Monday, September 14, 2009

PCL-R vs. M.E.SC-R


Has anyone ever wondered what would happen if a sociopath revised the PCL-R? Well, now you can stop wondering...

Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised:

Need for stimulation / Proneness to Boredom
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral control
Promiscuous sexual behavior
Lack of Realistic, long term goals
Impulsiveness
Irresponsibility
Juvenile Delinquency
Early behavioral problems
Revocation of conditional release

M.E.'s Sociopath's Checklist Revised:

Go getter / Doesn't wait for grass to grow
Resourceful
Thinks for his/herself
Sexy
Ambitious
Not Afraid to Take Risks
Carefree
Freethinker as Youth
Independent at Young Age
Victim of the System

25 comments:

  1. Hmm. These are only the secondary traits. Why did you leave out the primary traits? Most sociopaths I know seem more defined by those. How about something along these lines...?


    Hare's empath-view

    1. Glibness/superficial charm
    2. Grandiose sense of self-worth
    3. Pathological lying
    4. Cunning/manipulative
    5. Lack of remorse or guilt
    6. Emotionally shallow
    7. Callous/lack of empathy
    8. Failure to accept responsibility for own actions


    Orm's suggestion for psychopath-view

    1. Able to win friends and influence people
    2. Values self interests above interests of others
    3. Able to skillfully lie when to their advantage
    4. Machiavellian
    5. Uninhibited by self-judgement
    6. Unemotional and clear-headed
    7. Enjoys control over people
    8. Isn't bothered by harm done to others in accomplishing goals

    ReplyDelete
  2. I never understood the "IMPULSIVE" part of the diagnosis...Maybe it should be:

    Impulsive if the prey, Patient if the predator

    ReplyDelete
  3. Need for stimulation / Proneness to Boredom Yes.
    Parasitic lifestyle No.
    Poor behavioral control Yes.
    Promiscuous sexual behavior Yes.
    Lack of Realistic, long term goals Yes. I advance without planning. Opportunities always present themselves, and I always take them. Why plan?
    Impulsiveness God yes.
    Irresponsibility Yes.
    Juvenille Deliquency Was never caught...
    Early behavioral problems See above.
    Revocation of conditional release See above.

    Go getter / Doesn't wait for grass to grow If I want something, yes.
    Rescourceful Extremely.
    Thinks for his/herself I'd like to think so.
    Sexy So they tell me. :)
    Ambitous Yes but I have trouble following through with anything that requires a sustained, long-term effort / focus.
    Not Afraid to Take Risks Mixed bag. I'll take risks most others never would, but then there are some I'm never willing to take that others seem to take lightly.
    Carefree Again, mixed. Big things don't phase me. I shine the brightest when all hope seems lost. Little things bug the shit out of me.
    Freethinker as Youth Yes.
    Independent at Young Age Yeah. I started refusing punishment, authority, or parental advice at about 13. But isn't that normal?
    Victim of the System I don't think so. The world is fair. Nearly everyone's got a shot to mold the world, or at least their own life, however they want to. If you fail, that's on you, not the world.

    It's a bit disturbing that I (mostly) fit both of these lists, but I know what's really up with me. :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hmmm . . . Can ME's revision of the checklist mostly be ascribed to:

    2. Grandiose sense of self-worth

    Why so sensitive that the diagnosis offends? If you are at the point of being subjected to a checklist, you've already failed.

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's a bit disturbing that I (mostly) fit both of these lists, but I know what's really up with me. :)

    Which me would that be? (Joking)

    ReplyDelete
  6. And btw ME, I like your checklist loads better. It’s way cooler. lol

    ReplyDelete
  7. Why, the me that I know what's up with, of course. Silly man.

    ReplyDelete
  8. It isn't so much that the list offends so much as this revised version shows the clear bias toward cynicism. The characteristics in and of themselves are judgemental of an entire group of people. And we can be equally awesome as the revision shows. I think this is quite clever to show that perhaps the sociopath isn't as a requirement a detriment to humanity. Or at the very least that the sociopath can be seen as even likeable, as opposed to being seen as a disease to be avoided.

    Perhaps this view opens opportunities for treatment. When determined to be a sociopath the negative traits, instead of being changed to other traits in general, can just be treated to resemble the more positive counterpart to their traits.

    Does that make sense? So if a sociopath lacks long term goals, they can be taught to embrace opportunities.

    ReplyDelete
  9. No, it's not biased at all.
    The PCL-R was created to identify a specific type of person.

    1) Someone who needs constant stimulation, but isn't necessarily a go-getter.

    2) Someone who is parasitic, but not necessarily resourceful.

    3) Someone who has poor self-discipline, which has nothing to do with being a free thinker (though I will agree that applies to sociopaths)

    4) Someone who is sexually promiscuous, which has nothing to do with being sexy.

