The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry by Jon Ronson

Jon Ronson (author of book-turned-movie The Men Who Stare at Goats) delves into the fascinating topic of insanity in his newest book.  When confronted with terms like sociopath and psychopath (which, according to Ronson’s research, are interchangeable terms), we tend to think of people like Ted Bundy or Hannibal Lecter. Both are by definition psychopaths but they’re not necessarily the norm for the condition. There are plenty of psychopaths who aren’t violent serial killers; they could be your neighbor, your coworker or even, (though I sincerely hope not) your spouse.

Ronson probes the world of insanity, visiting Scientologists (who are at war with the mental health profession), psychologists, psychopaths locked away in mental institutions and those free to roam the world of their own accord. He speaks with psychopath expert Robert Hare, whose Hare Psychopathy Checklist has redefined the makings of a psychopath. Know someone who exhibits “superficial charm”, a “grandiose sense of self-worth”, and “lack of empathy”? You might want to start worrying.

Be warned, if you read this book you’ll be forever speculating about who that you know is demonstrating psychopathic tendencies. Don’t worry too much, though – only somewhere between two and four percent of the population is legit. And I’m sure none of them live in Wake County.

Find and reserve this book in our catalog.


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