In today’s turbulent world, many people may wonder if the person with whom they work just might be the next psychopath to make news headlines.
According to the author of a new book, there are actually some professions that attract psychopaths more than others, and civil servants (including politicians), lawyers and TV and radio people are among those ranking very high.
Psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of “The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success,” has created a top 10 list for the most attractive and least attractive professions for psychopaths.
The Journal of Abnormal Psychology notes that psychopathy is a personality disorder characterized by anti-social behavior, selfishness, egocentricity, callousness, manipulativeness and lack of empathy.
But in an interview with Smithsonian.com, Dutton said one of the reasons he wrote his book was to debunk two myths about psychopaths: that they’re either all “mad or bad,” and secondly, that psychopathy is an all-or-nothing thing, that you’re either a psychopath or you’re not.
“When psychologists talk about psychopaths, what we’re referring to are people who have a distinct set of personality characteristics, which include things like ruthlessness, fearlessness, mental toughness, charm, persuasiveness and a lack of conscience and empathy. Imagine that you tick the box for all of those characteristics,” Dutton explained.
“You also happen to be violent and stupid. It’s not going to be long before you smack a bottle over someone’s head in a bar and get locked up for a long time in prison. But if you tick the box for all of those characteristics, and you happen to be intelligent and not naturally violent, then it’s a different story altogether. Then you’re more likely to make a killing in the market rather than anywhere else.”
Dutton claims the professions that seem to have the most psychopaths are:
1. Chief executive officer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
7. Police officer
8. Clergy person
10. Civil servant
Dutton also lists the following professions as least attractive to psychopaths:
1. Care aide
5. Beautician or stylist
6. Charity worker
8. Creative artist