Following on from my previous blog about corporate psychopaths, More thoughts on the Emotional Intelligence of Corporate Psychopaths, I was sent three more articles about psychopaths.
The first of these was about female psychopaths, Why Female Psychopaths Are a Different Breed. It is a good article but I would have three criticisms. First it does not consider psychopathy as a spectrum. Secondly it goes up a dead-end discussing BPD (Border Personality Disorder which I consider to be extreme neuroticism). Finally, the article says female psychopaths are not successful. I will have to respectively disagree. If the GoGetter/Hustler is combined with Regulator/Normal the person (male or female) is generally successful provided his or her intelligence is in the top 10%. On the other hand the paper noted that females had higher scores on the interpersonal and lifestyle facets of psychopathy (manipulativeness, grandiosity, impulsivity) than they did on emotional and antisocial facets (lack of remorse and delinquency).
The second article, The 20 traits of a psychopath in this 1999 study are still relevant today, is also worth a read. This paper does see psychopathy as a spectrum mental illness. It suggests that about 1% of the population qualifies — although the percentage is thought to be far higher among the prison population (25%) and company chief executives (21%). I would put the percentage for all three populations higher. Again the reason for the higher estimate is the level of Regulator/Normal. This component helps to mask the GoGetter/Hustler.
The third article is much drier. It is actually a scientific paper: Evaluating the Screening Version of the Hare Psychopathy Checklist—Revised (PCL: SV): An Item Response Theory Analysis. This paper is for the mathematically inclined and is effectively version 2.0 of the Hare Checklist. Unlike the second article it does contain a list of the 20 traits of the psychopath.
My problem with the Hare Checklist is that by the time you recognise some of the clues it is too late. You have either employed the corporate psychopath or even worse, he or she is your new boss. What you need are clues you can use in the first 60 seconds. Fortunately, I have blogged about how you recognise these people very quickly.
As one of my participants in my EQ coaching program said to me after we had covered the GoGetter/Hustler component, “I was driving across the Sydney Harbour Bridge yesterday and I could not believe how many people drive red cars.” For most people the car is the most significant purchase after the house and the red Ferrari or gold Porsche is the dream car of the GoGetter/Hustler.
This blog was first published on LinkedIn of 5 December 2019
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