Psychopathy

1 Ksenia Psychopathy Checklist (KPCL) (WIP)

The Ksenia Psychopathy Checklist is a list of traits that describe psychopathy.

1.1 Level of importance of items

Each item has a level of importance:

Given a candidate trait, we ask ourselves: “If a person have less or none of this trait, do we say she is less of a psychopath?”. if not, then that should not be included in the definition of psychopathy, but merely as a correlate.

1.2 Rating scale

Assign a score to each item as follows:

1.3 The list of items

Some items have points. Points are suggestions to guide the evaluator. Use points to have an idea of what things to look for. Do not assign scores to each point. Ignore points according to judgment, especially when they are not applicable given the circumstances of the subject or when the evaluator knows of a more compelling reason to score the item than the points.

1.3.1 Coldness

Other names: Callosity–Unemotionality, Emotional Reactivity (R).

These items refer to emotional blunting, especially absence of negative emotions under threats to the self or to others. However, items that fit this description are placed within another subscale if they fit better. Items about the presence of an emotion (e.g.: sadism as opposed to absence of concern for the suffering of others) do not belong here.

  1. Absence of empathy [Core-1]
    Subject does not have empathy (a.k.a. “affective empathy”), i.e.: Does not feel negative emotions vicariously or for the mere fact that another person is suffering. Witnessing other’s suffering is humorous, annoying or indifferent for the subject.

    Me and my friends were outside school when one classmate was hit in front of us by a car. I laughed. Some of my friends jumped. Some were distraught. Later they expressed they felt sorry for the accidented classmate.

  2. Low arousal [Core-1]
    Finds boring activities that keep most people engaged. Finds engaging activities that are highly arousing or requires stimulants to find activities engaging. Becomes bored doing the same activity.

    I am bored most of the day.

    I thought people were being metaphorical when they say “I am shaking from happiness”. I have never experienced that.

    If I won the lottery, I would be like “Ok, good but it is not a big deal.”.

    Points

  3. Courageous or fearless [Core-1]
    Unlike Stress resilience this is specific to fear in the sense of an overwhelming response of avoidance to an immediate and well-defined threat. E.g.: Fear of pain, fear of animals, fear of confrontation, fear of death.

    It is stupid to fear death. It is literally nothing. You feel nothing being dead. It is the same as before you were born. Why would I be scared of that?

  4. Cold aggression [Core-1]
    Does not need to feel emotions in order to antagonize.

  5. Absence of guilt [Core-1]

  6. Absence of unconditional emotional love (as opposed to logical love) [Core-1]
    If the subject feels love, it is always for people that do something for the subject. The love is experienced as a logical desire to have a mutualistic relationship with the other person.

  7. Absence of somatic empathy [Core-1]
    Subject does not experience negative emotions or a negative physical reaction to witnessing physical harm to other people including gore.

  8. Emotional detachment [Core-2]
    Able to reason and act about things matter-of-fact, i.e.: using logic without becoming emotionally involved. E.g. Judging the Russian invasion of Ukraine without taking sides.

  9. Stresss resilience [Core-2]
    Has no extreme emotions in situations that put pressure in most people to the point they react irrationally or freeze like accidents, shoot-outs and armed combat. Keeps control over herself. Does not find the situation traumatic during or after the fact.

Points:

  1. Capacity to ignore pain [Core-2]
    Can ignore at least moderate pain so that it is felt and it hurts but does not affect the mental state of the subject. The intense form of this item is partial pain asymbolia: the subject is not hurt by at least moderate pain, i.e.: feels the sensation of pain but there is no annoyance whatsoever.

  2. Grey rage [Core-2]
    Reduced or absent red rage.

    Includes reduced or absent emotional grudges.

  3. Absence of depression in the strict sense [Core-2]
    Anhedonia is not part of depression. Having anhedonia by itself does not disqualitiy somebody from this item.

  4. Blunted or absent sadness [Core-2]

1.3.2 Tough Stance

These items refer to a tough judgment, i.e.: valoration of strength of character, rejection of weakness. Although Tough Stace is related to Coldness, Tough Stance is about viewpoint and thus primarily given by reasoning while Coldness is exclusively about emotions, namely emotional blunting.

