Can You Guess Which Profession Has the Most Psychopaths?

Apparently, one should never, ever cross a clergyman, chef... or TV host

We’re all a teensy bit mad, but how many true psychopaths do we have among us? Apparently, more than you think.  

“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,” explains Eric Barker, in The Week.

Now, think about all the people who might fit that description. Then, compare it to the list psychologist Kevin Dutton compiled in The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.  Here are the 10 most likely professions for psychopaths and the 10 least likely.

Most likely to be psychopathic 

  1. CEO
  2. Lawyer
  3. TV/radio personality
  4. Salesperson
  5. Surgeon
  6. Journalist
  7. Police Officer
  8. Clergyperson
  9. Chef
  10. Civil Servant


Least likely to stab you in the back (literally)

  1. Care aide
  2. Nurse
  3. Therapist
  4. Craftsperson
  5. Beautician/stylist
  6. Charity worker
  7. Teacher
  8. Artist
  9. Doctor
  10. Accountant

All the professions on the least likely list require empathy, the ability to see through someone else’s eyes and really feel for them. These roles don’t offer much power and require human connection -- characteristics that don’t excite the egocentric and manipulative psychopath.

All the professions on the most likely list require power and objective thinking. The company falls apart if the CEO doesn’t see his employees as profit margins; the surgeon chokes if he doesn’t reduce his patient to a function; the lawyer fails himself and his client if he doesn’t win the argument, regardless of who's right or wrong. If these people made decisions based on feelings, they would pretty much be fired.

Makes sense, right? Now that you know, be careful who you cross. Maybe you should think twice before sending a bad dish back to the kitchen.

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