Now that I notice he lifted these words from the Scientific American article he linked, I guess I can only assume that he didn't know that he was misinforming people. I would prefer that a distinction be made between the characteristics necessary to be a psychopath and the ones that commonly occur in psychopaths, so as to make a better impression of psychopaths in the mind of the reader.
I have two very challenging children, one of whom is not empathetic, tends towards narcissism and so on. Like you, he stays out of trouble by making judicious choices concerning the longer range consequences of his actions which I spent a lot of time educating him about (in other words, I did not appeal to some sense of morally "right" behavior, which he lacks, instead I focused on developing a perspective of enlightened self-interest). He shares many traits with his father, my ex husband, whom I found quite difficult to deal with. But I get along extremely well with my oldest son. He was raised very differently from his father. He has a very similar nature to his father but the nurture part varied considerably and the difference in outcome has been substantial.
EDIT: Which is to say I agree with a point I feel you are trying to make that having X trait in no way guarantees Y outcome. Most people who know him superficially describe my oldest son as "very polite and respectful" or "a very nice young man". Others who have had to deal with him more than just superficially tend to find him pretty crazy-making.
Sociopathy is a loosely-defined term that may be used to refer to:
Antisocial personality disorder,
Dissocial personality disorder
Hare writes that the difference between sociopathy and psychopathy may "reflect the user's views on the origins and determinates of the disorder."
Edit: I see, thanks.
My remarks are intended to be a helpful suggestion, based on something that has worked for me. That's it.
Edit: No problem.
The second indicator that you are not a psychopath is that you disagree with Robert Lamb's description of psychopathy, which are not insults -- they are the qualifying traits of a psychopath.
My impression of the (recent) literature on the matter was that absence of empathy, in addition to the criteria for ASPD, is necessary and sufficient for one to be considered a psychopath. One could easily have both of these things without also being unreliable, impulsive, or dishonest.
And on your second point, your impression is incorrect. These are qualifying traits of ASPD (formerly "psychopathy").
Assuming you don't, then if the terms listed don't fit you, you're not psycopathic because that term is defined to mean 'one who displays those traits'. Disagreeing with that is as meaningless as saying that not all brunettes have brown hair.
I'm honest because I believe a reputation for honesty can be of greater value to me than anything I can con people out of, and because I haven't any experience at conning people. I am about as dependable as I am honest. I am less impulsive than most people I know, and I don't do much of anything "for no reason." I have no problem owning my actions because I prefer to be honest. Regarding my interactions with others, I would say I'm "frank and earnest," but "casual and callous" works too.
* Both psychopaths and people Asperger's might make comments that hurt other people. Those with Asperger's will do it un-intentionally, they just don't understand all the rules of social interaction and they won't even know they would be hurting others. Psychopaths will often say things in order to hurt other. So the difference is that they will knowingly hurt others while those with Asperger's won't.
* Psychopaths are better at learning and mimicking normal emotional responses. Some of them can even be "too" good and sometimes you can tell by them trying too hard. Those with Asperger's do that too but they are less successful
* A psychopath will easily switch on an off their "social" mode. Someone with Asperger's might not have the same level of control. A psychopath does not cultivate relationships with others because they deem themselves to be too good and superior and see it as a useless waste of time. But they could if they wanted to -- if it benefits them. You can spot these cases when someone is very friendly with their superior (the boss) but immediately switch and act a total dick for now reason at all to their peers or their inferiors.
* A person with Asperger's can be introspective. Can conduct self-analysis. They can have a low self-esteem and can be prone to depression. A psychopath will usually never see anything wrong with themselves.
* A psychopath will enjoy see others suffer for no reason at all. They would go out of their ways to hurt someone just to enjoy the effects.
I do not have concrete studies to back my claim, but most movers and shakers in the third world are rather Machiavellianistic. They may not create anything of value or change they world, but most gate keepers certainly fit the description. So do most non-tech entrepreneurs.
I am not sure about the first world though, I have only experienced it inside the tech bubble.
Also, I think that having a fine-tuned sense of how your actions will affect other's opinions of you, is to some extent what empathy really is.
>>I am less impulsive than most people I know
Isn't part of being a psychopath to lack foresight? To lack fear of punishment?
'WildUtah' has a point -- you are on the Aspberger scale, or something.
First, you're probably not one, just as a person who occasionally plays video games till 3:00 is not an "insomniac", a person who double-checks locked doors is not "paranoid", a high-strung, finicky person is not "OCD", and a mild rush of anxiety caused by an unpleasant situation is not a "panic attack".