  1. Coldheartedness [Core-1]

    P: I find it stupid and annoying that people make a big deal about commemorating the WTC attack, the Holocaust and similar.

    No detached concern for the welfare of others overall. This is different from empathy. The following are not counted against this item:

  2. Competitive jungle worldview (CJW) [Core-2]
    A.k.a.: predator-prey worldview, social darwinism, drastic realism, competitive jungle belief. There are many ways to express this including:

    There is predator and prey. If you are not a predator, you will be prey.

    I do not care about justification. I do things because I can and I want.

    Inherent rights do not exist. There only exists the will to do and the power to impose your will.

    Losers deserve no help.

  3. Fundamental strength [Core-2]
    Fundamental strength means rejecting one’s weaknesses.

  4. No blanket trust [Core-2]
    Does not believe that people are trustworthy by default. Subject can trust a person if she has evidence that said person is trustworthy. Does not blindly trust authorities. Is reasonably skeptical of professional’s and expert’s opinion instead of taking it as the final word.

  5. Radical realism [Core-2]

    There is no point to hope to things to be different for how they are since hope does not make them so, actions do.

  6. Values logic over emotions [Core-2]

  7. Antiemotionality [Comp]
    Disgust from people expressing intense emotions.

    It annoys me when people die because a family member dies. What do they think they are going to accomplish with that? It just makes things worse for them.

    The worst part of my birthday is when people give me their “best wishes”. I have to pretend I am thankful for that. How do “best wishes” benefit me? They do not. Just give me the gift and shut up.

    People donate to charities to delude themselves that they are doing something good. That does not make them good in any way. It makes them stupid. Most charities are useless.

  8. Radical accountability [Comp]

    You are responsible for your conditions and your actions. If you are depressed, that is your fault for letting things get to you. If you did wrong what I asked of you then you earned a punishment, no excuses. If you did something stupid while being drunk then you are stupid. Control yourself or do not drink.

1.3.3 Dominance–Grandiosity

These items are related to a view of oneself as superior at the expense of others which supports a tendency (not just capability) to put down and exploit others for one’s benefit. This is in contrast with viewing oneself as not fundamentally better than others and treating others as peers.

  1. High sense of self [Core-1]
    Subjects sees herself in a positive image and better than others. Is self-confident/{secure in herself}. Is prideful and this pride is self-assured, not dependent on validation (a.k.a. hubristic pride).

    The extreme form of this is grandiose sense of self: The subject consistently feels greater-than-life: A sense of being a goddess and any combination of perfect, invincible, infallible, immortal, far above human capabilities, the only conscious being in the universe, being the purpose of the universe, possessing an epistemologically privileged viewpoint (w.r.t. other intelligent agents), etc. Not to be confused with psychosis. Although the subject feels greater than life, she rationally knows this is not reality.

  2. Egoistical [Core-1]
    Is primarily concerned with own welfare, not morals, ideology or similar. To score full it is not required that the subject only concern is her own welfare. Is willing to cause a negative utility for others and fail obligations in order to obtain a positive utility for herself.

    Differentiation from Coldheartedness:

  3. Psychopathy is ego-syntonic [Core-2]
    If the subject is not aware that she is a psychopath evaluate whether the traits in this checklist are ego-syntonic. The subject does not wish to be normal and does not see psychopathy (or the traits) as a defect. For example: The subject sees not having empathy as positive.

  4. Ego not dependent on praise and criticism [Core-2]

  5. Manipulative [Core-2]
    We define manipulation as eloquent talking directed to make the listener do what one wants. Note that manipulation does not necessarily involve lying.

    The subject manipulates whenever it is required for her goal. This item does not require the user to always manipulate.

  6. No distress during lying [Core-2]
    Subject is confident of her manipulation skills and therefore feels no distress during lying. Absence of guilt (including as part of lying) is in a separate item.

  7. Domineering–authoritative [Core-2]
    Tends to tell other people what to do with an authoritative tone and has a willingness to coerce other people into doing what one wants. Note that this includes exploitation but is not limited to exploitation. It also includes giving recommendations with an authoritative tone and a tendency for grooming.

