The PCL-R (Psychopathy Checklist Revised) is the primary tool used to assess psychopathy. It covers many facets that it’s junior, the PCL-SV (Psychopathy Checklist Screening Version) does not. The PCL-R has more elements of “delinquency” including criminality and reflects the more antisocial nature of the true underlying condition. However, I am not a fan of the PCL-SV. People who are given the PCL-SV are mathematically more likely to register as psychopathic than people given the PCL-R. Less components, less criminality, it’s a given that this is true. So then why do so many jump at the bit to give out the PCL-SV? Simple. Correlation does not equal causation, but there’s all the incentive in the world to create more psychopaths when one wants them isolated.
Think about that. There is a perverse incentive to create psychopaths. European nations tend to use 25 as the PCL-R cutoff for psychopathy. Recall that the individual is scored out of 40 points on the PCL-R. The United States tends to use 30. 30 is a hard bar to clear and tends only to reflect 1% of the adult population (including those in jail). Since psychopaths are given disproportionate sentences for crimes, it is in the criminologist’s best interest to trump up the criminal with the condition of psychopathy, whether or not it is actually true for that individual. The PCL-SV is scored out of 24 points with a cutoff of 18 being typically used for a confirmation of “psychopathy.” If the PCL-SV is used, it should be clear to the reader that this would result in many of our less criminal being treated as equivalent to the hardened individuals that clear that PCL-R. Claims that the PCL-SV and PCL-R are equivalent are bullshit.
The beatings will continue. There simply are motives to churn out as many psychopaths as possible in today’s world. I don’t think it is a stretch of the imagination to believe that we are quickly approaching a state in which the antisocials are monitored, identified, and shipped off to prison the second that they offend. Either count criminality and delinquency as part of the condition or don’t. You can’t have it both ways unless your own motives are insincere.