Jon Ronson's The Psychopath Test on This American Life

Listen to Jon Ronson read from his book The Psychopath Test and find out more about the test's uses and abuses in justice systems around the world.

14/05/2012
2 minutes to read
Jon Ronson The Psychopath Test Book Cover

Listen to Jon Ronson read from his book The Psychopath Test and find out more about the test's uses and abuses in justice systems around the world.

Combining Jon's trademark humour, charm and investigative incision, The Psychopath Test is both entertaining and honest, unearthing dangerous truths and asking serious questions about how we define normality in a world where we are increasingly judged by our maddest edges.

Jon's witty and dark investigation into madness becomes all the more so when he reads it; his pauses and intonations double the horror – and humour – of his encounters, as does the soundtrack. At the end of last week, the US radio show This American Life aired an extract of Jon reading from his book as part of an entire broadcast dedicated to the psychopath test devised by Bob Hare in the 1980s.

The whole show is worth a listen, with case studies looking at the potential misuse of the test, as well as the This American Life team submitting themselves to the psychopath checklist. But if you haven't got long, then skip to ‘Act Two' to hear Jon describe his encounter with Al Dunlap, the merciless CEO of the American company, Sunbeam, who revels in firing his employees.

You can download the entire audiobook from Audible and iTunes, too.

The Psychopath Test

by Jon Ronson

Book cover for The Psychopath Test

What if society wasn't fundamentally rational, but was motivated by insanity? This thought sets Jon Ronson on an utterly compelling adventure into the world of madness.

Along the way, Jon meets psychopaths, those whose lives have been touched by madness and those whose job it is to diagnose it, including the influential psychologist who developed the Psychopath Test, from whom Jon learns the art of psychopath-spotting. A skill which seemingly reveals that madness could indeed be at the heart of everything . . .