Which professions have the most psychopaths? The fewest?

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, by Kevin Dutton, has this side-by-side list of professions with the highest percentage of psychopaths (CEO tops the list) and lowest percentage (Care Aide has the fewest psychopaths).

Here's Eric Barker's take on why this is so:

Most of the professions on the right require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them don’t offer much power. Psychopaths, by their very nature, would not be drawn to or very good at these things.

On the other hand, most of the roles on the left do offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings. Psychopaths would be drawn to these roles and thrive there.

Which professions have the most psychopaths? The fewest?


      1. It’s generally a dangerous proposition to ascribe psychological traits to non-human animals that lack an effective method for communicating or even proving the existence of internal states.

        1. Come on, what about how Koko named her kitten “Allball,” how can you top that? Or the time “DethSlutz666” gave a thumbs up to that video of a dog & an elephant being friends?

  1. The surgeon versus doctor divergence is interesting. I can actually see how being a bit of a psychopath would help if you were a surgeon; it would be hard for a normal person to rapidly slice into someone with the same lack of empathy they would have for a side of beef, but in the surgeon’s case sympathy would just slow them down. Would have been even truer back before general anesthesia, of course.
    Journalists on the psycho list surprise me, though.

    1. “Journalists” probably include people like Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, etc. Those high-profile personalities will probably skew the results.

      1. Yeah,  all those liberal journalists are really concerned with the little guy over their media career….  Herbert Gans research showed a major bias towards career achievement on the part of newpaper journalists.

      2. Limbaugh and Beck are not journalists! They are commentators, so they still fall into the media (tv/radio) category.

    2. I remember hearing that factoid– about surgeons being the kind of MONSTERS who want to CUT PEOPLE UP– in a Psych 101 class & going “huh, there is some intuitive appeal there, but cite needed.”

      Here we go I guess.

    3. As the sibling of doctors and nurses I’ve heard enough stories about surgeons to agree with this.  They disconnect themselves from the patient during the surgery somewhat.  They even invent games like “Who can have a patient lose the least blood during surgery”

        1. I left out an important detail.  This guy though based it on how much blood had to be put in so he liked to push things a bit to avoid giving a transfusion and ruining his “score”.

      1. Huh? why would they not? Surgeons have high rates of PTSD. In order to do things like that you *have* to dissociate or else you’ll lose it. That’s not psychopathy though :/ Actually this whole article is making me more sure than ever that psychopathy is kind of a made up term people use for the extremes of just about personality disorder that had been referred to as “cluster b” at some point and/or a way to avoid the less pleasant realities of the self.

        I’ll put it to you this way: I could cut some one if I had the training and knew doing so well could be helpful in the long run. I could not do so while empathizing with them. Why? I’d end up killing them that way.

        If being a “psychopath” means lacking empathy at some place or time in life then MOST people are psychopathic.

    4. I like the gag in “Scrubs” where the practitioners look down on the surgeons as being butchers rather than doctors.

  2. Ive seen many films with psycho CEOs in world domination fantasies, ie most bond villains.But I’ve also seen many care aide workers villains who reluctantly look after some sick relative and then go out killing in some form of twisted revenge.

    This seems rather unfair now.

    1. I’ve also seen many care aide workers villains who reluctantly look after some sick relative and then go out killing in some form of twisted revenge.

      You are talking about the movies, right? Right?

        1. Actually some current research indicates that psychopaths are able to turn on and off their sense of empathy at will. This is particularly useful in order to manipulate others. A psychopath would be easy to spot if they were never able to respond to the emotions of others. Christian Keysers and Robert Hare have conducted extensive research on the topic.

          1. I’ll add this, unpopular as it will be. Foot soldiers are trained to be psychopaths. The have to shut down empathy to do what they do, which is to kill on command or on standing orders. Drone operators who have to blow up weddings. The tank drivers who blew up a building with journalists standing on it – and knew it.
            True military training requires taking normal humans and instilling in them psychopathic tendencies. This explains so much about PTSD and veterans who can’t put it out of their heads – they are not physiological psychopaths, so they crack. True psychopaths go on to work for Blackwater or similar.

