Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Psychopath Test (Listening)

What is a psychopath?

Some people use the word "psychopath" to describe any person who behaves in a crazy or unbalanced way. In actuality, being a psychopath is much more serious. People with "clinical psychopathy" are human beings who lack important human emotions. They do not experience empathy, love, or meaningful connections with other people. 

In the following radio programme, you can hear three stories related to psychopaths. In the first section, the programme host describes what a psychopath is, tells about the radio staff's experience while taking "The Psychopath Test," and tells the story of a criminal who was evaluated with this test.

The second section discusses a successful business man who has scored highly on the Psychopath Test, and the third part gives the results of the staff members' test results. There is no reason to listen past minute 50:30.

It's quite long, but very interesting! Could you be a psychopath??

Before listening, make sure that you understand all of the following vocabulary:

rebellious      defendant      parole      delinquent

threaten        incident      mentor       reform

impulsive       ambivalent     ferocious    manipulative

amygdala        inaudible     formulate     parasitic

1. Generally speaking, what is the Psychopath Test used for?

2. What crimes did Robert Dixon commit? What crime was he imprisoned for at the time of the story?

3. Who invented the Psychopath Test? How does he feel when he talks about Psychopaths?

4. What are some problems with the Psychopath Test? (There are at least 5!)

5. Do you believe that Robert Dixon has been reformed? Do you think prison is a good place to reform criminals?

6. What is the connection between psychopaths and predatory animals?

7. Which typical characteristics of psychopaths does Al Dunlap have? Do you believe they have made him successful?

8. Do you think it's a good idea to categorize people's mental health? What are some advantages and drawbacks of this?

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