Other Psychopathic Characteristics

Not all 20 checklist items on the PCL-R fit neatly into these factors. Additional psychopathic characteristics include:

Promiscuous sexual behavior

Many marital relationships

When Looking at Psychopathic Traits and Characteristics

When looking at a person and assessing psychopathic traits and characteristics, the PCL-R scores each item as a 0, 1 or 2 for how well each checklist item fits the person. That means that if these psychopathic traits only fit an individual somewhat, they likely aren’t a psychopath even though they may share traits with one. The highest possible score on the checklist is a 40 and psychopaths score 30 or above. An average non-psychopathic criminal scores a 22 while a non-psychopathic, non-criminal scores about a 2. Essentially this indicates that many people do have several psychopathic characteristics but that doesn’t make them a psychopath – only a preponderance of severe psychopathic traits does.


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