          2. true psychopaths do not feel empathy, however if they are around people and witness it long enough they can Emulate it very well  (fake it accurately). It is the only way they can manipulate others to achieve their goals in a normal environment.

            and IRT CaptainFacepunch below will do need a good book to read

          3.  Read “The Mask of Sanity” for further understanding on psychopaths and the ability to fake empathy.

    2. There are heroes and villains in both groups. But there are many more care givers/social workers who’ll stay with a job with shit pay and shitty (often literally), soul-crushing conditions and little recognition merely because they want to help people and because they feel it is needed than CEOs who’ll do the job for a miserly salary just because they care about job creation, advancement of technology, etc.

        1. Did I say ALL CEOs are psychopaths? Nope, I just think it makes a lot of sense for more psychopaths to be attracted to the job of CEO than that of a care giver.

          As far a Steve Jobs is concerned, from the admittedly little I know about his personality, I doubt he would have stuck with that plan if it was ensured he’d never make it big. But I admit that’s just because most things I heard about him made him look like a megalomaniac douchebag. Perhaps wrongly?

          1. Is the CEO the biggest psychopath in the room or the people surrounding them who accept that culture?  No dictator could run a country without plenty of people happy to make it happen.

        2. I do believe we are examining the rule and not the exception.  However, Job’s vow to go ‘thermonuclear’ on Android is highly suspect:

          “I will spend my last dying breath if I need to, and I will spend every penny of Apple’s $40 billion in the bank, to right this wrong. I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product.”“I’m going to destroy Android, because it’s a stolen product. I’m willing to go thermonuclear war on this.”

          ..especially considering that he was quite proud of taking other people’s ideas…

          “Picasso had a saying: ‘Good artists copy, great artists steal.’ We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas”

          The lack of empathy and recognition of hypocrisy coupled with an overt disregard for the creations and ideas of others places him squarely in the category of sociopath, if not psychopath.

          1. Steve Jobs behaved badly in the ways you describe Clemoh, and in many other ways, but he doesn’t fit the definition of psychopath/sociopath as I understand it (going by Dr. Robert Hare’s definition here: 

            Instead, Steve Job’s behaviour seems to fit the description of ‘Productive Narcissists’, a subset of people who have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD),or those who present with characteristics of NPD, but not severe enough to be diagnosed with NPD. 

            Here are a couple of references:


            Here is an article about Steve Jobs specifically:


            Interesting and worth checking out. As an FYI — I am not condemning Steve Jobs here, I think he meant well and was as human as most of the rest of us….how he went about it however…

          2. I would actually imagine a lot of the people being called psychopaths here are in fact garden variety narcissists. That’s like calling all white mushrooms Destroying Angels though.

            Don’t get me wrong. I’ve had everything I worked for, my entire life, my heart, my hope, and my safety destroyed by a narcissist. It doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. But typically they only hurt spouses, their kids, etc. The rest of the world is generally going to love whatever they produce and ignore the production costs if they’re useful and/or feel bad for them if they aren’t.

            And other people will project their fantasies of what it would be like to be them, and in doing so protect them!


          3.  a subset of people..I laugh at all these labels ..you’re either fully awake conscious human being or your not..all labels inbetween are symptoms of  the only madness which is disconnection from the soul or true conciousness
            try toxic psychiatry by Dr Bregin

          4. I don’t see how indignation and the resolution to right a wrong makes someone a psychopath — by that measure, I guess Lincoln and Churchill would qualify too.

            I haven’t read Jobs’s biography and it’s entirely possible that it contains multiple instances of him behaving like a psychopath, but his response to Android is most definitely not it. 

