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The Psychopath Test - Jon Ronson

The Psychopath Test

By Jon Ronson

  • Release Date: 2011-05-12
  • Genre: Social Science
Score: 4
From 1,260 Ratings


In this madcap journey, a bestselling journalist investigates psychopaths and the industry of doctors, scientists, and everyone else who studies them.

The Psychopath Test is a fascinating journey through the minds of madness. Jon Ronson's exploration of a potential hoax being played on the world's top neurologists takes him, unexpectedly, into the heart of the madness industry. An influential psychologist who is convinced that many important CEOs and politicians are, in fact, psychopaths teaches Ronson how to spot these high-flying individuals by looking out for little telltale verbal and nonverbal clues. And so Ronson, armed with his new psychopath-spotting abilities, enters the corridors of power. He spends time with a death-squad leader institutionalized for mortgage fraud in Coxsackie, New York; a legendary CEO whose psychopathy has been speculated about in the press; and a patient in an asylum for the criminally insane who insists he's sane and certainly not a psychopath.

Ronson not only solves the mystery of the hoax but also discovers, disturbingly, that sometimes the personalities at the helm of the madness industry are, with their drives and obsessions, as mad in their own way as those they study. And that relatively ordinary people are, more and more, defined by their maddest edges.


  • A fantastic exploration of psych society

    By Cookie_Austin
    Ronson's ability to remain unbiased throughout this book is uncanny. His mission to lay the facts bare, whether citing sources for the overprescription of psych drugs to children. Or exploring the selection of guests for a reality tv show. He remains true, never taking a side. I cannot wait to see what he does next.
  • Fascinating read!

    By Loripalooza
    Enlightening, entertaining, educational and thought provoking.
  • The psychopath test

    By Gigi Vaz
    Easy read and interesting.... Love the fact that is a true story
  • Fun and playful book on an extreme topic

    By Mr Machdes
    A clever and ironic journey into the world of psychopathy and the doctors who treat them. Like his other books, this one is a wonderful and mysterious story, all based on interviews and research with interesting people. I find his style of writing even more enjoyable than his Canadian alter ego, Malcolm Gladwell. If you like clever stories, about eccentric people you will love this book.
  • Fun read

    By ineedareed
    I really enjoyed the twists and turns this book presented. I am left with some questions to ponder about sanity. This is an excellent read.
  • Could not put down!

    By Keeping it real 10000
    Absolutely fascinating read...
  • Hilarious anecdotes

    By G@mt
    I honestly did not know that this literary work is supposed to be non-fiction until a book club member said she was googling some of the characters and mentioned it as such. I laughed all of the way through it. If you are looking for an objective scientific research study in examination of Bob Hare's Psychopath Test Checklist as a tool for criminal profiling, you won't find that here. You will find a good read that will make you question your neighbors and your spouse, even yourself! It was vague in that it has no plot and there were a few places of redundant paragraphs. Sometimes it lacked cohesiveness. I would still recommend it for the laughs and the bright read.
  • Not his best book?!

    By SweetNessy
    It is my understanding in reading previous reviews of his work, that this is not the author's best work. Now I am compelled to begin reading his other works to find out which is better than this one. This is an excellent book. It is a lively road-trip type yarn that will have you reading in open mouthed disbelief that such people exist outside of a Jerry Springer studio. That is the point of the book, that there is a way to identify those that are the right kind of crazy. I want to read his six-star book immediately.
  • Riveting

    By lb424
    Fantastically riveting, eye opening and hard to put down!
  • Random, Incoherent, Rambling

    By Anothernicknameforme
    This book was painful to read, there were maybe twenty pages I enjoyed. It is more a story of a mans journey to document how he writes a book than an interesting, informative read.