    Points

  8. Contempt for people [Comp]

    Most people are idiots/worthless/useless. In a crowd, I feel like being in the middle of a garbage dump.

    90 % of people are mentally defective. They are worse than animals because they have the ability to use reason but choose to go with their impulses and feelings instead.

  9. Enjoys having power and control over other people [Comp]

  10. Respect is earned, not deserved [Comp]
    Includes disliking following orders from unworthy authority.

  11. Sadism [Comp]
    Pure sadism or sadomasochism. It comes from enjoying power over other people and feeding one’s ego. It does not come from hatred of the victim.

    It does not quality if the subject feels hot manic as a result of aggression. E.g. Feeling “bubbly” when stabbing somebody and seeing blood ooze does not qualify.

  12. Sadistic coziness [Comp]
    Subject experiences relaxation, calmness, peace or cozyness from observing the suffering of others either in-person, in media or in imagination.

    I like imagining walking among a “forest” of people impaled in poles screaming and writhing in agony. It feels peaceful, like the coziness of a warm blanket in a cold day.

  13. Leadership [Comp]
    When working in groups subject has a tendency to be the official or de facto leader.

    Difference with Domineering: Domineering refers to a style of interaction and can be evident in a single minutes-long interaction. Leadership is a role one adopts among a group and stays consistent through months or as long as the group lasts.

  14. Arrogant affect [Comp]
    Subject is confident of her own capability and when free to speak, readily mentions it in an exhibitionistic way.

    Friend: I followed your advice and it worked. You were right.
    Psychopath: I always am.

    When people tell me I am very intelligent I say “I know.”. People have told me that since I can remember. It is no compliment, it is just a fact.

1.3.4 Asociality

Other names: Social disconnect, social indifference.

  1. Reduced peer pressure/Does not care about social acceptance [Core-2]

    Points

  2. Is indifferent towards social norms [Core-2]

    Points

  3. Absence of loneliness [Core-2]
    Does not feel loneliness when alone.

  4. Absent or reduced shame [Core-2]
    If shame is present, it is mild and short-lived.

  5. Blunted or absent indignation [Core-2]

  6. Absence of envy [Comp]

  7. Instrumental social relationships [Comp]
    Social contacts are for a purpose. Entertainment is a possible purpose.

1.3.5 Irresponsability

These items have in common a prioritization for short-term reward over long-term consequences. This is related to the low pole of Big Five conscientiousness.

  1. Wrathful hostility [Core-2]
    Subject has a taste for confrontation and a desire to antagonize people for its own sake. Subject keeps control over whether to act on this desire. When acted on, it is cold aggression rather than aggression out of uncontrolled reactive emotions.

  2. Irresponsability [Comp]
    Finds difficult to impossible to perform activities because of obligation instead of intrinsic reward. Includes being unwilling to have an ordinary job, i.e.: with pre-defined working hours and that involve following orders.

  3. Parasitic [Comp]
    Obtains things at the expense of others instead of acquiring them with own labor.

  4. Impatience [Comp]

  5. Sensation seeking [Comp]
    Prolonged boredom leads to performing entertaining/interesting activities that are costly or risky in order to relieve the boredom.

    I was very bored so I induced serotonin syndrome on myself on purpose to see how it is like.

    I went out in the night looking for something to set fire to.

  6. Carefree [Comp]
    Has little to no aprehension about the negative consequences of rewarding actions.

  7. No ideological investment [Comp]

1.4 Pitfalls of evaluation

1.5 Development

1.5.1 Conceptualization

Conceptual traits, not the actual checklist:

1.5.2 Differentiation between subscales and items

1.5.3 Other conceptualizations

We take into account the following information from other conceptulizations:

1.5.3.1 Triarchic model

1.5.3.2 Cooke (2001) 3-factor model

The YPI-S is built according to this model. The model has 3 subscales:

The model was introduced in Cooke (2001) Refining the construct of psychopathy: Towards a hierarchical model in relation to the PCL-R although it is more general than the PCL-R.

