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The Online Psychopathy Checklist
This 175-item checklist developed by a psychologist can help identify psychopaths who "use cyberspace to troll, victimize, control and manipulate" others.
A New York-based psychologist, Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D, has developed an incredible checklist of traits and tactics which can help assess if another online user may be an online psychopath based on his years of hands on work in the field of cyberpsychology.
Online Psychopaths [aka, iPredopaths] is an Information Age criminology and human consciousness concept replacing classic sociopathy and psychopathy constructs. iPredopathy is a characterological disorder describing online users who skillfully use cyberspace to troll, victimize, control and manipulate other online users. Driven by grandiosity, a need for power or sexual perversion, they experience minimal to no remorse or guilt. Many iPredopaths do not break the law and live unscathed by law enforcement, fraternal organizations, religious institutions and the legal system.
He has further defined these actors:
The theoretical triad of Information Age dark side of human consciousness is iPredator, iPredopath and Doctus iPredopath.
All bolding is mine:
iPredopathy is a characterological personality disorder describing any male or female who uses Information and Communications Technology [ICT] to engage in criminal, deviant, deceptive or cyberstalking themed behaviors for violent, criminal, deviant and deceptive offline interactions. Unlike many iPredators, iPredopaths do not experience guilt, remorse, shame or fear before, during or after their cyber-attacks.
Although all iPredopaths meet criteria for iPredator, most iPredators are not iPredopaths.
To meet criteria for iPredator and iPredopath, online users must meet the three criteria of iPredator as follows: A self-awareness of causing harm to others, directly or indirectly, using ICT; the usage of ICT to obtain, tamper with, exchange and deliver harmful information; a general understanding of Cyberstealth used to engage in criminal or deviant activities or to profile, identify, locate, stalk and engage a target.
Doctus iPredopath’s are the most elusive, ICT savvy, and criminally versatile within the Online Psychopath and iPredopath Group.
iPredopath and Doctus iPredopath share similar traits, modus operandi and developmental histories to classic psychopaths and sociopaths, but differ significantly in their preferred arenas for hunting targets and manipulating their support system.
Online Psychopaths [aka, iPredopath & Doctus iPredopath] are more likely to engage in perceptual fantasy and dissociative experiences influenced by their habitual use of ICT.
Given the “veil of anonymity” afforded to all online users in cyberspace, online psychopaths seek out other online users who will conform and validate their perceptual distortions and bizarre fantasies.
Most, if not all, of an online psychopath’s feelings of grandiosity and narcissism are fueled by ICT.
Although most online psychopaths do not engage in violence and sexual perversion, for those who do, ICT and social networking sites are the prime tools and arenas used to troll, locate, and ensure physical contact.
Unlike Doctus iPredopaths, iPredopaths are dependent upon Information and Communications Technology to manipulate, deceive and victimize others.
Just as classic psychopaths, Online Psychopaths & iPredopaths vary in dexterity, typologies, existence of mental illness, intelligence and quantity of victims.
I found this work to be incredibly helpful and closely aligned to the research I am currently conducting, and as Dr. Nuccitelli has helpfully placed this material in the public domain (thank you!), I am sharing selected excerpts here for my community, many of whom could desperately use this information to identify, avoid, and disengage from such individuals and associated communities.
Those who recognize themselves in this checklist could use this information to obtain mental health care for themselves.
The checklist is broken down into the seven intrapersonal and interpersonal categories below.
The response to each statement can be "Yes", “No” or “Does Not Apply”.
Contemptuousness for empathy as described by online peers and associates.
Exhibits a pattern of shallow emotions when interacting with online users.
Experiences little to no guilt from the harm they cause online users.
Feels invincible and is undeterred by online obstacles.
Has deep seated rage exhibited online that is intentional and unintentional.
In both online and offline environments, is remorseless, shameless and guiltless.
Covertly hostile towards online peers, coworkers and acquaintances.
Tends to be emotionally callous viewing other online users in an insensitive, indifferent or unsympathetic manner.
Depending on level of interpersonal dexterity, tends to have intermittent to frequent online verbal outbursts.
Tends to be remorseless feeling little contrition, regret and repentance from online assaults, cyber-attacks and online victimization.
Although comfortable in dispensing online criticism, quickly becomes
uncomfortable and angry if he/she is criticized by online users.
Easily offended and reacts aggressively online.