            Besides, if Android is so important to you, you should be grateful to Jobs that it ended up as a copy of iOS, and not as a copy of BlackBerry, which is where it was initially headed.

          5. Well, I guess I hit the depth limit, but… Girard, what in the second part of Clemoh’s comment, which I did read in full, do you feel should have prevented me from posted mine?

        3. Yes…Steve Jobs paid taxes on a $1 salary. Only schmucks and “takers” receive a significant amount of their income in “salary”…

          1. Thanks for pointing that out; I was starting to feel less sorry for the people living on $1/day. I mean, Steve Jobs seemed to be able to stretch $1 out pretty well in California over a whole year, so what are people in SE Asia complaining about?

    3.  Statistics and averages are not now nor ever will be exclusionary. After he left politicians off the list but then that is not really meant to be a profession, psychopaths just turn it into one.

  3. So where does “Congressman” fall?

    How about “CIA torturer?”

    Are those both grouped under “Civil Servant?”

    And how about hedge fund speculators?

    1. Well that is an interesting one. Psychopaths love working interrogation. The problem is they are bad, really bad at it. The point of interrogation as a friends grandfather a WWII OSS officer said is to get the guy to actively try to help you. Which is unlikely to happen after you’ve crushed his nuts in a garlic press.

      1. That brings up the most destructive paradox of our society… the disconnect between the skills and temperament it takes to get a certain job, and those it takes to do it well.

        Psychopaths excel most of all at self-promotion, which, unfortunately, is the only skill that matters at all in getting the job.

      2. One of my objections to using torture in interrogations is that it detracts from the purity and artistry of torture. A true artist never compromises his ideals just for paltry ‘information’. 

  4. Who do we, as a society, value most?  The ones we pay more money and/or prestige to.  So, obviously, we really, really value our psychopaths.

    1. excellent point.  teabagger turds are quick to try and take away teachers’ salaries, but god love the guy that can play with a ball really well or drive a car around in a circle really fast..

    2. Except that I don’t give my money directly to the psychopath. I give it to someone who works for someone who works for someone who works for…….. someone who works for the psychopath. As you go up the chain, it gets more psychopathic. It’s a sort of natural hierarchy of psychopaths, and that doesn’t mean that the people at the bottom like it.

      1. As sdmikev points out, there is a lot of public outcry over the salary of teachers, for example, but we literally excuse criminal behavior in CEOs if their companies are large and powerful enough.

        We are all complicit in the grotesque difference in pay scales.

  5. Is it just me, or do the jobs on the left mostly tend to be “men’s” jobs and those on the right mostly “women’s” jobs?

    Are women less likely to exhibit psychopathic traits, or were they just held down by The Man in the past, and had to be psychopathic in lower-profile jobs?

      1. I’d agree and link it with the cave evolutionary hypothesis. Male hunting bands cannot tolerate selfish behavior within the group, especially while on the hunt or in times of war. Psychopathic behavior is reserved strictly for the “other”. Females, on the other hand, stay in the cave and manage limited resources among themselves. Their psychopathic competitive behavior is directed at the members of the group – which female will get the best food for her children?
        It’s all about natural selection criteria and the way males and females evolved in different environments, according to subtly different societal rules.
        In addition, the way psychopathic behavior is exhibited generally differs between genders. A male on a war path is encouraged to exhibit his lack of empathy in bashing other peoples’ skulls quite openly. In fact, the more psychotic you appear in battle, the more benefits you gain. Female psychopaths, on the other hand, needed to balance appearance and actions in a subtle way. Nominally, they are all working for the benefit of the cave/tribe, but a female which is selfish and manages to conceal the selfishness enough so the others won’t gang up on her will have an edge over her competitors.

