Jackie's Reviews > The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry

The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
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's review
Jun 02, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: reference, true-crime, political

This book disappointed me, but it was probably because my expectations were so high. I expected to see a detailed description and analysis of the PCL-R Checklist and how it applies; detailed interviews and behavioral assessments of potential psychopaths; and examples of psychopaths functioning in high-level positions in our communities. These were only minor focuses of the book. Instead, Ronson struggles with whether the test is valid (a fair point) and whether the uses to which it is put are fair and just - e.g., is it really fair to give someone the damaging label of "psychopath" if he is not a dangerous, violent offender? Ronson comes down hard on psychiatry and the DSM-IV, making many valid points about psychiatry in general and the diagnoses outlined in the DSM-IV. I am glad I read it, but I think I was looking for something closer to The Sociopath Next Door.

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