Is Your School Full Of Psychopaths?

Probably. Well, if not full, there will certainly be a few.

The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

In the test, a clinician interviews a potential sociopath and scores them on 20 criteria ranked on a 3-point scale: (0 = item does not apply, 1 = item applies somewhat, 2 = item definitely applies).

Anyone who scores 30 and above is probably a psycho.

The test is supposed to be done by a professional psychologist but why not have a go anyway.

  1. Do you have “excess glibness” or superficial charm?
  2. Do you have a grandiose sense of self-worth?
  3. Do you have an excess need for stimulation or proneness to boredom?
  4. Are you a pathological liar?
  5. Are you conning or manipulative?
  6. Do you display a lack of remorse or guilt?
  7. Do you have “shallow affect”?
  8. Are you callous, or do you lack empathy?
  9. Do you have a “parasitic lifestyle”?
  10. Do you have poor behavioural controls?
  11. Do you have a history of promiscuous sexual behaviour?
  12. Do you have a history of early behavioural problems?
  13. Do you lack realistic long-term goals?
  14. Are you overly impulsive?
  15. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility?
  16. Do you fail to accept responsibility for your own actions?
  17. Have you had many short-term “marital” relationships?
  18. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?
  19. Have you ever experienced a “revocation of conditional release”?
  20. Do you display “criminal versatility”?

How did you do?

I love what Bob Bates has done in his summary of Robert Hare’s checklist. He’s adapted the theory using his own headings to demonstrate how the traits translate to those we work with. He talks specifically about how these relate to coaching but I think we can relate them to staff meetings and other school-based scenarios:

The Seducer

Charming you and others in a glib and superficial manner and trying to be in charge.

The Ego-Maniac

Having an exaggeratedly high estimation of their ability and refusing to accept criticism.

The Sponge

Constantly needing to be stimulated and disrupting sessions that they felt were not challenging enough.

The Procrastinator

Always coming up with excuses for not meeting set objectives.

The Shell

Showing no remorse or guilt if they offend you or others through inappropriate comments.

The Unmovable

Displaying callousness and a lack of empathy with others who may not share their points of view.

The Parasite

Living off the knowledge and skills of their colleagues and falsely claiming credit for ideas.

The Deflector

Failing to accept responsibility for their own actions and seeking to blame others.

The Results Merchant

Lacking any drive for long-term development and being obsessed with passing assignments.

The Disrupter

Displaying a tendency to act impulsively and irresponsibly and causing disharmony among others they may be working with.

The Delinquent

Having poor control over their behaviour and annoying or upsetting their peers.

I think Bob Bates has done a pretty accurate profile of the character types and personalities you would find in any school. I’m certain that you will find more than half of those above in any meeting!

So what are you? Are you a sponge, shell, deflector or ego-maniac?

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