    So forth and so on.

    M.E.'s list would be useless for identifying psycho/sociopaths, because there are plenty of empaths who meet every criteria for his list, yet don't meet any in the PCL-R.

    It's very functional and objective, as it'll apply to any sociopath. M.E.'s list will apply to any driven individual, and raising it as an (highly ineffective) alternative to the PCL-R is bias in its purest form.

    (HINT: If the PCL-R doesn't apply to you, you aren't a sociopath. You may have other issues, or you might just have a more rational temperament and be a bit confused.)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Assuming sociopaths and psychopaths are the same thing, of course, which the use of the PCL-R in this article certainly implied.

    Just making that clear before any of you try to ride into battle on a long-dead horse.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Snowflake,

    I agree with you about the bias of the checklist, but you have to understand all of those checklist for any and every disorder is biased toward dysfunctional manifestations. Not because of some subversive agenda, maybe at least not solely, but because it's just practical. These lists are not for the public they are for the treatment community. And those that seek treatment usually have the more dysfunctional aspects of their make up than the functional, or at least are presently dealing with the consequences of the dysfunctions. Therefor focusing on the bad is just efficient for the treatment pros. No one really walks into a mental hospital and tells the doc what's been working for them.

    As far as treatment of sociopaths, I think you are correct. Since most people are empaths, most of the canned psychobabble developed today doesn't work because it was canned by empaths and relies on the ability to developed healthy nurturing, sophisticated ties and approaches to the dysfunctions in their life. Well, that well is dry with sociopaths. But that doesn't mean their behavior cannot be reformed. You just have to meet them were they are...see what they value and know it's not what empaths value. You almost have to treat a sociopath 'gone wrong' like a dog. Change the context of what they value through reward and punishment - conditioning and the redefining of opportunities and success- so that their values fit alongside society's values or at least conforms on the surface.

    (But to continue with dog symbolism...) Most psychologist see this as simply a muzzle and the sociopath's true nature will always lie dormant and emerge as soon as the muzzle comes off.

    Now THAT, sir, is the bias. Because it's not only based on ...er, nothing (maybe, fear?), but it goes against many established behavioral theories. That would mean that BF Skinner, Erikson and all the other psych Rock Stars were wrong - or rather correct for everyone else but this one subset of humanity. It perpetuates a false 'specialness' of sociopathy as well as limits behavior modification research.

    Maybe it just takes a sociopath to treat a sociopath, as it only takes an empath to treat an empath. (?)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Sarah,
    Why do you think a system of reward/punishment would work with a sociopath? This is how normals develop their moral codes, and it's ineffective with true sociopaths. The sociopath may avoid the punishment while it's a thread, and seek the reward while it's an option, but there are no lasting behavioral changes. As soon as this "therapy" ends, the punishment is no longer a threat, the reward no longer an option, so the sociopath no longer has any reason to behave.

    Since we're comparing this to animals, think of dogs versus cats. If you punish a dog, much like punishing a child, it learns that what it's doing is "wrong." By contrast, the cat generally learns "do not get caught."

    Even during therapy, the benefits offered by the therapist would have to outweigh the potential benefits of misbehavior, and the potential to get caught must be recognizably high, since the sociopath will undoubtedly be trying to make the most of his situation.

    Are you suggesting perpetual therapy, or am I not understanding where you're coming from?

    I think the only way to "reform" a sociopath is to teach him how to avoid punishment and gain reward in the real world. Teach him or her the real dangers of misbehavior, and the potential long-term benefits of adhering to most of society's standards.

    ReplyDelete
  13. And Sarah,
    What I just said is based on observation of clinically diagnosed socio/psychopaths, not "nothing" or "fear." I think the majority of what you folks post here agrees with it, since you all like to think yourselves realists, and realistically, when the punishments and rewards stop, there's no logical reason to continue to behave.

    It's a big part of the reason why the sociopath is what he is, and I think M.E. and a few others would agree with me.

    If I beat a sociopath every time he disagreed with me, but fed him every time he agreed, he would never reform. He would be too strong-willed for that, too independent. Too antisocial. He would likely start pretending to agree with me and carry on in his own way in every other aspect of his life. He would get his reward with no internal changes, since in his mind, he's just doing what he needs to do to get his prize and avoid punishment.

    Now, this doesn't apply to a Narcissist. They could be conditioned, because their condition is immensely different.

    Just food for thought.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Snowflake,

    I agree with you about the bias of the checklist, but you have to understand all of those checklist for any and every disorder is biased toward dysfunctional manifestations. Not because of some subversive agenda, maybe at least not solely, but because it's just practical. These lists are not for the public they are for the treatment community. And those that seek treatment usually have the more dysfunctional aspects of their make up than the functional, or at least are presently dealing with the consequences of the dysfunctions. Therefor focusing on the bad is just efficient for the treatment pros. No one really walks into a mental hospital and tells the doc what's been working for them.

