I caught only the last half-hour of Channel 4's Psychopath Night a little while ago, but they screened it again on More 4 two nights back, and I was able to see the bits I had missed on the first occasion. If you didn't see it at all, I can tell you that it was a two-hour examination of what kind of persons psychopaths are, illustrated by film and real-life examples.
Contrary to what most might suppose, psychopaths are not at all rare, and far from being only brutal killers with empty minds, may be intelligent people of great talent, likely to be drawn to certain high-grade occupations in which they can wield great power and influence.
But whether brute or banker, they all share some identifying characteristics. Such as regarding themselves as the most important person around, having a sense of complete infallibility, an inability to be shocked, and a tendency to regard other people simply as positive or negative assets in whatever enterprise they pursue, and not as persons with feelings to take into account. A psychopath, however charming, is calculating and manipulative. A psychpath could be the best kind of person to have around if you need someone along who has a cool head and a fearless approach to danger. Or someone who will without emotion and without guilt carry out an order or instruction, regardless of its effect on other people's wellbeing. Psychopaths are survivors and extremely well focussed on whatever their task is. But they are also self-centred, incapable of accepting fault or blame, and unable to empathise with anyone else's position.
Or so I understood the unfolding message of the programme.
There was also an online test one could take, to show where on the spectrum of pychopathy one might be: a score of 0 indicating a self-sacrificing saint, and a score of 100 indicating someone who is the absolute centre of their universe, and completely uncaring about the welfare of others.
I took this test, and you will be pleased to know that I scored only 24, indicating someone who does think of other people and can empathise with them. Well, that's a relief!