Notes On The Robert Hare
Psychopathy Checklist - Revised

The Robert Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised is considered by clinicians and researchers worldwide to be the 'gold standard' in assessing psychopathy. It is a complex clinical tool that is only used by experts in the field.

It is also considered to be the most accurate predictor of violent behavior that we have. Therefore, it is also being used to assess the probability of a criminal re-offending as well as determining the length of sentence and whether or not treatment is advised.


Who can use it?

The results of this test have far-reaching implications for the patient, and so its use is confined to a small group of people. These people should have degrees in medical or behavioral science, be certified to diagnose mental disorders (e.g., psychiatrists and psychologists) and be experienced in working with criminal populations. As well as this they need to be trained in the use of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised.

The results are considered sufficiently important that it is recommended that two clinicians perform the test independently and the results averaged in order to give a more reliable assessment.


Different versions

Originally having 16 items, the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised has 20 and it is divided into two broad categories. The first is about the selfish, unfeeling use of others and assesses interpersonal relationships and affect or mood. The second category is about the antisocial, deviant lifestyle and it assesses the impulsive lifestyle and antisocial behavior.

There is a Screening Version where the 20 items are scaled down to 12. This can be done in about an hour and a half and can be used by people who don't necessarily have the full training in how to use the full checklist. It is used for psychiatric evaluations as well as for personnel selection. It is considered a reliable indicator of psychopathy and it indicates when a full evaluation would be useful.

The Hare P-Scan is used as a rough screen and is used in law enforcement and other areas to detect the possible presence of psychopathy and to manage risk for criminal or violent behavior.

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised was initially developed when dealing with adult males. But because psychopathy symptoms show up in childhood as well, Robert Hare developed the Hare Psychopathy Checklist: Youth Version.

It also has 20 items and is used by experts to assess the interpersonal, behavioral and affective aspects of psychopathy in 12 to 18-year-olds. Like the full checklist, it uses an interview as well as background information (psychopaths are expert liars) to complete the assessment.

There is also an Antisocial Process Screening Device to detect such things in young populations with the aim of taking preventative measures and averting problems later. The parents fill out a form, as well as the teacher and other relevant people who have sufficient knowledge of the child.

The 20 items

The Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised consists of 20 items which are rated 0 to 2, zero meaning 'does not apply', one 'applies somewhat' and two 'applies fully'. The Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised is completed on the basis of firstly, an interview with the subject, and secondly, corroborating information such as criminal history, medical history, school history etc.

The 20 items of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised include such things as whether the individual has a big ego, lies a lot, is manipulative, lacks remorse and other emotions, takes risks, is charming but lacks any consideration for others.

Other considerations are the level of risk taking, disorders in sexual behavior, a parasitic lifestyle, a history of childhood problems such as setting fires or cruelty to others, whether there is impulsive behavior with failure to accept responsibility for themselves, involvement in different types of criminal activities as well as several marriages which don’t last long.



On the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised subjects score between 0 and 40, zero being no psychopathy symptoms and 40 being a full-blown psychopath.

Normal individuals typically score less than five and many non-psychopathic criminals (who do actually have symptoms of antisocial personality disorder) may score 20 to 22.

A score over 30 on the Hare Psychopathy Checklist - Revised is used to diagnose the presence of psychopathy.

Read more about the characteristics of a psychopath and how they use mind control to manipulate. More information here on how to recognize a psychopath, abusive relationships and how to recover from a psychopathic relationship.

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