        1. It’s worth pointing out that, even in a hunter-gatherer society with strong gender-role specialization, the men are hunters of large and medium game, while the women are the gatherers, who may also “gather” small animals.  The hunters may focus their efforts on organized hunts, and thus may stay home many days, whereas the gatherers are more likely to go out every day.  Large game hunting may absolutely require intense cooperation, but gathering is more efficient and safer with cooperation as well.  (Also, in many environments, gathering is the more effective mode and may bring in the greater part of the calories.)

          One sometimes hears evolutionary pseudobiology that makes the Paleolithic sound like the Flintstones (that is, like the1950s).  “I think you’ll find that it’s a little more complicated than that.”

          1. “I think you’ll find that it’s a little more complicated than that.”
            Of course it is, but as a broad tool I find it quite useful and accurate more often than not. And besides, male hunting bands are much more than just about “hunting large game.” Arguably their most important role is warfare – territorial competition with other tribes. So, it’s not all about direct calorie collection, not by far. The women may gather plants and small game for most calories, but they are extremely dependent on protection by the males… which does not make females “inferior” to the males in any way, quite the opposite – matriarchy is the norm for hg societies. In fact, it is quite fascinating how human hunter-gatherer societies resemble lion prides in so many respects – from gender roles to interactions between prides/tribes.

    1. It’s possible that many traits traditionally encouraged in men are similar to psychopathic traits: domination, competition, lack of emotion (especially nurturing, tender emotions)…

      I think there are probably many women who are psychopaths as well, but society doesn’t enable/celebrate them as much. An uncaring, ruthless, selfish woman isn’t nearly as accepted as a man with the same *ahem* ‘go-getter’ qualities.

      1. Yeah, an ambitious, ruthless man is celebrated as a “leader,” while an ambitious, ruthless woman is derided as a “bitch.”

    2. Men tend to predominately hunt and kill the beast then sit around telling tall tales to each other around the campfire, while women predominately tend to clean the beast, cook it, feed it to the men and children, clean up the mess, worry about the tiger that wants to eat her kids…

      1. Where are these caveman populations you have first-hand contact with, and why do they so closely resemble something from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon?

        1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_psychology

          Basically, “cave hypothesis” is a handy tool for psychological/sociological thought experiments where you observe human behavior patterns as though happening “in a cave” or within a hunter-gatherer society which is where most homo sapiens sapiens evolution took place.
          Of course, this “cave” environment is a coarse generalization since no hunter-gatherer society is the same (and hence comparison with “the Flinstones”), but nevertheless it can be quite useful when trying to game-theory broad patterns.

          1. I’m well aware of what evolutionary psychology is. Which is exactly why I’m so skeptical of it and nonsense armchair hypotheses derived from it.

          2. Welcome to BoingBoing, the Land of Armchair Psychology. Please take a comfy chair. Your waitress will be around shortly.

          3. Oh dear, I didn’t know that idle speculation and sitting on armchairs is frowned upon on Boingboing nowadays. I’ll remove myself from further discussion as well as my comfy armchair until I manage to conduct a proper scientific research fit to be presented to this august body.

    3. The jobs on the right are also low paying and generally low status (as expected for work tainted by the presence women, who generally are estimated at lower labor value). Depending on what we’re calling psychopath that would be expected.

    4. That’s a tricky question, because many people on the right would have “borderline personality,” which meant “borderline psychopath.”

      It’s probably easier to understand if you think of people on the right as being prone to codependence and severe depression, but the kind of depression that morphs into violent rage.  Nurses. teachers, and social workers are prominent.  They are rageaholics, and they are primarily masochists rather than sadists, but they can easily flip into sadist mode. 

        1. Merely pointing out that there does not seem to be a definition of “psychopath,” but that psychopathic traits are also over-represented in the right hand column.  It’s just that laymen tend to discount psychopathic traits when someone is cutting themselves instead of others. 

      1. “That’s a tricky question, because many people on the right would have “borderline personality,” which meant “borderline psychopath.”” This is incorrect. Borderline Personality Disorder does not correlate to Psychopathy. In fact, most people with BPD tend to self-destruct and self-defeat rather than succeed and prosper in the environments in which psychopaths succeed and flourish.