1.5.4 Pitfalls to avoid

1.6 Ideas

Ideas under consideration.

Narcissism (subset of traits):

Worldview (subset of traits):

Also include tentative physiophysical traits:

Do an impression management subscale:

Dark pentad:

Variants of psychopathy:

2 List of psychopathy questionnaires and related

Questionnaires and checklists for psychopathy and neighboring concepts.

3 Full items of selected questionnaires related to psychopathy

3.1 Caring–Uncaring Emotional Inventory (CUE)

Items from Semel (2016) The Caring-Uncaring Emotional (CUE) Inventory: A Pilot Study of a New Measure of Affective Psychopathy Traits.

We renamed the parcels according to the content.

Responses

Callosity/Manipulativeness (15 items)

Original name: Callous.

Social Indifference

Original name: Disaffiliation.

Stress Resilience

Original name: Indifference/Detachment.

3.2 Cognitive, affective, and somatic empathy scales (CASES)

List of items: Chen (2019) The cognitive, affective, and somatic empathy scales (CASES): Cross-cultural replication and specificity to different forms of aggression and victimization.

Cognitive – positive

Cognitive – negative

Affective – positive

Affective – negative

Somatic – positive

Somatic – negative

3.3 Competitive Jungle Beliefs

List of items: annex 1 of https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0254434.

  1. My knowledge and experience tells me that the social world we live in is basically a competitive ‘in which the fittest survive and succeed, in which power, wealth, and winning are everything, and might is right.
  2. It’s a dog-eat-dog world where you have to be ruthless at times.
  3. Life is not governed by the ‘survival of the fittest’, we should let compassion and moral laws be our guide (R).
  4. You know that most people are out to ‘screw’ you, so you have to get them first when you get the chance.
  5. The best way to lead a group under one’s supervision is to show them kindness, consideration, and treat them as fellow workers, not as inferiors (R).
  6. If one has power in a situation, one should use it however one has to in order to get one’s way.
  7. All in all it is better to be humble and honest than important and dishonest (R).
  8. Money, wealth and luxury are what really count in life.
  9. Charity (i.e., giving somebody something for nothing) is admirable, not stupid (R).
  10. It is much more important in life to have integrity in your dealings with others than to have money and power (R).
  11. If it’s necessary to be cold blooded and vengeful to reach one’s goals, then one should do it.
  12. Honesty is the best policy in all cases (R).
  13. There is really no such thing as ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. It all boils down to what you can get away with.
  14. Do unto to others as you would have them do unto you, and never do anything unfair to someone else (R).
  15. Basically people are objects to be quietly and coolly manipulated for one’s own benefit.

3.4 Dirty Dozen (DD)

Machiavellianism (4 items)

Psychopathy (4 items)

Narcissism (4 items)

3.5 Expanded Version of the Three-Factor Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (E-LSRP)

Items are in the order of Table 3 from the introductory paper, followed by the Infrequency Validity scale in the order mentioned in the running text. Numeration is ours.

Answers:

Egocentric (11 items)

  1. Success is based on survival of the fittest; I am not concerned about the losers.
  2. People who are stupid enough to get ripped off usually deserve it.
  3. I tell other people what they want to hear so that they will do what I want them to do.
  4. I often admire a really clever scam.
  5. In today’s world, I feel justified in doing anything I can get away with to succeed.
  6. Making a lot of money is my most important goal.
  7. My main purpose in life is getting as many goodies as I can.
  8. For me, what’s right is whatever I can get away with.
  9. I enjoy manipulating other people’s feelings.
  10. I let others worry about higher values; my main concern is with the bottom line.
  11. Looking out for myself is my top priority.

