Senior corporate leaders have been included among those who tend to exhibit psychopathic traits.
The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist.
Read the list below to see potential signs of adult psychopathy according to the checklist.
Many of the qualities we look for in leaders, such as fearlessness, dominant behavior, and resilience to stress, can be found in psychopaths.
Indeed, psychopaths are more prevalent among CEOs. According to a 2016 study by Bond University psychologist Nathan Brooks, between 3% and 21% of CEOs are likely psychopaths. In 2021, Fortune found that 12% of senior corporate leaders in the United States exhibited psychopathic traits. In fact, most people show some symptoms of psychopathy – superficiality, smoothness, promiscuity, etc. – and that doesn’t make you a psychopath.
According to CNBC, while one in five business leaders may exhibit psychopathic tendencies, a certain “degree of nonconformity and unconventionality” can help drive innovation.
The standard screening test for potential psychopaths is the Hare Psychopathy Checklist. In the test, a clinician interviews a potential sociopath and grades them on 20 criteria, such as “promiscuous sexual behavior” or “impulsiveness.” For each criterion, the subject is assessed on a 3-point scale: (0 = item not applicableYes, 1 = item appliesp little, 2 = item definitely applicable). The scores are added together to create a rank from zero to 40. Anyone who scores 30 and above is probably a psychopath.
The test is supposed to be administered by a professional psychologist, but if you really want to take it yourself — or a layman’s guess about your boss’s psychological makeup — keep scrolling:
1. Do you have “excessive smoothness” or superficial charm?
(Answer: For sociopaths, the answer to this question is yes.)
2. Do you have an exorbitant sense of self-worth?
3. Do you have an excessive need for stimulation or a tendency to boredom?
(Psychopaths cannot stand periods of stagnation.)
4. Are you a pathological liar?
(Psychopaths don’t care about the truth.)
5. Do you cheat or manipulate?
(Psychopaths often believe they can pull the strings of dupes.)
6. Do you show no remorse or guilt?
(Psychopaths don’t feel bad when they do bad things.)
7. Do you have a “shallow affect”?
(Psychopaths show a lack of emotion when the emotional response is appropriate.)
8. Are you callous or lack empathy?
(Psychopaths simply don’t care when bad things happen to other people.)
9. Do you live a “parasitic lifestyle”?
(Psychopaths prefer not to make a living. They find it easier to take things from other people.)
10. Do you have poor behavioral control?
(Psychopaths have a hard time controlling themselves.)
11. Have you had promiscuous sexual behavior in the past?
(Psychopaths like one-night stands.)
12. Do you have a history of early behavioral problems?
(As children, psychopaths often have a history of cruelty to others.)
13. Do you lack realistic, long-term goals?
(Psychopaths put plans ahead of life or career goals.)
14. Are you too impulsive?
(Psychopaths are very, very impulsive.)
15. Do you have a high level of irresponsibility?
(Psychopaths don’t like to do the right thing.)
16. Do you not take responsibility for your own actions?
(When you’re a psycho, it’s always someone else’s fault.)
17. Have you had many short-term “married” relationships?
(Psychopaths are unable to commit to long-term relationships or repeatedly cheat on them.)
18. Do you have a history of juvenile delinquency?
(Psychopaths start young.)
19. Have you ever experienced a “parole waiver”?
(Even when psychopaths get a break – like being released from prison on probation – they tend to screw up.)
20. Do you have “criminal versatility”?
(Psychopaths differ from common criminals in that they don’t really care what laws they break—they will break any of them under the right circumstances.)
How did it go?
If you scored more than 30 (i.e. answered “somewhat” or “definitely” to most of these questions), you may be a psychopath. If you scored lower, you are probably not a psychopath.
Read the original article in Business Insider