Take our scientifically rigorous test.
Rebecca Hendin / ThinkStock / BuzzFeed
Not all psychopaths are Hannibal Lecter. According to Kevin Dutton, a research psychologist at Oxford University's Department of Experimental Psychology, being a psychopath doesn't mean you're a serial killer or even that you'll break the law.
« In clinical psychology, » he tells BuzzFeed, « a psychopath is someone with a distinct cluster of personality traits, including charm, charisma, fearlessness, ruthlessness, narcissism, persuasiveness, and lack of conscience. » Those traits can be handy in many walks of life, not just crime.
Another misconception, he says, is that there is a sharp line between « psychopath » and « not psychopath ». « A lot of people think that it's all very black and white, » he says. « But this is not the case. In fact, psychopathy – like height, weight, and IQ, to take a few examples – lies on a spectrum. »
We're all along the spectrum somewhere. « Some of us score higher on some traits than others, » says Dutton. « But unless you score high on all of them, you don't really have anything to worry about. »
The following test, set by Dr Dutton, will give you an idea of where you are on that spectrum. It's rigorous and scientifically well-founded.
However, it is NOT a diagnosis. « These questions do not in any way diagnose you as a psychopath, » says Dutton. « Instead, they simply provide a rough guide as to where you might fall on the psychopathic spectrum. »