Why are so many business owners psychopaths?

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New research published in Science Daily suggests that, while one percent of the population meets the criteria for psychopathy, an amazing three percent of business managers meet the same criteria.

While the term “psychopath” is thrown around quite loosely by the media today, the fact is that there are different levels of psychopathy, and not all of them present with violence.

The study, done by Carolyn Bate, was originally part of a psychology project that Bate did as an undergraduate and was later published in Science daily. The data suggests that, because most psychopaths score high on the IQ scale, those that are motivated to succeed in business have the intelligence necessary. It also suggests that those psychopaths who are inclined to climb the corporate ladder are intelligent enough to lie and manipulate.

Bate also suggested that economic crises such as the Wall Street Crash could possibly be blamed on the high number of psychopaths in positions of power. The fact that lying and manipulating comes easily to a psychopath, because they lack empathy, makes them keen prospects for upper management and executive positions.

“I thought that intelligence could be an explanation for this, and it could be a problem if there are increased numbers of psychopaths at a high level in business. The figure could be more than three per cent, because if people are aware they are psychopathic they can also lie – they are quite manipulative and lack empathy,” Bate said.

[Read the entire article on Science Daily]

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