    As far as treatment of sociopaths, I think you are correct. Since most people are empaths, most of the canned psychobabble developed today doesn't work because it was canned by empaths and relies on the ability to developed healthy nurturing, sophisticated ties and approaches to the dysfunctions in their life. Well, that well is dry with sociopaths. But that doesn't mean their behavior cannot be reformed. You just have to meet them were they are...see what they value and know it's not what empaths value. You almost have to treat a sociopath 'gone wrong' like a dog. Change the context of what they value through reward and punishment - conditioning and the redefining of opportunities and success- so that their values fit alongside society's values or at least conforms on the surface.

    (But to continue with dog symbolism...) Most psychologist see this as simply a muzzle and the sociopath's true nature will always lie dormant and emerge as soon as the muzzle comes off.

    Now THAT, sir, is the bias. Because it's not only based on ...er, nothing (maybe, fear?), but it goes against many established behavioral theories. That would mean that BF Skinner, Erikson and all the other psych Rock Stars were wrong - or rather correct for everyone else but this one subset of humanity. It perpetuates a false 'specialness' of sociopathy as well as limits behavior modification research.

    Maybe it just takes a sociopath to treat a sociopath, as it only takes an empath to treat an empath. (?)

    ReplyDelete
  15. Why did the above reply repeat my last post instead of the one I typed?????

    Anyway, this was what it was supposed to post:

    It's not perpetual therapy I'm talking about,it's operant conditioning and no species is immune to that. So therefor the conditioning does is geared not so much at the behavior change but what a sociopath interprets as reward and punishment. A redefining of a value system, much like what a cult does - but in reverse.

    And by the way, punishment is rarely a successful tactic for reconditioning. It only has it's place in certain circumstances.

    But in your scenario of beating a sociopath if he disagrees with you and rewarding him when he agrees with you (which is not a realistic or effective approach to reward/punishment theory, but anyway...) why would you be disappointed if the subject continued to agree with you, even if you could prove that it didn't match his inner world? If your objective is to condition the subject to agree with you and this is what happens...what gives? You can't blame a subject for not learning or adopting a response you didn't provide stimulus for.

    Anyway in your last paragraph you paraphrase what I said earlier as to reform is successful when a sociopath can work in the system. But you think all they need to know are the "real" dangers of misbehavior and "real" benefits of adhering to society. Scared Straight didn't even work on normal people. What you fail to comprehend is that sociopaths aren't children. They don't need some learnin' and they're all good and better. They have different attachment mechanisms, value systems and even on some level how they see reward vs punishment is skewed. What sets them apart is that they have an internal logic that governs their behavior, beliefs, actions, emotions. Your bias shows when you say it's simply a deficit of knowledge that makes a sociopath misbehave. That makes no sense, has no credibility, yet you cling to it as the one last hope. And you still are proposing a sociopath meet an empath where they are at to be 'reformed'. The first rule in therapy is meet the patient where they are at. And this is readily done for every patient but sociopaths.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sarah said:

    But in your scenario of beating a sociopath if he disagrees with you and rewarding him when he agrees with you (which is not a realistic or effective approach to reward/punishment theory, but anyway...) why would you be disappointed if the subject continued to agree with you, even if you could prove that it didn't match his inner world?

    I think Peter's point here may have been that if he told a sociopathic murderer that murder was "bad", and/or that various related actions were to be avoided, and gave them an electric shock until they claimed to agree, the sociopath would quickly "agree" with him, but continue their murderous ways any time Peter wasn't going to find out about them.

    I think that that is what would happen. But I also agree with you, Sarah, that possibly one could set up a better reward/punishment system. However, I'm not able to think how it would look. Could you give an example of an effective reward/punishment procedure for modifying an undesirable behavior in a sociopath?

    ReplyDelete
  17. doesn't matter.October 30, 2009 at 12:35 AM

    Your view of yourself, and your condition, is romanticized and inaccurate.

    ReplyDelete
  18. not all sociopaths will "learn" through a punishment/reward geared to their value system.

    tests have shown only a segment learns at all- that for example what they are doing is counterproductive in anything more than very short term.

    ReplyDelete
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  22. More people need to be on http://sociopath-community.com/

    !!! it used to be connected to this blog but was disconnected over a year ago. We need fresh blood and lots of interesting things have happened recently (relates to kiwifar.ms drama: https://archive.is/M2tXa) that will go down in the forum's history! Be sure to check out http://www.psychforums.com/antisocial-personality/ too, as some of its regulars are regulars on SC too!

    Goddamn ME refused to reconnect the blog to the forum so we SC goers will just have to spam advertisements for the forum in the comments section. ;)

    ReplyDelete

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