The Psychopath Test

The Psychopath Test

A Journey Through the Madness Industry

eBook - 2011
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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 Ronson how 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, more and more, defined by their maddest edges"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, c2011.
ISBN: 9781101515167
Characteristics: 1 online resource (275 p.)
Subjects: Psychopaths.
Electronic books.


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Mar 10, 2019

I picked up this book as a last minute find and didn't expect much out of it; however, once I started it I couldn't put it down! To be honest, I have a bit of a cell phone addiction but my desire to keep reading this book has made me put it down! It's extremely interesting once you get into it, with the author constantly going into anecdotes of past stories and his own experiences, and it has me constantly thinking of Hare's psychopath checklist! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who enjoys psychology and information coupled with anecdotes.

I saw his movie about staring at goats and killing them that way; it did not reach me. But this one does. " Hubbard, while living at Saint Hill, began to preach that his enemies, such as the American Psychiatric Association, were Anti-Social Personalities, malevolent spirits obsessed with focusing their evil onto him. Their malice had fermented over countless lifetimes, many millions of years, and it was a powerful force indeed. He wrote that it was the duty of every Scientologist to 'ruin them utterly....use black propaganda to destroy reputation.' Although he later cancelled the order (' It causes bad public relations,' he wrote), it was this uncompromising attitude that led to the formation of the anti-psychiatry wing, the CCHR, in 1969." " ' THE ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY cannot feel any sense of remorse or shame. They approve of only destructive actions. They appear quite rational. They can be very convincing.---INTRODUCTION TO SCIENTOLOGY ETHICS, 1968' " " The greatest mystery of all: Why is the world so unfair? Why all that savage economic injustice, those brutal wars, the everyday corporate cruelty? The answer: psychopaths. You're standing on an escalator and watch the people going past on the opposite escalator. If you could climb inside their brains, you would see we aren't all the same. We aren't all good people just trying to do good. Some of us are PSYCHOPATHS. And psychopaths are to blame for this brutal, misshapen society. They're the jagged rocks thrown into the still pond."

It’s a topic that I’m interested in, and I really enjoyed Jon Ronson’s adventures through this particular slice of humanity – well-written, entertaining, cogent, and holistic. He really does examine the extremes and the subtleties of the madness continuum. I didn’t learn a lot, per se, but I very much enjoyed reading it…and I suspect that you will too. (submitted by JF)

May 17, 2018

This book was an effort to read. Even more of an effort to put down. You'll know what I mean when you read it.

CRRL_MegRaymond Feb 21, 2018

The author interviewed a psychologist who believes that many CEOs and politicians are psychopaths, and shares the verbal and nonverbal cues with Ronson.

Feb 07, 2018

I thought this was certainly an interesting read. However, I did not totally agree with Jon's conclusions, but I did enjoy the ride along with him. He has a wonderful writing style that was a joy to read.

Nov 27, 2017

Such an interesting read: thought provoking, challenging, and courageous. I loved Jon’s writing style and I look forward to reading more by him. Definitely a must read!

HCL_staff_reviews Sep 20, 2017

What does it mean to be a psychopath? The word itself evokes various ideas about human behavior. In this book Jon Ronson, author of the "Men Who Stare at Goats", takes a critical look at how psychologists evaluate and treat people deemed as "psychopathic". His stories will make you question the whole industry of evaluating another person's state of mind. — Sarah M., Ridgedale Library

Feb 20, 2017

Very intriguing, could not put this book down until i had read from the front cover to the back cover, Jon Ronsons writing is informative as well as humorous, laughed quite a few times out loud. would highly recommend the book as well as the Author as he has a number of equally enthralling titles.

Nov 02, 2016

It's a good read. I read it more to get different view points of mental illnesses, and the view point of a journalist was definitely a new one. I wouldn't really consider this an 'educational' book. While everything is factual to an extent it should be taken with a large grain of salt.

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Jan 29, 2012

You're standing on an escalator and you watch the people going past on the opposite escalator. If you could climb inside their brains, you would see we aren't all the same. We aren't all good people just trying to do good. Some of us are psychopaths.

Aug 12, 2011

There is no evidence that we've been placed on this planet to be especially happy or especially normal. 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.


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Sep 12, 2011

marishkajuko thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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JeremiahSutherland May 03, 2012

This is a story about Ronson's quest to find out what constitutes a psychopath.

He starts with someone who is merely obsessive and goes on from there to individuals incarcerated in mental institutions.

From there, he interviews others who are psychopaths but have been successful in business possibly because of their condition.


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