Exhibits a “Jekyll and Hyde” personality that is seen by online users.
Feels immune by the consequences of his/her own online actions.
Feigns emotion in most online forums.
Prone to suddenly feeling bored in online environments.
Rarely admits or discloses feeling depressed in online social sites.
Tends to quickly become vicious if confronted by online peers and loved ones.
Experiences minimal fear engaging in offline violence and online cybercrime,
cyber terrorism, online sexual predation or cyberstalking.
Feels aroused when communicating explicit details of obscene, violent and
graphic events in online environments.
Remorse only experienced when control and manipulation of an online user has been lost.
Although a rare occurrence, becomes emotional or tearful, in online environments, which is rooted in frustration.
In online environments, tends to be highly contradictory and habitually reports
II. Behavioral/Online Actions
Experiences autonomic arousal from viewing graphic, violent or sexually
perverse online information.
Has a history of poor employment behavior that is either communicated to others online or evidenced by online employment task ineptitude.
A pediatric and recent adult history of behaving irresponsibly online.
Actual ulterior motives are almost always cloaked in online social environments.
Always engages in online conning for profit using social media and other forms of online social forums.
Behaves in an impulsive manner clear to other online users.
Compulsively engages in repeated online deceptive, assaultive, deviant, illegal
and immoral acts.
Engages in habitual online conning to experience pleasure, power and control.
Exhibits online entrepreneurial versatility that may or may not be legal.
Has poor behavioral control that may or may not be evidenced online.
If asocial and having minimal interactions with others in social networking sites, their avoidant behaviors are not due to mental illness.
In addition to habitual offline residence changes, often changes their social
media profiles, website themes and content they issue online.
Likely to be animal abuse perpetrators offline, they often broadcast their animal abuse in images and videos that are disseminated online.
May or may not have past or present legal entanglements caused by illegal
Not always, but often has a history of cybercriminal versatility that they may or
may not brag about in online environments.
Online allies, peers, family members and cyber-attack accomplices often
become their victims.
Tend to be avid gamblers engaging in online gambling, offline gambling and
competitive online gaming.
Tends to have a history of failed financial obligations that are evidenced in both
online and offline environments.
In both online and offline environments, frequently engages in the use of aliases.
Habitually uses cruel, repressive and fear inducing online methods to control
If online victimization is difficult due to geographic location, will target the
victim’s friends, family members and coworkers online.
Tends to exhibit a habitual pattern of personal safety recklessness and self-destructiveness.
May or may not need actual physical contact with their online victims. If physical contact with their victim is sought, ICT and social networking are the primary tools they use to ensure an offline meeting.
If homicide or physical torture is the modus operandi, will frequent online classified ad websites, adult sex sites, fetish sites and online dating sites.
Will often only frequent informational websites and blogs that validates his/her fantasies and perversions.
Seeks out online peer validation, interest and acceptance to justify their violent, abusive and perverse fantasies.
Obsessively engages in online reputation management [ORM].
Attempts to instill guilt in online users if the user protests about doing something that he/she wants the target online user to do.
Easily provoked to violence or online direct or indirect threats of physical harm.
Fascinated by notable psychopaths and infamous criminals evidenced by obtaining, disseminating and exchanging online information with others who experience the same intrigue.
Has deficits in affective and interpersonal online functioning.
In online chatrooms, forums and message boards, frequently changes group rules or cajoles moderators to change the rules to suit his/her nefarious plans.
Often rebellious to online rules and social site guidelines and policies.
Takes credit for other online users work and highly likely to engage in online plagiarism.
Uses coercion and threats to manipulate online users into indiscriminate sexual relationships that may or may not involve physical contact.
Described by online users in online social forums as compulsively lecturing others until agreed with by respondents.
Exhibits obsessive traits of orderliness and neatness with his/her online profiles and website design.
Habitually creates online conflict and distrust with online friends and loved ones.
Habitually engages in internet troll behaviors.
In online social forums, may or may not disclose his/her neurotic fascination with fire, weapons, sexual perversions and mood/mind altering substance.
In online social forums, often disseminates information that is rude, vulgar and obscene.
In online/offline environments, shows an absence of anxiety or other fear driven neurotic states.
In online/offline environments, exhibits an absence of delusional thinking and other signs of thought disordered psychopathology.
