HomeTechYou can spot a woman psychopath from one telltale sign

You can spot a woman psychopath from one telltale sign

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The telltale sign to tell if a woman is a psychopath is simpler than you think (Picture: Getty/iStockphoto)

There’s a simple way to tell if a woman is a psychopath or not, according to science. 

A study by researchers at the University of New Mexico analysed head-tracking algorithms and recordings of 213 incarcerated US women who were being interviewed by police.

The aim was to assess non-verbal behaviour and its relation to psychopathy. 

Researchers found that women who scored higher on their psychopathy assessment did not move their heads as much during the interviews.

To diagnose someone as a psychopath, they used an assessment called the Hare Psychopathy Checklist – Revised’ (PCL-R), a 20-item checklist that scores a person from one to 40. 

There is one way to tell if a women is a psychopath (Picture: Getty)

Anyone who scores 30 or more is categorised as a psychopath. 

Researchers found that the lower the level of head movement, the higher the inmates scored in the psychopathy assessment. 

The study claims to be the first linking women psychopaths and nonverbal communication. 

Researchers wrote: ‘Nonverbal behaviors (i.e., head dynamics) represent an important, yet understudied, form of communication that may enhance our ability to detect certain forms of psychopathology, including psychopathy.

‘We believe our results help identify a unique pattern of head dynamics characteristic of women scoring high on psychopathy, specifically, exhibiting more stationary head positioning during clinical interview administration.’ 



What are the traits of a psychopath?

Psychopathic traits are defined as a combination of interpersonal dysfunctions such as:

  • Manipulation
  • Pathological lying
  • Callousness
  • Lack of remorse
  • Impulsivity
  • Irresponsibility
  • Criminal versatility
  • Need for stimulation
  • Early behavioural problems

The women were told their interviews and other data would be ‘videotaped for data quality purposes and possible use in future analyses’. 

However, it should be noted this finding may not be applied to the general population, as all the participants were inmates, and that their behaviour may be the result of them being in prision.

The researchers also note that attempts at manipulation by psychopaths may resemble conning behaviour if coming from men, but flirtatious behaviour if from women. 

The study was published in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences.


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