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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Top Professions that Attract Psychopaths

Posted By on Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

click to enlarge The famous shower scene from Psycho
  • The famous shower scene from Psycho

With any job, there are always those coworkers that seem a little bit off. Perhaps it's the gal who sends you a chastising e-mail for your "improper use of mailing labels," or the guy who beats the vending machine when his Doritos get stuck. Despite the crazy-making habits of most professions, it turns out that some jobs are far more likely to attract psychopaths than others.

See also:

How to Navigate Crazy Co-workers Online

Chrome Extension Debunks Your Relatives' Crazy E-Mails

Facebook Drama-Avoidance Tips for the Recently Dumped

While most of us associate the word "psychopath" with axe-murderers or our exes, the definition is more liberal than the common usage would have us believe. According to PsychCentral, psychopaths are broadly described as "people who use manipulation, violence and intimidation to control others and satisfy selfish needs." Psychopaths are often charismatic and smart, but don't feel a lot of guilt, remorse, or anxiety over their actions.

In his recent book, The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton notes that "a number of psychopathic attributes [are] actually more common in business leaders than in so-called disturbed criminals -- attributes such as superficial charm, egocentricity, persuasiveness, lack of empathy, independence, and focus." Journalist is high up on the list, most likely due to our big egos, and our inability to mingle at parties in a non-awkward manner.

Here are the jobs with the most nut jobs:

1. CEO
2. Lawyer
3. Media (Television/Radio)
4. Salesperson
5. Surgeon
6. Journalist
7. Police Officer
8. Clergy person
9. Chef
10. Civil Servant

And the jobs with the lowest rates of psychopathy:

1. Care Aide
2. Nurse
3. Therapist
4. Craftsperson
5. Beautician/Stylist
6. Charity Worker
7. Teacher
8. Creative Artist
9. Doctor
10. Accountant

You'll notice that the lowest ranking professions are ones requiring you to care about others. You'll also notice that the highest rates of psychopathy are found in positions of power and those with the most authority over our lives and bodies.

A small comfort: The next time someone makes fun of you for being an artist, be sure to send them a link to this.

For events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section. Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF and like us on Facebook. Follow Anna Pulley at @annapulley. She'll tweet you right.
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