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Sociopath Test: What Is It and How Is It Used?

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As we continue to study and map the human brain, there are always new advances being made. For a long time, psychologists have been working to create tests that can help assess human personalities and their differences. One such way they have found success is through the use of personality tests. 

Personality tests are designed to measure the characteristics, patterns, and traits that a person will exhibit when faced with various situations. They are also used to help clarify a diagnosis, assist with intervention, and even predict how a person may respond when placed in a specific situation. One of the more common personality tests is the sociopath test.

What Are Personality Tests?

As mentioned before, personality tests are designed to help understand a human’s personality and to measure their individual characteristics and behavioral traits. There are two different types of personality tests:

  • Self-reporting inventories. This test will require the test taker to read the questions and rate how much the question or statement applies to them. An example of an inquiry found on a personality test would be: “I do not enjoy being in public places,” followed by five answers such as: strongly agree, somewhat agree, indifferent, somewhat disagree, and strongly disagree.
    However, in some cases, the answers may be as simple as true or false. Arguably the most famous self-reporting inventory test is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. This test has been around since the 1940s. It’s undergone several revisions but now contains over 500 statements that are answered either as true or false. The biggest weakness of these types of tests is the possibility for the test taker to lie or choose the “correct” answer.
  • Projective Tests: This test involves presenting the test taker with a scene, scenario, or object and then have them give their interpretation of the specific test item. One of the most well-known projective tests is the Rorschach Inkblot Test. This test will show a series of 10 inkblot images in black, white, or gray and ask the subject to explain what they see.
    Another popular example is the Thematic Apperception Test, where a person will look at random scenes and tell a story based on what is happening in the scene. They will be asked a series of questions such as: What is happening? How are the characters feeling? What happens next? The results of projective tests are generally subjective, as answers to the questions can be completely abstract and differ greatly from person to person.

What Is a Sociopath Test?

A sociopath test is a way to find out if a patient has a personality disorder that results in sociopathic tendencies. The test itself is not exact and may vary depending on where it’s taken and who is orchestrating the test. However, the questions will be similar in nature. The answers to the questions will help to gauge how many similarities the subject has with sociopathic behavior. 

Here are some examples of the types of questions found on a typical sociopath test with answers ranging from always, often, sometimes, rarely, and never:

  1. Do you repeatedly lie to others for your own personal gain or for pleasure?
  2. Do you frequently act impulsively?
  3. Do you struggle or fail to plan ahead?
  4. How often do you fail to fulfill obligations for your job?
  5. How often do you fail to fulfill financial obligations?
  6. Are you unable to empathize with other people when they are dealing with a difficult situation? 
  7. In the event of hurting someone else’s feelings, do you lack a sense of guilt or remorse?
  8. Do you engage in unnecessarily dangerous activities or risk taking without regard to the safety of yourself or others?
  9. Do you believe you are superior to other people?
  10. Are you charming, or do you use wit to manipulate others to benefit you?

What Are Sociopathic Tendencies?

Sociopaths are typically defined as a person suffering from a personality disorder that manifests itself into extreme antisocial attitudes along with a general lack of conscience. 

The term sociopath is rather informal in itself and refers to someone with antisocial personality disorder. This personality disorder involves a general lack of empathy in addition to manipulative behavior and impulsiveness. 

What can make diagnosing someone as a sociopath so difficult is the signs can vary wildly from one person to another, and the symptoms may change over time. 

Additionally, almost all humans will exhibit some of these traits and behaviors from time to time, but that doesn’t mean they have antisocial personality disorder. Here are some of the more common symptoms of antisocial personality disorder:

  • Lack of empathy. One of the most common traits of a sociopath is their lack of empathy. When dealing with the prospect of someone else’s emotions, they may come across as being overly critical, harsh, callous or cold, and unfeeling. People with antisocial personality disorder typically don’t realize how harmful their actions may be toward others, or they just might not care.
  • Ignoring right and wrong: Often, people with antisocial personality disorder will have a complete disregard for laws, boundaries, and rules. In any given situation, they may be prone to lie, cheat, steal and break laws resulting in constant legal troubles. A sociopath will often completely fail to consider both short and long-term consequences of their actions.
  • Witty and charming. Not all symptoms are negative, as most sociopaths are considerably more witty and charming than most typical people. They often display extremely high charisma levels and use humor, flattery, intellect, and flirtation to gain something personally. Sometimes these traits are just used for personal entertainment or to get someone else to do something harmful to themselves. 
  • Impulsive. Lacking the ability to consider or care about consequences results in lots of dangerous behavior and unnecessary risk-taking. People with antisocial personality disorder will often engage in life-threatening activities that place themselves and others around them in extreme danger. Also this impulsiveness puts sociopaths at a very high risk of developing a crippling substance addiction or a tendency to become a compulsive gambler.
  • Arrogant. Individuals with antisocial personality disorder often have a general feeling of superiority toward those around them. This may appear to be typical confidence, but it’s much more closer to arrogance. They are often condescending and easily irritated by others, namely those who don’t agree with them.
  • Aggressive. Sociopaths are typically physically or verbally abusive. They could harm someone physically while lacking the consideration of the short-term or long-term effects of the injury. Most often, they are verbally abusive, routinely throwing out insults, deprecation, negative statements, and humiliating others.

Treatments for Antisocial Personality Disorder

Although this particular personality disorder is a little difficult to treat, it’s not impossible. As a result of their condition, most people that qualify as sociopaths fail to recognize they need help in the first place, so treatment can be a challenge. 

There are two different treatments available to those suffering from antisocial personality disorder. They are:

  • Psychotherapy: Also known as talk therapy, this can sometimes be used to treat sociopathic behavior. A licensed therapist will conduct counseling sessions based on anger and violence management, alcohol or substance abuse, or other programs designed to treat specific negative behaviors.
  • Medication: There are currently no specified medications or drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that treat antisocial personality disorder. However, some doctors prescribe medications to help battle some of the symptoms of sociopaths, such as anxiety, depression, or aggression.

What Are the Uses for Sociopath and Personality Tests?

Almost everyone has taken some kind of personality test in their lifetime. Schools will often employ them in order to get a better understanding of their students. Employers will also often use personality tests in order to gauge whether or not to hire an individual. Additionally, career and occupational counseling will use personality tests to help dictate the field of employment the client should pursue. 

There are lots of uses for these tests, and some of them include:

  • Data collection
  • Evaluating effects of therapy
  • Diagnosing psychological issues
  • Marking changes in personality
  • Conduct risk assessments

The Takeaway

 A sociopath test is one of the many versions of personality tests available today. This test, in particular, is for antisocial personality disorder and would fall under the category of being a self-reporting inventory.

Anyone displaying sociopathic behavior or tendencies would do themselves well to take the antisocial personality disorder test and answer honestly. Sociopaths are often hard to diagnose because of their charming and manipulative tendencies. Additionally, most people with antisocial personality disorder are unlikely to believe that they need help, so they are much less likely to come forward. 

Although there are no specific treatments for a sociopath, engaging in therapy sessions with qualified therapists has been known to help sociopaths recognize a problem and create a path toward eliminating negative tendencies.

Sources

  1. “What Is a Personality Test?” (verywellmind.com
  2. Antisocial personality disorder – Diagnosis and treatment (mayoclinic.org)
  3. Recognizing antisocial behavior in adults and children (healthline.com) 
  4. Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) (psychcentral.com)
  5. Sociopath Test: Do I Have Antisocial Personality Disorder? ASPD (psycom.net) 

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