Why do I say this? Because a real psychopath would never find it useful to discuss his psychopathy. Psychopaths don't overshare, because they don't really ever share (although they may feign emotions and share those, if it suits them). It doesn't benefit them to self-identify as psychopaths.
Your claimed lack of empathy is normal emotional awkwardness, not psychopathy. Welcome to HN.
Interestingly, once it becomes common knowledge that if one describes themselves as a psychopath they couldn't possibly be a psychopath, it would be beneficial for the psychopaths to just identify themselves as a psychopaths because in the eyes of others will instantly be labeled as "definitely not psychopathic". That would perhaps serve as an extra shield behind which they can hide their psychopathy.
Actually, there's some value in telling people that narrow-minded prescriptive grammars are "correct" - that encourages people to write the same way. Encouraging people to think of every little deviation as a disorder can do much more harm than good.
Queue an onslaught of self-diagnosed "Hare psychopaths" who will try to act out the role.
Yes, there are probably a few real psychopaths out there in the extremes. But that's no reason to encourage people with a mild case of "Asshole Personality Disorder" to start telling themselves they are merciless machines who are capable of anything.
betrayal, unreasonable scrutiny, and the ability to fire people is not what the world needs. People who think so are often incredible softies intrigued by their own cruelty. There are better alternative approaches that involve more than predator instinct and egomania.
There is one job at which psychopaths are, in all aspects, better performers (more effective, less likely to quit) than anyone else: torturing-- an act that produces no value (as an interrogation technique, it's nearly useless) and something that people shouldn't be doing in the first place.
And also sales. But I guess that's just a subset of torturing, if popups, Flash-ads, and background music on ad pages is any indication.
Mephisto: "I am a part of that power,
that constantly wants to do harm
and constantly creates the good."
(Goethe, Faust 1) 
As an example, let's assume that, soon, human race has to become interplanetary in order to survive. Now, are we more likely to get there with threat of inter-human war and large defense funding? Perhaps. Until recently, I used to call DARPA money "dirty" and insulted many fellow students this way. But I'm starting to realize this might be naive. Without DARPA Net I might not be able to have this discussion here.
 If I had the choice I would go back in time and prevent it. But that would still be a difficult decision. I guess this play of thought does not not lead to anything useful. A more useful question might be: Would you like to prevent a future world war. Sure!
You know what the fellow said in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
At the very core of moral theory is this conflict of individual and group. And I suppose evolution just realises that in some form of perpetual dynamic equilibrium.
It's so nice to have a label for your guilt. If you don't subscribe to a religion, then picking up the DSM-IV/V is the next best thing.
Poor thinking at best; irresponsible definition at worst.
Now, I agree with other here who claim you can be slightly narcissistic, unreasonable etc without being a psychopath. But there's something in the theory - and especially in that quote, which I love and whose source I will now try to track down - that applies to my goals in life, and probably to many startups.
Edit: George Bernard Shaw: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
You can be stubborn and still be a lover.
You can be firm and still donate your time.
Psychopaths are "me, me, me". Startups are about "how can we enter into a mutually beneficial voluntary exchange?"
So, no, psychopaths do not help startups at all. In fact, I'd say it would be quite rare for a diagnosed psychopath to have a successful startup.
Sorry I can't do better than that. But have an upvote cuz it's a great question.
I was noting the connection between one of the article's themes and one of the more meaningful quotes I've applied in relation to my life starting up my own business.
Also featured on the recent This American Life podcast.
of course, i'm not saying entrepreneurs are loony axe wielders. but i don't see why psycopathy has to be binary all or nothing. every day i see the less pleasant (more psycopathic) people getting ahead.
the nice guy finishes last. it's common knowledge. why all the naysayers? guilt?
It's an old, tired cliche.
Psychopaths are good at taking credit for others' accomplishments but rarely produce anything of value. They're generally quite lazy, in fact. They're politically effective and do well in many social environments in the short run, but their long-term contributions are almost always disastrous.
You don't need to be a psychopath to make tough decisions: firing bad employees, for example. You just need experience, vision, and the willingness to take responsibility for difficult decisions.
I think a slight narcissism can be beneficial as a motivator for some people, but that's a different discussion.
This community should try to stop a decline in quality...
As long as HN is growing and new people, who are used to pin boards and mailing lists without a voting system, come in, you will have this problem. Just down vote them if you have ability.
Maybe, this should be more emphasized in the FAQ . When I signed up here recently it was not obvious to me, that such posts should be avoided.
In short: you nailed it.
But one thing I'd think is true is that no person that is primarily nice and sociable has ever done anything that has significantly advanced the state of anything worthwile.