Imagine what it would be like to make everyday decisions without caring how your choices affected others and to live each day with the only goal being to elevate your insatiable self-worth. When telling lies or engaging in criminal activity you experience no guilt or remorse and you have such confidence in your ability to escape punishment that you lie at will; in fact, engaging in illegal behavior, and the thrill of getting away with it, becomes a driving force in your life allowing you to express superiority over others: Welcome to the mind of the primary psychopath.
Fortunately, less than one percent of the population is diagnosed as a primary psychopath. The predominant traits that characterize this psychological disorder include lack of remorse or guilt, poor behavioral control, need for emotional stimulation, irresponsibility, shallow affect, failure to learn from experience, and involvement in anti-social behavior, including frequent lying. Primary psychopaths are usually diagnosed in their twenties, tend to be male and have a higher than average IQ. They experience a psychological burn-out by mid-life after which they are likely to be nonproductive members of society (incarcerated, drug addicts, recluses).
Statistically, an investigator is much more likely to encounter a secondary psychopath. These are individuals who possess some psychopathic traits in combination with symptoms from other personality disorders or mental illness. About fifty percent of the prison population is diagnosed as having some psychopathic traits.