According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a psychopath is a person with antisocial personality disorder who can’t understand others’ feelings.
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Psychopaths are known to break rules or make impulsive decisions that hurt others without feeling guilt over the harm they’ve caused, which makes them excellent villains throughout popular culture. It’s safe to say people are pretty fascinated by them.
TikTok user @Sophia.Boi shared what she claimed to be a test that can tell you if you have “psychopathic tendencies.” She included a disclaimer that she is not a medical professional and this is not an official diagnosis, of course.
The test is simple and only involves one question.
First, close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through a creepy forest as your heart pounds and you hear sounds surrounding you.
Then, as @Sophia.Boi explained, imagine that you suddenly “feel breathing behind you and you whirl around in terror” to see what it is.
Answers may vary — maybe you saw a wild animal, a pale person of the opposite sex, a shadowy figure, a dog, or nothing at all, the TikTok user suggested.
In a follow-up video, she revealed that people who possess psychopathic tendencies supposedly “often say dog.”
“The dog answer could be indicative of a masking behavior. Dogs are fluffy and non-threatening,” she said. “Maybe this is a psychopath trying to prompt in the mind of the interviewer this manipulative, self-serving answer, that they see the interviewer as a passive object to be manipulated.”
One commenter familiar with the test chimed in.
“The answer is dog because most people turn around to their fears, whereas a person who sees a dog is seeing something they can control,” they wrote.
“Dogs can sense if a person is genuine, so they are very threatened by them,” another said.
“I’m terrified,” a third wrote.
So, can you really tell if someone is a psychopath with just one question?
Psychopathy is a complex illness that requires a diagnosis from a professional, and as @Sophia.Boi said, she is not that — nor is the person who came up with this test.
Does it reveal things about your true nature, though? Sure. It may reveal what you’re afraid of, or how you handle panic. Just, as usual, try to avoid diagnosing yourself on the internet.
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If you liked this story, check out this article on a more accurate four-question personality test.
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