The Jobs With The Most Psychopaths

Jobs that attract psychopaths

Have you ever experienced the feeling at work that everyone around you is unstable? That you're the only level-headed worker in a workplace populated by colleagues whose fits and outbursts are unpredictable, or even psychopathic?

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The experience might be common to many workers, but according to a recent book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, certain fields are more likely to attract actual psychopaths than others. The book by Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton argues that "a number of psychopathic attributes [are] actually more common in business leaders than in so-called disturbed criminals -- attributes such as superficial charm, egocentricity, persuasiveness, lack of empathy, independence, and focus."

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In a post about the book, author and Huffington Post blogger Eric Barker says that professions with high rates of psychopaths "offer power and many require an ability to make objective, clinical decisions divorced from feelings." Conversely, those fields with relatively few psychopaths "require human connection, dealing with feelings and most of them don't offer much power."

So what were the kinds of jobs most likely to attract psychopaths, and those least likely?

Highest Rates of Psychopathy:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police Officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

Lowest Rates of Psychopathy:

1. Care Aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity Worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative Artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant

The prevalence of psychopathy among corporate leaders has been reported before, including by AOL Jobs. And recently a study out of the University of Minnesota found that when college students exhibit such behaviors as cheating and lying -- which are considered typical of psychopaths -- they're more likely to do the same on the job. The study found that students' deceptive behavior -- from widening margins on a paper to having a fellow student write a paper for you -- "tends to carry over" into the workplace in practices such as long lunches and falsifying an expense report, Minnesota psychology professor Nathan Kuncel told Business News Daily.

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Dan Fastenberg

Dan Fastenberg

Associate Editor

Dan Fastenberg was most recently a reporter with TIME Magazine. Previously, he was a writer for the Thomson Reuters news service's Latin America desk. He was also a reporter and associate editor for the Buenos Aires Herald while living in South America.

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86 Comments

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Donna

This article does not surprise me in the least. How many times have people asked....."How do these people LIVE with themselves?" when talking about the professions listed.
And, of course CEO's are psychopaths! Corporations and their leaders routinely destroy natural resources, harm people, lie, cheat, steal, kill......and I've never heard of any of them complaining about a lack of sleep!!!!
I wonder what column POLITICANS would be in? If TODAY'S politics is any indication.....the majority of the rightwing would be clinically diagnosed as being psychopaths.

September 30 2013 at 10:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob

I've had a few nut cases to work for. The cheating husband fartin' around with an employee...they would swap spit in the back office and when we walked in on them they'd quickly pull apart and then deny they weren't doing anything! I'm not totally stupid and I know I'm not blind so why lie about it! He's dead now and good of it. The boss' play thing found some sap to marry and buy her a corvette.

April 12 2013 at 11:37 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Rob's comment
ftpixelsticksbeauty

absolutely hilarious, Rob!

September 30 2013 at 6:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
x_xx23

He must have made this list up himself.

January 11 2013 at 12:08 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
x_xx23

The writers information is incorrect. A large study in the Uk, showed that DOCTORS and the MEDICAL profession had the HIGHEST rate of psychopaths of any other jobs.

January 11 2013 at 12:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rory Chadwick

Former assistant football coach / head football coaches at Penn State didn't make #1?

January 07 2013 at 9:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ectullis

NSA

January 04 2013 at 9:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hrca510

I forgot to mention that PIGS are the worse PSYCHOPATHS this society has to offer, even worse than politicians.

January 04 2013 at 6:15 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hrca510

I forgot to mention that PIGS are the worse psychopaths in society, even worse than politicians.

January 04 2013 at 6:13 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
hrca510

This list is just WRONG!!! Cops should be number one on the list of jobs attracting the most psychopaths in sociaty. Since a PIG with a badge and a gun is capable of killing you or any member of your family and 98% of the time can get away with it and then act like nothing really BAD has ever happen.

January 04 2013 at 6:08 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
respin7128

they forgot politicians, civil servants don't count

January 04 2013 at 5:01 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

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