    5. I guess like Autism, the female brain may be better at hiding Psychopathic traits better than male brains.

      1. The hiding you make note of is also called “masking” and it is true that females can be able to mask better than males. Part of this is due to the fact that males tend to act out in ways that attract more attention, and some of it is also due to some females having superior masking skills, among other things. It’s pretty complex ;)

    6. In the OP it mentions that psychopathic professions tend to be those in which people can wield power. Historically (and today) it has been much easier for men to secure positions of power, and positions of power have traditionally been seen as “masculine” professions. I would say it says less about any “inherent” gender disparity or edifying any evolutionary psychology hogwash, and more about social power structures and their historic relation to gender.

      I would suspect that women who do secure positions in those left jobs are similarly more likely to exhibit psychopathy than women in the right column. Likewise, men who go against expectations and pursue careers in the right column may be more likely to be empathic than men who pursue in the left column. (Admittedly this is probably mostly based on my anecdotal experience as a male preschool teacher whose mother grew up being tortured by psychopathic nuns in Catholic boarding school – vocation is more related to temperament than gender). The fact that more men are in one column and more women in the other derives from other social factors.

  6. So since I am a lawyer but due to the crappy legal job market now a craftsperson professionally, does that make me a reformed psychopath?  Or schizo?  Or just ‘normal’?

    1. If you were a narcissistic psychopath you’d probably do just fine lawyering even in a crappy legal job market.  Unable to compete with the naturals you found something more worthwhile and suitable. 

      1. I think you’re overlooking the possibility that ciacontra might simply be an incompetent psychopath. I mean, it’s not as if ‘psychopath’ is the only requirement for becoming, say, a lawyer or corporate executive. True, I suspect a psychopathic personality allows many to punch above their class — lord knows I’ve worked with or for CEOs I wouldn’t let manage a Foot Locker — but the law of averages indicates there must be some stupid or ineffective psychopaths.

        I mean, why else would we have medical schools in Grenada?

  7. Apparently psychopaths (like the poor) are always with us. Your next task is to construct a social system that makes use of that fact for the greatest benefit of the greatest number. What say you that we base it on the pursuit of happiness?

    1. Why must it always be the “pursuit” of happiness?

      “What do we want?”

      “Instant Gratification!”

      “When do we want it?”


      1. Why does it have to be happiness either? Has anyone actually ever been happy consistently without being unhappy? I don’t think it is possible. Happiness is like a freaking orgasm or a shot of heroin… it passes. That’s why people keep wanting to get more somewhere.

        I’ll just take the avoidance of misery.

  8. Is this based on anything approaching a rigorous scientific investigation? It seems a bit too convenient.

    1. Yeah, I would LOVE to see the research data and methodology. One does not simply walk into a Law Firm or a Board Room and start issuing psychopathy tests without raising some eyebrows, much less go through each of those professions to gather a large enough sample size to make such pat conclusions.

      (Or maybe they DID in fact do such research? That would be an amazing accomplishment, one that the author might consider placing on the Amazon.com blurb on an otherwise tl;dr pop-psych pot-boiler…)

      1. I just read “methodology” as “numerology” in your post because I’m also on the phone. You know, I would not be surprised though if their methodology did have more in common with numerology…

      2. I’m going to go out in a limb and guess that this list is B.S., especially since “authors of smug self-help books” don’t make the list.  It’s clearly written to be plausible, though.

    2. Yeah, my first response was [citation needed], where “citation” means more than “link to the Amazon order page for a pop-psychology book by someone I’ve never heard of”

      I’m inclined to be sympathetic to the point the list is making, but that makes me even more concerned about it being substantiated by genuine quantitative research.

  9. Based on my experience in the arts I think there are plenty of psychopathic artists or “creative artists” out there. Plenty.

