Monday, September 05, 2016

'Which Professions Have the Most Psychopaths?'

That's the headline for a piece from TIME that got my attention when I saw it linked on Twitter a few weeks ago. I wondered: Does my profession have more than its share of psychopaths? I suspected that it did.

But before the TIME article gets around to revealing which professions have the most psychopaths, it defines what a psychopath really is:
...psychopath doesn’t just mean someone who cuts you up with a chainsaw — though the majority of people who do things like that are psychopaths.

[Then quoting Wikipedia, that last word in all human knowledge evidently, we're told that,] "Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality."
The ten professions with the highest incidence of psychopaths (designated with a + sign) and the lowest (designated with - sign), according to both TIME and The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, the book from which the following lists come, are:
And there's my profession, in at number 8, right after journalists and police officers, just before chefs and civil servants.

Frankly, it all looks like a bad case of "pop psychology" to me. Whatever it is, I hope that the lists are wrong.

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