Do Matchmaking Sites Identify Psychopaths? - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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Pat Dines

Successful psychopaths, the most dangerous kind, like Bernie Madoff, Joseph Stalin, or the thousands of CEO’s who ruthlessly manage some of our corporations, are difficult to identify because they are smart and pretend to be like normal people-- with feelings. But, they have none. However, they learn to pretend to have feelings, just like a color blind person who cannot tell red from green knows that the red light which means “don’t go” is the top light at a traffic signal. Psychopaths, also called sociopaths as well as people with anti-social behaviors are all the same; they all have a lack of a conscience--what we call right and wrong. Conscience is what makes us human--to have a soul and to care about other humans, the environment, and even social justice. According to many different sources, 4% of the population don't share these human values and we call them psychopaths. In other words, about one in 25 people you meet is a psychopath/sociopath.

On, we can screen for what is called anti-social behavior which would also catch sociopaths and psychopaths if they were honest with their answers. But, they are not. The raison d’etre of a psychopath is deceit and manipulation to achieve their own ends, and since we cannot administer Sodium Pentothal (a truth serum) to people who come on our sites to take a test, it’s hardly likely that we will ever catch a psychopath, unless they want to be caught. Unsuccessful psychopaths end up in jail because they goofed or got too greedy, like Madoff. Successful psychopaths like the 400 serial killers still loose in the US, or the heads of huge medical corporations who defrauded the US government of billions and then run for and win political offices are still out there and it’s unlikely we will ever catch them because they know the game.

On, we check for 10 personality disorders. Most of these disorders are garden varieties of greater problems. For example, NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and Anti-social Personality Disorder are subsets of Sociopathy or Psychopathy. The one advantage we have on is that most respondents are honest with their answers because they do not know we are checking for these disorders. People who have a Schizotypal, Histrionic, Obsessive Compulsive, or Histrionic Personality Disorder are probably going to be honest in their responses because as far as they are concerned, they are alright and they have nothing to hide. But, a successful psychopath has something to hide and is a cagey survivor who knows how to avoid traps. Lying is second nature to a psychopath and they would have no problems lying on our tests.

Psychopathy is genetically inherited. About 73,000 years ago, a volcano in Sumatra exploded and created a nuclear winter that experts believe lasted 20 years. According to geneticists, only a few thousand humans survived this bottleneck in history based on Y-Chromosome and Mitochondria studies. The question we must ask ourselves is “who survived?” God fearing altruistic men and women, or killers who would have no scruples about eating you when the food supply ran out? Mother Nature works in ways that we do not always like. In our genes are personality characteristics that we would rather suppress in modern societies. In Japan and China, sociopathy is four times less prevalent than in the US. I suspect that over many generations, these societies had their way of reducing the number of people who did not agree with central authority. However, in the US, individualism is a desired trait, and psychopaths are the individualists to the nth degree, so it makes sense that we as a society have contributed to our larger prevalence of psychopaths. In other words, if you want to date fewer psychopaths, move to Japan or China.

If you want the complete skinny on psychopathy, go to

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