Not driven by cyber safety purposes, regularly removes online information that illustrates sentimental connections with online users.
Often gives vague answers in online forums. Seldom expresses gratitude and appreciation to online users.
Uses threats and intimidations to keep other online users close.
Targets the ignorance of online users and creates an impression of superiority.
Habitually uses online deception as a tactic to find out the truth.
III. Cognitive/Thinking Processes
Central to their perceptually distorted grandiose online activities, often fantasizes about becoming a world leader.
Habitually engages in offline and online fantasies that are divine entity themed.
Has thoughts of extreme grandiosity that typically includes information technology in the theme.
Ranging from moderate to obsessive, thinks and fantasizes about securing willing online victims.
Thinks that he/she is pervasively entitled that is described by online users as extreme.
Thoughts tend to be short sighted with a failure to plan that is evidenced in at least one online social environment.
Has frequent bizarre, violent and/or sexually perverse thoughts and fantasies that are not caused by psychiatric illness.
Exhibits an inability to understand irony expressed by online users.
Has a selective memory evidenced by quickly recalling other online user mistakes but forgetting his/her own.
Adulterates the ethical principles of online users to serve his/her own interests.
Concurrent with grandiosity, exhibits a grossly inflated view of his/her abilities and self-worth in online environments.
Frequently changes his/her opinion, behavior and philosophical beliefs depending on the online user or forum he/she is attempting to manipulate.
Habitually disputes the qualities, abilities and personalities of other online users.
Likely to have an average to above average intelligence described by offline and online peers.
Often uses logical argument tactics to camouflage his/her online claims.
Rarely recalls offline/online emotional outbursts or denies having them.
Unable to accept responsibility for his/her inappropriate online actions.
IV. Developmental History
Intentional or unintentionally, they habitually alter their personal history in online environments.
Juvenile delinquency in online environments, or if an adult, was involved in juvenile delinquency rehabilitation.
Likely to have experienced prior pediatric brain damage that may or may not be evidenced by his/her online communications.
Not always, but often has a developmental history that includes pediatric sexual acting out in offline and online environments.
Not always, but often has a developmental history that includes pediatric academic and behavioral in offline and online environments.
Not always, but often has a developmental history that includes pediatric sexual abuse in offline and online environments [perpetrator, victim or both].
As a child, known genetic or neurodevelopmental factors making him/her notably callous online.
As a child, had low behavioral inhibition leading to poor socialization and evident in online environments.
Has disclosed online or there is offline evidence of a pre-pubescent history of fire-setting.
Exhibits online or offline neuropsychological deficits.
Has disclosed online or proven offline a history of inconsistent parental discipline.
Has disclosed online or proven offline a history of parental rejection.
Has disclosed online or proven offline violations of conditional release with two or more escapes from security or breaches of probation.
No history of actual suicide attempts or online suicidal threats.
V. Interpersonal/Described by Online Users
Has an incapacity for love that may or may not be disclosed online.
Defined by online users as being highly secretive with the information they share online.
Depending on their level of interpersonal dexterity, their superficial charm may or may not be initially recognizable.
Described as being glib in online communications meaning the respondent feels they are uncharacteristically smooth and carefree with overtones of insincerity.
Described by both offline and online peers as being unreliable in all affairs that do not have immediate personal benefits.
In at least one online social environment, defined as being an expert in exploitation.
Rationalizes the emotional pain that he/she has inflicted upon other online users.
Described by online users as being an extreme narcissist and at the center of his/her own universe.
Described by online users as being authoritarian and frequently tyrannical.
Described by online users as being charismatic, captivating and engaging in at least one online social environment.
Described by online users as being charming with a pleasant personality and easy to chat with in at least one online social environment.
Described by online users as being covertly and overtly domineering.
Described by online users as being unreliable with habitual hollow promises.
Despotic, authoritarian and controlling towards online victims, potential targets and loved ones.
Difficulty sustaining offline and online attachments.
Engages in habitual promiscuity, online or offline, by frequenting online dating and adult sex sites.
Exhibits online and offline peer safety recklessness by manipulating others to engage in risky online activities.
Extremely convincing with online users when seeking out accomplices for his/her malevolent or deceptive plans.
Having a habitual pattern of offline infidelity, tends to frequent online dating and sex sites seeking intimate partnerships.
Highly manipulative that is evident in almost all online environments.