Callous (12 items)

  1. I make a point of trying not to hurt others in pursuit of my goals. (R)
  2. Cheating is not justifiable because it is unfair to others. (R)
  3. Even if I were trying very hard to sell something, I wouldn’t lie about it. (R)
  4. I feel bad if my words or actions cause someone else to feel emotional pain. (R)
  5. I tend not to think about other people’s feelings.
  6. People are too emotional at funerals.
  7. When people are sad around me, I feel sad myself. (R)
  8. I’m not a very emotional person.
  9. I tend to cry in sad movies. (R)
  10. I feel bad when I do something wrong. (R)
  11. My friends consider me a warm person. (R)
  12. I would be upset if my success came at someone else’s expense. (R)

Antisocial (13 items)

  1. I have been in a lot of shouting matches with other people.
  2. I find myself in the same kinds of trouble, time after time.
  3. When I get frustrated, I often “let off steam” by blowing my top.
  4. I am often bored.
  5. I quickly lose interest in tasks I start.
  6. I am a bit of a rebel.
  7. I like planning things out. (R)
  8. I usually can’t keep out of trouble for too long.
  9. Before I do anything, I carefully consider the possible consequences. (R)
  10. I know rules are there, but I don’t tend to follow them.
  11. I often do things before thinking them through.
  12. I don’t plan anything very far in advance.
  13. Getting into trouble doesn’t bother me.

Infrequency Validity (6 items)

  1. I enjoy stealing from graves.
  2. I am close personal friends with the prime minister of Zanzibar.
  3. I make a point of only being friends with people born in August.
  4. I am allergic to water.
  5. When I see the color orange, I taste mustard.
  6. I wrote three best-selling novels last year.

3.6 Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL-R)

Do not use this checklist. It conflates psychopathy with criminality and impulsiveness.

  1. Glibness and superficial charm
  2. Grandiose self-worth
  3. Pathological lying
  4. Cunning/manipulative
  5. Lack of remorse or guilt
  6. Shallow affect/emotional poverty
  7. Callous/lack of empathy
  8. Fails to accept responsibility for own actions
  9. Needs stimulation/prone to boredom
  10. Parasitic lifestyle
  11. Poor behavioral controls
  12. No realistic long-term goals
  13. Impulsiveness
  14. Irresponsible
  15. Juvenile delinquency
  16. Early behavior problems
  17. Revocation of Conditional Release
  18. Promiscuity
  19. Many short-term marital relationships
  20. Criminal versatility

3.7 Inventory of Callous–Unemotional Traits (ICU)

There is no agreed-upon factor structure in the literature. The items are grouped here in Ksenia’s proposed subscales.

Callosity–Unemotionality

Irresponsability

3.8 Interpersonal Reactivity Index (IRI)

Responses

Fantasy – 7 items

Perspective Taking – 7 items

Empathic Concern – 7 items

Personal Distress – 7 items

3.9 Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI)

This is version 1.

Answers

Machievellian egocentricity (30 items)

Social potency (24 items)

Fearlessness (19 items)

Coldheartedness (21 items)

Impulsive nonconformity (17 items)

Alienation (18 items)

Carefree nonplanfulness (20 items)

Stress immunity (11 items)

Total score (163 items)

This includes all previous items plus 3 additional ones that do not appear in any subscale:

DR (deviant responding) (10 items)

MPQ unlikely virtues (14 items)

Source of items

Items from https://researchcommons.waikato.ac.nz/bitstream/handle/10289/2293/thesis.pdf#page=88, with errata:

3.10 Psychopathic Personality Inventory—Revised (PPI-R)

Full items for the PPI-R and the PPI-R-40. For the PPI-R-40, use only the first 5 items listed within each subscale. For the PPI-R, use all items.

Responses

Machiavellian Egocentricity (ME) (20 items)


Rebelious Nonconformity (RN) (16 items)


Blame externalization (BE) (15 items)


Carefree Nonplanfulness (CN) (19 items)


Social Influence (SOI) (18 items)


Danger seeking (DS) (14 items)

Original name: Fearlessness (F)


Stress immunity (SI) (13 items)


Coldheartedness (C) (16 items)


Total score

Validity subscales (23 items)

Source

List of items: https://scholarshare.temple.edu/bitstream/handle/20.500.12613/2820/TETDEDXEgan-temple-0225E-11928.pdf?sequence=1#page=116.
List of number of items per subscale: https://sci-hub.se/10.1177/1073191117715729.
List of items for PPI-R-40: Eisenbarth (2015). Using a genetic algorithm to abbreviate the Psychopathic Personality Inventory–Revised (PPI-R) https://scottlilienfeld.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Eisenbarth_2014_Psychological_Assessment.pdf.

