Sunday, December 31, 2006

Presidential psychopath? Here's a test

Many in the blogosphere and a few in the mainstream media have noted that, based on his public statements and actions, there seems to be something slightly peculiar about President Bush's behavior.

Some have even speculated that President Bush may have psychopathic tendencies.

One way to judge for yourself is to use the below standard evaluation form used by psychiatrists and see how your insight into the President's public behavior squares with the "psychopath" hypothesis. (You might have to wait a couple of seconds for the form to load.)

Note that you must check off all items before the evaluation can be made.

Added comment: Poll now closed and final results posted below.

In contemporary research and clinical practice, Robert Hare's Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (PCL-R), below, is the psycho-diagnostic tool most commonly used to assess Psychopathy.

This version of PCL-R excludes items that cannot be determined from what is in the public record regarding President Bush. Those items are preselected as "Doesn't Apply" and their omission is factored into the final score. (Please note that the interactive poll functions are disabled.)


Behavioral Trait Doesn't Apply Applies Somewhat Fully Applies
Glibness/superficial charm
Grandiose sense of self-worth
Need for stimulation/proneness to boredom
Pathological lying
Lack of remorse or guilt
Shallow affect
Callous/lack of empathy
Parasitic lifestyle
Poor behavioral controls
Promiscuous sexual behavior (N/A)
Early behavioral problems
Lack of realistic, long-term goals
Failure to accept responsibility for own actions
Many short-term marital relationships (N/A)
Juvenile delinquency (N/A)
Revocation of conditional release (N/A)
Criminal versatility

FINAL RESULTS: Out of 6,595 evaluations submitted, the average score is 32.3850. Discarding both high (40) and low (1) scores produces 5,540 submissions with an average of 31.0404.

4,499 respondents out of 6,595 (68 percent) rated President Bush's public behavior as consistent with that of a psychopath by submitting evaluations with scores over 30.

A score higher than 30 supports a diagnosis of psychopathy (25 in some studies -- 5,566 [84 percent] placed Bush in this category).

US by state breakdown - all scores - (4,460 scores by identifiable state):

State Count Avg. Score
AK 17 31
AL 29 32
AR 15 35
AZ 68 32
CA 827 32
CO 141 31
CT 53 33
DC 41 30
DE 8 36
FL 140 32
GA 138 30
HI 25 34
IA 45 31
ID 13 32
IL 204 32
IN 44 31
KS 29 31
KY 18 29
LA 26 32
MA 230 31
MD 97 31
ME 17 35
MI 114 32
MN 81 30
MO 74 33

State Count Avg. Score
MS 9 35
MT 10 28
NC 100 31
ND 6 26
NE 20 35
NH 15 36
NJ 126 32
NM 18 29
NV 18 31
NY 336 32
OH 115 31
OK 25 28
OR 142 33
PA 124 32
RI 16 36
SC 27 30
SD 3 29
TN 39 34
TX 274 31
UT 26 32
VA 129 31
VT 12 33
WA 264 32
WI 95 32
WV 5 28
WY 12 27

Outside US by country breakdown - all countries with >3 submissions - (1,313 scores by identifiable country):

Country Count Avg. Score
Argentina 4 34
Australia 161 31
Austria 10 34
Belgium 17 33
Brazil 7 33
Canada 330 32
Chile 5 33
China 4 34
Czech Republic 6 28
Denmark 26 28
Finland 22 27
France 30 33
Germany 74 30
India 9 32
Ireland 22 33
Israel 5 27

Country Count Avg. Score
Italy 20 34
Japan 27 30
Luxembourg 4 34
Malaysia 4 35
Netherlands 41 34
New Zealand 36 31
Norway 19 33
Portugal 10 30
Singapore 9 29
South Africa 10 34
Spain 17 29
Sweden 17 31
Switzerland 20 31
Taiwan 6 29
Thailand 5 27
United Kingdom 330 31
Uruguay 6 32

Forensic studies of prison populations have reported average scores of around 22 on PCL-R; "normal" control populations show an average score of around 5.

Scores were adjusted for uncounted items.

Note this reflects only submitted evaluations and doesn't represent a truly random sample. Digg Stumble Upon Toolbar propeller Furl


Anonymous said...

Why am I not surprised. Perhaps if US politics generally were conducted on a mature and reflective level, instead of as a 'whose got the most money and can make the slickest ads' contest, the world would have been spared this madman.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I saw your link on HuffPo, and this was very worthwhile and interesting. Bush sure does fit the bill. Scary to think he has his finger on the button. Actually, as far as the N/A items, he was a troubled youth. He liked to blow up frogs with firecrackers. He had several arrests including DUI'S. He has also possibly had illicit affairs with men and women, and was accused of rape. Anyway, he is insane. Thanks again, and Happy New Year. Griffen

Joseph said...

FWIW, I think he's only a borderline sociopath.

Liberality said...

My husband has been known to say at every chance he gets "and this guy has his finger on the nuclear button!" This is one sick, weird, twisted prez we have here and no one seems able to control him or take him out of power. Why can't we impeach him? What's with the making nice and making due until he clears out? Aren't we insane to expect him to be nice, rational or competant?

Anonymous said...

He has failed at everything he has attempted in business, shirked his military responsibility, and has never had to accept responsibility for his actions...why change behavior now?

Paul W. said...

I am a WM, a year younger than the "Prez". I say this to qualify that I grew up in the same era.

He never did (grow up, I mean) because he never had to. Never had to develop a character beyond the smirking chimp/frat boy shallow face he puts on like those wrinkle-free suits every day. He doesn't think. He doesn't read; doesn't analyze. I was shocked when he "won" in 2000, shocked again re: 2004. I do believe that the elections were both stolen.

His shallowness and obvious lack of fitness for his task have made us a world laughingstock. He has squandered money and goodwill, and is responsible for more American deaths than Bin Laden, as he chases spectres that have nothing to do with 9/11 and everything to do with his own unresolved personality defects.

I am terribly sad when I see his face and hear that phony voice mouthing yet more platitudes, while remaining totally out of touch with reality while he drags a planet down with him.

Two points: This country is in a state of denial when it comes to the very real issue of psychological fitness for the challenge of holding high office. Remember Eagleton? How he was kicked off the ticket in '72 for admitting he once saw a shrink for depression?

Well, here's a case-in-point of the worst kind: a "President" who has so many psychological problems that he cannot function in any kind of meaningful way to lead his country.

IMO, anyone who runs for any public office higher than dogcatcher should be vetted by an impartial panel of psychological professionals as having his or her mind under control. Intelligence tests wouldn't hurt, either.

Second point: I have an office mate of my own generation who, when she started working with me a couple of years ago, was a staunch Republican who admired the Bushes. We have had many a spirited political discussion over the past two years...she finally began to see some light one day when I asked her to name one good thing that the "Prez" has program or plan that has thing that he has not completely screwed up. I mean in his life, but would be happy with "since he was 'elected' ".

She couldn't. She has since switched allegiances.

That question is a ballbuster.

I'm tired of this boy-chimp-man; bone tired. I do not understand the media's kid-glove reporting of a guy who respects no one and nothing; an automaton with a fifth-grade vocabulary and second-grade attention span who has dragged us through the mud of world ridicule for going on seven years.