A surprising research has found out that there could be an increased number of psychopaths in high levels of businesses especially at senior managerial positions. This correlation has been demonstrated by a talented undergraduate Carolyn Bate, aged 22, of the University of Huddersfield.
According to Bate, her project was triggered when she read about research which showed that while one percent of population were categorized as psychopaths, the figure rose to three percent when it comes to business managers.
To test her ideas, she assembled 50 participants who underwent a series of tests – starting with appraisal of IQ levels, after that the subjects completed the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, the purpose of which was to find out if the subjects had either Factor One or Factor Two psychopathic tendencies.
After that Carolyn used a technique called “Galvanic Skin Response” in which the electrodes were attached to the fingers of the subjects in order to find out their responses as they were shown the images on computer screen. The pictures showed were of the sort that would completely shock a normal person, these included the images of crying children, people being threatened and scenes of natural disasters.
People with Factor One psychopathic tendencies – the ones more likely to become business managers – demonstrate little or no emotional response while those with Factor Two psychopathic tendencies display a heightened response due to excitement.
It was found that GSRs of the subjects were as predicted except for the fact that only those with lower levels of intelligence displayed the expected levels of excitement. So those with higher IQs were intelligent enough to fake their emotional response, thus making it difficult to detect their condition. The ones at top positions at businesses are often charming and intelligent, thus easily faking their true emotional state whereas less intelligent psychopaths tend to commit gruesome crimes and are the ones often to be caught and imprisoned.
The number of psychopaths in business is more than the average population and if it increases, it could prove detrimental on many aspects of society and can even directly impact our daily lives because the ones wearing the mask of a top class businessmen are much more dangerous as they know how to hide their true identities. They can be manipulative and lack empathy.
Some sort of method should be devised to screen out psychopaths when being selected for a top business positions and businesses should be aware of what kind of people they are hiring.
- Source: University of Huddersfield
- Image: Elite Change