Archive for the ‘villains and heroes’ category

Is Your Villain a Psychopath?

June 14, 2011

Lately this book has been wandering across my radar a lot. Because I love a well-crafted antagonist, not to mention a juicy dark hero, I’ll probably end up reading it. You know, used. In paper. Due respect, man, I’m a struggling small press publisher.

Meanwhile, today, here’s an article in Forbes: Why (Some) Psychopaths Make Great CEOs. Now, doesn’t that sound like a fantastic villain? So I finally wandered off and looked up the oft-referenced Hare Psychopathy Checklist.

Here are the components, for your villainous pleasure. For each characteristic that is listed, the subject is given a score: 0 for “no,” 1 for “somewhat,” and 2 for “definitely does apply.” According to Ronson, the author of  The Psychopath Test, “Somebody you have to be wary of would be in early 20s and a really hard core damaged person, a really dangerous psychopath, would score around a 30. In law the cutoff is 29.”

A brief description of each of these metrics appears here.

Factor 1: Personality “Aggressive narcissism”

Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Pathological lying
Cunning/manipulative
Lack of remorse or guilt
Shallow affect
Callous/lack of empathy
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions

Factor 2: Case history “Socially deviant lifestyle”.

Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral control
Lack of realistic long-term goals
Impulsivity
Irresponsibility
Juvenile delinquency
Early behavior problems
Revocation of conditional release

Traits not correlated with either factor

Promiscuous sexual behavior
Many short-term marital relationships
Criminal versatility

The primary antagonist of my current WIP (War-Lord of the Gods) scores a 32. The protagonist scores a 24. Hmm.

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