    I’d say the same of charity workers. Ok. “Charity” workers perhaps, but there is nothing more miserable than a pious psychopath.

    What I would love to know though, is how are they diagnosing these people with psychopathy? Because if you think about it, assuming you ARE a psychopath and your supply requires you convince people you are NURSE NICE, you aren’t going to go telling people things that make you look like a psychopath are you? Unless you’re a stupid psychopath… but then you probably aren’t on this list because your career stopped when you shot that guy on the other side of the liquor store counter.

    1. I’d say the same of charity workers.

      If you’ve worked in charities, you know that not all the workers do any work. Charity spokespeople and executives could definitely be psychopathic.

      1. Especially if you include the “charities” that become the object of 60 Minutes investigations.

        They should even get extra points. A normal psychopath makes a great corporate climber, a particularly malicious one does that in a tobacco company or military contractor.

        But to choose specifically to divert charity to enrich oneself takes a special kind of predator… one that evokes even in the most saintly a lust for cruel karmic justice.

        1. It’s not true that sys-admins are psychopathic and have no empathy.  We care plenty about our servers and will go to great lengths to protect them form those horrid users ;)

          (and I’ve met DBAs I’d put in the left column)

    1. As a video game developer, I can say that the few people I met who may have shown some psychopathic traits were working in management, and most of the time cared little for the actual games beyond their profitability. The vast majority of developers are regular folks who just want to create cool games.

          1. I think he was just pointing out that the list itself is skewed to certain jobs. These certain jobs happen to correspond to our own social biases about careers. Also, he’s probably just being all “Look at me! Look where I work!”

            Clearly this means that video game developers go in the left hand column. Clearly.

          2. I assumed he was just being flippant, as everyone knows that video game developers spend all their time making murder simulators.

      1. definitely middle management-are the worst culprits..institutinalized thinkers ..I think some psychologists ironiaclly fit this ..theyre so busy profiling that they forget to take the person as an individual because they;re trying to fit them neatly onto some spectrum..

  10. This list is complete bullshit. Or, more precisely, this list has no actual scientific merit whatsoever.

    These results come from a survey hosted on the author’s website, helpfully titled “The Great British Psychopath Survey,” and complete with a scary picture of a hooded, menacing guy.


    Mark, you might want to take the two minutes necessary to check the source before presenting this list as if it has more than anecdotal significance.

    1. I was trying to locate the source as well. List seems just too ‘neat’ to believe….

      But who can argue dishonest people are often creative in ways to conceal their cunning :) Hence might not the list include dogsbody Baldrick for that matter.

      Engineers are not on the list I guess they fit nicely in the middle as ‘normal’ people 

  11. Would anyone care to explain how these numbers were determined?  “Psychopath” is a vague term, a set of various behaviour characteristics, not an medical diagnosis.  For example, it’s not the same thing as Antisocial Personality Disorder, which is actually a thing in the DSM-IV.  There are various methods of evaluation which rank subjects behaviors across various scales (MMPI), or checklists which generate a score based upon displayed behaviors or background (PCL-R), but none of these things result in a medical diagnosis of “psychopath.”  Things like “lack of guilt,” “manipulativeness,” and so forth could be indicators of a number of personality disorders (like NPD, narcissistic personality disorder).

    So if there was a real objective measurement, what was it?  How were these numbers measured?  Or is it just pseudo-scientific pop-psychology in the aim of selling books and condemning people are already don’t like? 

  12. I would guess the difference is:

    Internal status – +Psychopath occupations are ones where your reputation depends upon how dominant your are with respect to others in your field.

    External status – -Psychopath occupations are ones where your reputation depends about how much outsiders like what you do.

    I would guess that a bunch of college faculty members fit into the +Psychopath category because even at the lowest status colleges or junior colleges there are often viscous status wars and petty backbiting. 

