Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP)

The Levenson Self-report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP) was created in 1995 by Michael R Levenson. It is a measure of psychopathic/sociopathic (interchangeable) traits. Psychopathy/sociopathy are colloquial terms for Anti-social Personality Disorder.

Originally two Subscales, 26 items

-Primary psychopathy (psychopathic emotional affect) – 16 items
-Secondary psychopathy (psychopathic lifestyle) – 10 items

More current research proposes a three-way model (three sub-scales) which can be broken up into egocentricity, callousness and anti-social.

Example items

  • Success is based on survival of the fittest; I am not concerned with the losers
  • I find that I am able to pursue one goal for a long time
  • Looking out for myself is my top priority
  • I often admire a really clever scam

Validity checks

  • Internal validity – Cronbach’s alpha: .84 (Sellbom, 2009)
  • Has been validated with prison and non-prison samples (Sellbom, 2011)
  • Good test-retest reliability
  • Good convergent reliability with other psychopathy measures (Sellbom, 2011)

Cross-cultural evidence

The LSRP was originally developed for Western individuals, specifically a North American audience. The LSRP has since been translated into Chinese, and used for Chinese populations. Internal convergent and discriminate validity remained high (Shou, Sellbom & Han, 2016)


  • Free to the public
  • Quick to administer
  • Valid across culture


  • Not well validated in a clinical setting

1.    Success is based on survival of the fittest; I am not concerned about the losers.
2.    I find myself in the same kinds of trouble‚ time after time.
3.    For me‚ what’s right is whatever I can get away with.
4.    I am often bored.
5.    In today’s world‚ I feel justified in doing anything I can get away with to succeed.
6.    I find that I am able to pursue one goal for a long time.
7.    My main purpose in life is getting as many goodies as I can.
8.    I don’t plan anything very far in advance.
9.    Making a lot of money is my most important goal.
10.I quickly lose interest in tasks I start.
11.I let others worry about higher values; my main concern is with the bottom line.                
12.Most of my problems are due to the fact that other people just don’t understand me.
13.People who are stupid enough to get ripped off usually deserve it.
14.Before I do anything‚ I carefully consider the possible consequences.  
15.Looking out for myself is my top priority.
16.I have been in a lot of shouting matches with other people.
17.I tell other people what they want to hear so that they will do what I want them to do.       
18.When I get frustrated‚ I often “let off steam” by blowing my top.
19.I would be upset if my success came at someone else’s expense.
20.Love is overrated.
21.I often admire a really clever scam.
22.I make a point of trying not to hurt others in pursuit of my goals.
23.I enjoy manipulating other people’s feelings.       
24.I feel bad if my words or actions cause someone else to feel emotional pain.           
25.Even if I were trying very hard to sell something‚ I wouldn’t lie about it.         
26.Cheating is not justified because it is unfair to others.
Primary psychopathy (psychopathic emotional affect) and secondary psychopathy (psychopathic lifestyle)
(1) strongly disagree (2) disagree (3) neither agree nor disagree (4) agree (5) strongly agree
Primary psychopathy (items: 1‚ 3‚ 5‚ 7‚ 9‚ 11‚ 13‚ 15‚ 17‚ 19‚ 21-26)) and secondary psychopathy (items: 2‚ 4‚ 6‚ 8‚ 10‚ 12‚ 14‚ 16‚ 18‚ 20)

Levenson‚ M.; Kiehl‚ K.; Fitzpatrick‚ C. (1995). “Assessing psychopathic attributes in a noninstitutionalized population”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology‚ 68‚ 151-158.

Gaughan J. D. Miller E. T.‚ Pryor L. R. (Dec 2008). “The Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale:An Examination of the Personality Traits and Disorders Associated With the LSRP Factors”. Assessment 15 (4): 450–63.

Walters‚ Glenn; Brinkley‚ Chad; Magaletta‚ Philip; Diamond‚ Pamela (2008). “Taxometric analysis of the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy scale”. Journal of Personality Assessment.

Martin Sellbom. “Elaborating on the construct validity of the Levenson self-report psychopathy scale in incarcerated and non-incarcerated samples”.