Friday, May 13, 2005

Good for Laughs and Lashings of the Old Ultraviolence

ought not come as any surprise.

Wednesday's New York Times ran a story highlighting the results of a study which compares the psychological profiles of business leaders and those of psychopaths. The results show that the personality types are quite similar. Having had to actually worked with these sorts of people, I can attest to the veracity of the study...
There has been anecdotal and case-study evidence suggesting that successful business executives share personality characteristics with psychopaths. The question is, are the characteristics that make up personality disorders fundamentally different from the characteristics of extreme personalities we see in everyday life, or do they differ only in degree?

In 2001, I compared the personality traits of 39 high-ranking business executives in Britain with psychiatric patients and criminals with a history of mental health problems. The business managers completed a standard clinical personality-disorder diagnostic questionnaire and then were interviewed. The information on personality disorders among criminals and psychiatric patients had been gathered by local clinics.

In fact, the business population was as likely as the prison and psychiatric populations to demonstrate the traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder: grandiosity, lack of empathy, exploitativeness and independence. They were also as likely to have traits associated with compulsive personality disorder: stubbornness, dictatorial tendencies, perfectionism and an excessive devotion to work.
For the entire editorial click here. I first read the story here.

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