    Likewise a professional cat breeder told me that cat shows involve a lot of social warfare between the participants  while cat buyers just like someone who sells nice pretty cats. The breeders are competing to become known as the “best” cat breeder that everybody will buy from while the buyers may know little of this status ranking and just buy a cat on gut feelings.

    So my guess of how to distinguish +/- psychopath occupations is how much internal infighting if involved in the occupation.

  13. I am not so sure about the high placing of salesperson here. I guess there are salespersons and salespersons. Maybe if you are doing a big one-off sale – car or house – and then disappearing from your mark’s life forever psychopathy helps.

    But the kind of salespersonning I used to do – college publisher’s rep [Prentice-Hall in my case] visiting bookstores once a month or lecturers every semester – meant you’re trying to build a bunch of long-term relationships based on people feeling they’re having good, useful stuff promoted to them, and not having them feel conned, ripped-off and abused.

    In our case it helped, I guess, that the source of our product – college lecturers who wrote text and reference books – was the same as our ultimate purchasing decision-makers, ie college lecturers teaching stuff. (And so in individual situations decision-makers knew more about the subject than the salesperson did).

    But there must be loads of other salespersonning environments where the need for repeat business over periods of years or decades requires a non-psychopathic relationship based on responding to genuine needs and not just foisting any old rubbish on people in order to make next quarter’s budget.

    1. “…meant you’re trying to build a bunch of long-term relationships based on people feeling they’re having good, useful stuff promoted to them, and not having them feel conned, ripped-off and abused.”

      That most likely wasn’t intended to sound sinister, but I guess that’s the danger of the written word.

  14. Psycho chefs?  I believe it, every night people wanna party with the chef, and bring “gifts”.  After a few years, the nightly free flow of weed, coke, booze and various pills behind the scenes and after hours WILL catch up with you.

  15. While the information here is very interesting, that self-help book sounds awful. The psychopath’s Peter principle?
    Edit: Nevermind, this study is bullshit.

  16. First, CEO is not a profession, it’s a position. And lumping all the positions in other professions together produces some poor statistics, as some have already noted with the surgeon example (again a position, not a profession). If one were to split the legal profession in to positions and make distinctions between Public Defenders and Corporate Litigation attorneys, for instance, I think we’d see some different results.

    Second, psychopathy is only kind of personality disorder. It might be interesting to see what other personality disorders are prevalent in other professions. But that probably won’t happen since I suspect that this kind of “study” isn’t really intended to be scientific in the first place, so much as it is just a reason to make us feel better about vilifying certain professions.

  17. To complete my degree, I had to take a course in something in the “health”-related part of the catalog.  The only class that actually fit my schedule was “Deviant Human Sexuality.”  One interesting bit of information was a study that listed deviancies and fetishes by predominance of occupations.  Pilots were most likely to be cross-dressers, followed by cab drivers (Princeton, 1989).  I work for an airport balancing aircraft weight loads for a large cargo airline. Every time I see a pilot schlepping several bags to the plane for what is just supposed to be an overnight or two-day trip, I figure it must be all the wigs and shoes.  

  18. I wonder whether a lot of powerful psychopaths are really just alcoholics/drug addicts (or heavy users) who have numbed their consciences with their drug of choice.  A lot of the jobs on the high psychopathy list are ones where there is a stereotype of heavy drinking/drug use and the ones on the right are almost uniformly ones where you would think there would be low alcohol/drug use.

  19. Psychopathy is a chemical condition in the brain, a real psychopath would do what benefits them best ; they are not marked by power mongers or anything else. They are self-oriented and everyone else can go fuck themselves. A surgeon has no more or less higher potential to be a psychopath than the man serving you your Mc’D’s

    It’s articles like this that undermine the seriousness of certain mental conditions.

    1. A surgeon has no more or less higher potential to be a psychopath than the man serving you your Mc’D’s

      The point is that psychopaths are drawn to certain professions.

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