Research Demonstrates an Increased Number of Psychopaths is in Control of High Levels of Businesses

A surprising research has found out that there could be an increased numbers 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.

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.

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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.

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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.


  1. Thanks for this posting. Two more good reads: Without Conscience, by Robert D. Hare, and The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout. Hare includes a Survival Guide (Ch 13). Thanks, too for visiting my blog and leaving a like on today’s post!

  2. Really don’t know how to react to this post. Psychopaths in control of corporations? Scary is the word that comes to mind. Thank you for dropping by my blog. Appreciate it and hope you enjoyed your time there.

  3. Goodness, I wish I was even the slightest bit surprised! Great to have had a study though. Now, if someone could test how often the toast really falls butter-side down, all my theories would be proven! 😉

  4. Not that I disagree with the idea that there is a higer preponderance of psychopaths in positions of power, the exploitave state of the economy surely reflects that, but you jump to some conclusions in your analysis that just aren’t backed up, “those with higher IQs were able to fake their emotional response.”

    Based on what are you arriving at this conclusion? Thats a big assumption without any facts and undermines this entire piece!

    1. This is not my analysis, this is the analysis of the scientist who carried out this research. Did you check out the original source? The study (and this article) explains it all “If the psychopath is intelligent enough,he will hide his true emotional response” because he cannot risk being discovered, can he? It was observed in the experiment that the subjects with high IQs were able to hide their emotional response whereas those with low IQs couldn’t (and its psychopaths with low IQs that end up becoming murderers and committing other crimes). Obviously, they are not intelligent enough to know that by adopting a fake identity can be advantageous to them (e.g becoming a charming businessman, no one could imagine to be a psychopath). At last, please remember these studies are based on average, that is – not all intelligent psychopaths fake their identities but majority of them do. If you read and analyze the study thoroughly you will find there’s no question it doesn’t answer and if you’re still confused, feel free to question. 🙂

  5. I’ve often wondered if it was just me, or those that are empowered. It’s hard to tell about a person, unless you are both in a “real life” situation.
    The lack of empathy, and regard to coworkers and/or employees is almost nonexistent anymore… but it seems hidden by “company standards”.
    I think it’s related to unemployment rates and reasons people don’t even bother looking for jobs. Especially in the corporate realm.

    1. Well, yeah. “Company standards” do play a role in hiding the “boss’s (or employee’s) true nature (in case he’s a psychopath)” but the thing is as research states those intelligent psychopaths do not need any standards to hide their true identities,they are brainy enough to pretend they are quite normal.

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