The careers with the most, and least, psychopaths
Think back through history, and what names pop up when you consider the word “psychopath”?
Ted Bundy? Sure. Charles Manson? Almost without doubt. Donald Trump? Maybe.
In any case, we know famous wackos, immortalized through Wikipedia pages and true crime documentaries, and we know them well. But our definition of psychopath just might be wrong; it might be much tamer than serial killers and homicidal cult leaders would suggest.
All of this, of course, is a long way of introducing today’s topic: the professions that are most likely to produce psychopaths.
A psychopath, indeed, is not necessarily defined by murderous intent, but rather is characterized as so:
“A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifest as amoral and antisocial behaviour, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.”
According a new book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies and Serial Killers Can Teach Us, the above behaviours can be either encouraged, or discouraged, by certain professions based on the level of human connection, emotion and privileges of power afforded by those careers.
Which careers are least likely to have psychopaths within them? According to the book, they are care aide, nurse, therapist, craftsperson, stylist, charity worker, teacher, creative artist, doctor and accountant.
And the careers most likely to have psychopaths within them? According to the book, they are CEO, lawyer, media personality (gulp), salesperson, surgeon, journalist (double gulp), police officer, clergyperson, chef and civil servant.
The first list is filled with occupations that involve the nurture and care for people, which psychopaths are not naturally drawn to.
The second? These are jobs that largely offer roles of power and require abilities to make objective, clinical decisions separate from personal feeling. Psychopaths, according to the book, would be drawn to these careers.