath (now termed sociopath) and that, perhaps, like many other disorders and diseases, we are beginning to over diagnose such things. ( )
  alb2219 | Mar 16, 2014 |
Quick and entertaining introduction to the "madness industry." I enjoy Ronson's conversational writing style and learned some things from this book. It is certainly not an in-depth book about psychology, more along the lines of one of Mary Roach's overviews of a topic, with information presented in an entertaining way. I have read The Men Who Stare at Goats and enjoyed it. I'd like to get hold of Them and see what Ronson has to say about "extremists," too. ( )
  glade1 | Feb 12, 2014 |
First, let's ponder what I call the "relief clause" in this entertaining book. Any reader perusing the pages who fears that he or she might be a psychopath probably isn't -- by virtue of the fact true psychopaths would have no such concerns (whew!) Now that that's out of the way, it's fair to say that Ronson's book is well-researched, educational and even engaging. Through interesting case studies, he delves into many issues. He also addresses some fundamental questions (what's the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath? Nothing, really.) Still, this work lacked a cohesion that I was yearning for by the time I hit the halfway point. It felt a bit like an almanac of case studies, veering quite close to being almost disjointed in spots. In summary, it's a book worthy of reading -- but one that could benefit from a bit more cohesion. ( )
1 vote brianinbuffalo | Dec 28, 2013 |
I read this book in less than 24 hours. It is light but engrossing. I guess I've been reading a lot of dense material lately so this was a bit like drinking water.

It starts off with a mysterious book that has been sent to top scientists and meanders around the world looking for psychopaths. ( )
  StephenScience | Dec 18, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (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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