Errata:

3.11 Psychopathic Processing and Personality Assessment (PAPA)

Dissocial tendencies

Emotional detachment

Disregard for others:

Lack of sensitivity to emotion

3.12 Short Dark Tetrad (SD4)

Do not use. The psychopathy and sadism subscales have abysmal content validity.

Machiavellianism

  1. It’s not wise to let people know your secrets.
  2. Whatever it takes, you must get the important people on your side.
  3. Avoid direct conflict with others because they may be useful in the future.
  4. Keep a low profile if you want to get your way.
  5. Manipulating the situation takes planning.
  6. Flattery is a good way to get people on your side.
  7. I love it when a tricky plan succeeds.

Narcissism

  1. People see me as a natural leader.
  2. I have a unique talent for persuading people.
  3. Group activities tend to be dull without me.
  4. I know that I am special because people keep telling me so.
  5. I have some exceptional qualities
  6. I’m likely to become a future star in some area.
  7. I like to show off every now and then.

Psychopathy

  1. People often say I’m out of control.
  2. I tend to fight against authorities and their rules.
  3. I’ve been in more fights than most people of my age and gender.
  4. I tend to dive in, then ask questions later.
  5. I’ve been in trouble with the law.
  6. I sometimes get into dangerous situations.
  7. People who mess with me always regret it.

Sadism

  1. Watching a fist-fight excites me.
  2. I really enjoy violent films and video games.
  3. It’s funny when idiots fall flat on their face.
  4. I enjoy watching violent sports.
  5. Some people deserve to suffer.
  6. Just for kicks, I’ve said mean things on social media.
  7. I know how to hurt someone with words alone

3.13 Social Dominance Orientation, Version 6 (SDO6)

Items from https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/3207711/Sidanius_SocialDominanceOrientation.pdf.

  1. Some groups of people are just more worthy than others.
  2. In getting what you want, it is sometimes necessary to use force against other groups.
  3. It’s OK if some groups have more of a chance in life than others.
  4. To get ahead in life, it is sometimes necessary to step on other groups.
  5. If certain groups stayed in their place, we would have fewer problems.
  6. It’s probably a good thing that certain groups are at the top and other groups are at the bottom.
  7. Inferior groups should stay in their place.
  8. Sometimes other groups must be kept in their place.
  9. It would be good if groups could be equal. (R)
  10. Group equality should be our ideal. (R)
  11. All groups should be given an equal chance in life. (R)
  12. We should do what we can to equalize conditions for different groups. (R)
  13. Increased social equality is beneficial to society. (R)
  14. We would have fewer problems if we treated people more equally. (R)
  15. We should strive to make incomes as equal as possible. (R)
  16. No group should dominate in society. (R)

3.14 Social Dominance Orientation, Version 7 (SDO7)

Items from http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/88104/1/Ho_et_al_in_press_JPSP_The_Nature_of_Social_Dominance_Orientation.pdf.

Responses

Dominance

  1. An ideal society requires some groups to be on top and others to be on the bottom.
  2. Some groups of people are simply inferior to other groups. Contrait dominance:
  3. No one group should dominate in society. (R)
  4. Groups at the bottom are just as deserving as groups at the top. (R)

Anti-egalitarianism

  1. Group equality should not be our primary goal.
  2. It is unjust to try to make groups equal.
  3. We should do what we can to equalize conditions for different groups. (R)
  4. We should work to give all groups an equal chance to succeed. (R)

3.15 Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory (YPI)

Items from https://www.pathwaysstudy.pitt.edu/codebook/docs/Question%20text_YPI_followup.pdf.

Response Scale

Dishonest Charm

Grandiosity

Lying

Manipulation

Remorselessness

Unemotionality

Callousness

Thrill Seeking

Impulsiveness

Irresponsibility

3.16 Youth Psychopathic Traits Inventory—Short Version (YPI-S)

Interpersonal dimension – 6 items

Affective dimension – 6 items

Behavioral dimension – 6 items