Kennedy Psychopath Test
15 Questions. One Score. Free.

CC BY-SA 2.0
VN 605BB (07/18)

The Kennedy Psychopath Test has historically served as scientific method to detect psychopaths and to gain insights into your personality - now available online for free.

Answer 15 word-color-questions and get your score instantly:

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What are psychopaths?

Psychopathy is among the most difficult disorders to spot. The psychopath can appear normal, even charming. Underneath, he lacks conscience and empathy, making him manipulative, volatile and often (but by no means always) criminal. She is an object of popular fascination and clinical anguish: adult psychopathy is largely impervious to treatment, though programs are in place to treat callous, unemotional youth in hopes of preventing them from maturing into psychopaths.

Genetic Etiology

Genetically informed studies of the personality characteristics typical of individuals with psychopathy have found moderate genetic (as well as non-genetic) influences. On the PPI, fearless dominance and impulsive antisociality were similarly influenced by genetic factors and uncorrelated with each other. Genetic factors may generally influence the development of psychopathy while environmental factors affect the specific expression of the traits that predominate. A study on a large group of children found more than 60% heritability for "callous-unemotional traits" and that conduct problems among children with these traits had a higher heritability than among children without these traits.

Clinical Management

Psychopathy has often been considered untreatable. Its unique characteristics makes it among the most refractory of personality disorders, a class of mental illnesses that are already traditionally considered difficult to treat. People afflicted with psychopathy are generally unmotivated to seek treatment for their condition, and can be uncooperative in therapy. Attempts to treat psychopathy with the current tools available to psychiatry have been disappointing.

Harris and Rice's Handbook of Psychopathy says that there is currently little evidence for a cure or effective treatment for psychopathy; as of yet, no pharmacological therapies are known to or have been trialed for alleviating the emotional, interpersonal and moral deficits of psychopathy, and patients with psychopathy who undergo psychotherapy might gain the skills to become more adept at the manipulation and deception of others and be more likely to commit crime.

Some studies suggest that punishment and behavior modification techniques are ineffective at modifying the behavior of psychopathic individuals as they are insensitive to punishment or threat. These failures have led to a widely pessimistic view on its treatment prospects, a view that is exacerbated by the little research being done into this disorder compared to the efforts committed to other mental illnesses, which makes it more difficult to gain the understanding of this condition that is necessary to develop effective therapies.

CC BY-SA 2.0
VN 605BB (07/18)