If an online victim has been secured, habitually manipulates the victim using love/hate cycles.
In addition to online allies and accomplices, offline peers and family members become victims using ICT.
In most online relationships, he/she exhibits porous personal boundaries.
Kindness toward online users is always feigned and usually part of a deceptive strategy.
Pathologically lies in both offline and online environments.
Tends to be humiliation driven evidenced in at least one online environment.
Tends to have a parasitic lifestyle seeking online users to manage their life responsibilities.
Unable to recognize the emotions and needs of other online users and exhibits a lack of empathy.
Unmoved by and oblivious to human suffering evident in other online users.
Demands absolute loyalty from online users and views constructive criticism as a personal assault.
Described by online users as being arrogant.
Exhibits an absence of moral consideration and connection with online users.
Externalizes blame for his/her problems online and often claims that he/she was “set up”.
Often manipulates online users to cyberbully, cyberstalk or cyber harass targeted online users.
Twists and distorts offline facts presented by online users to mimic his/her online image.
Described by online users as a “human paradox” by being logical and coherent, while at same time, exhibiting attitudes and behaviors that are opposite.
Described by online users as being easily prone to boredom.
Described by online users as being interpersonally cold despite a presentation of gregariousness and superficial warmth.
Evidenced by online peer interactions, exhibits poise, verbal facility and poise.
Evidenced by online peer interactions, exhibits poor judgment and fails to learn from his/her online experience.
Has little interest in making effort to comfort online users unless manipulating them.
Often waits to the last minute to instigate online users into engaging in risky online activities.
Threatens in underhanded ways or engage in online extortion or sextortion.
VI. Online Appearance/Persona
Disseminates and exchanges images and videos themed as having a conventional appearance.
If engaged in illegal online activities, habitually changes their online image, profile pics and videos to avoid identification and prosecution.
May or may not have a commanding physical presence in online vlogs, webchats or video clips.
Denies being dysfunctional in online environments unless part of deceptive strategy.
Believes the most appropriate consequence for online user indiscretions is physical punishment or emotional abuse.
Guided by “ends justify the means” in most online relationships.
If an online victim has been secured, often fantasizes about his/her enslavement.
If an online victim has not been secured, looks for online indications of hopelessness and helplessness leading to victim choosing.
If deemed insignificant, easily becomes enraged, which is communicated in online environments.
In addition to viewing online users as objects, views them as targets “ripe for picking”.
In at least one online environment, does not recognize the rights of others and viewed as non-existent.
Interprets all distressed online users as victimization opportunities.
Interprets all self-serving behaviors as permissible in all online environments.
Interprets an online user’s distress as weakness causing them to feel contempt towards the online user.
Interprets most online user communications with a sense of paranoia.
Life hopes, dreams and plans are often unrealistic and rooted in grandiose visions of self, which is communicated online.
Moderate to severe obsessive-compulsive needs for online stimulation.
Perceives online users, not as human, but objects to be subjugated and defamed.
Suffer internet abuse and internet dependence at much higher rates than online users who are not reliant upon ICT to properly function in day-to-day functioning.
Expects total online victim submission, but at the same time, seek acceptance and admiration for his/her tyrannical tactics.
Highly reliant upon online activities to confirm and validate their grandiose plans and fantasies.
Views the simple act of publishing their fantasies and grandiose plans online means they are real and achievable, even without online user confirmations.
Views certain online information as credible as opposed to initially first being skeptical until validated.
Engages in the defense mechanism of projection online by accusing others of faults and weaknesses that are his/her own.
Exhibits a distorted sense of reality confirmed by online users.
Habitually exhibits a minimal fear threshold when engaging in risky online activities.
Habitually seeks out novel and exciting online information and relationships.
In addition to being unable to accept responsibility or blame for his/her online actions, he/she is described as in denial by online users.
Unable or unwilling to accept personal responsibility for their online actions.
Views online authority with disdain.
Believes he/she is exempt from digital citizenship and netiquette in online environments.
Interprets offline/online communications in “black or white”.
Scoring the Checklist
Responding “Yes” to 20 or more items, with reasonable certainty, suggests the online user being evaluated is a psychopath or suffering from a mental illness or an Axis II personality disorder.
“All online users have access to the veil of anonymity that cyberspace and electronic devices offer. Online psychopaths wear this veil like a full-length gown.” –Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Thank you for reading!