Arvind Kejriwal calls Narendra Modi a psychopath. Here's what makes one a psychopath

Is Modi actually a psychopath?

On Tuesday, Delhi Chief Minister's office was raided by the CBI and Kejriwal immediately took to twitter and live-tweeted the raid. While he obviously 'not happy' about the raid, he went one step ahead and called Modi a psychopath in one of his tweets. Irrespective of whether calling the PM a psychopath is right or wrong, let's try to figure out whether there is any truth to Kejriwal's claim and is Modi actually a psychopath.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines a psychopath as someone who is mentally ill, who does not care about other people and who is usually dangerous or violent. According to a study, psychopathy is a combination of psychological traits such as superficial charm, impulsive behavior, manipulativeness, lack of empathy, guilt or remorse, irresponsibility and anti-social behaviour[1] [2]. It affects all aspects of a sufferer's life including his relationship with his family, friends, and colleagues.

Signs of psychopathy can be spotted early in childhood

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A study published in the journal of Abnormal Child Psychology says that traits associated with psychopathy can be spotted in early childhood too.

Signs that a person is a psychopath--

  • Another study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, yawning can help one identify a psychopath. We know that yawning is contagious and if you see someone yawning, you tend to yawn too. But, the findings of the study suggest that selfish and manipulative people (signs of psychopathy) do not respond to yawning like other people. Yawning after seeing someone yawn is a sign of empathy and bonding and since psychopaths lack empathy and do not bond with someone easily, they are more likely to not react.
  • A study published in the journal Chemosensory Perception reported says that psychopaths have a poor processing in the brain's frontal part which makes them less sensitive to smell.
  • Another study points out psychopaths are also more likely to be criminals and they consume an astonishingly disproportionate amount of criminal justice resources [2]. The study also says that approximately 93% of adult male psychopaths in the US are in prison, jail, parole or on probation.

These are just a few cues that may or may not identify psychopaths, but clinically there are tests used to diagnose this disorder. One of the most common tests is the Psychopathy Checklist designed by renowned psychologist Robert D Hare and it enlists a21 traits most commonly seen in a psychopath. They are-

  • Glib and superficial charm
  • Grandiose sense of self-worth
  • Pathological lying
  • Cunning and manipulative
  • Lack of remorse or guilt
  • Shallow affect emotional reactions are short-lived
  • Callousness and lack of empathy
  • Failure to accept responsibility
  • Need for stimulation, prone to boredom. Read about the rest of them here.

It is important to note that a psychopath may not exhibit all these traits and similarly exhibiting a few of these traits does not make one a psychopath.


1. BLONIGEN DM, HICKS BM, KRUEGER RF, PATRICK CJ, IACONO WG. Psychopathic personality traits: heritability and genetic overlap with internalizing and externalizing psychopathology. Psychological medicine. 2005;35(5):637-648. doi:10.1017/S0033291704004180.


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