Trending: Psychopaths? Why I kinda Wish I was a Psychopath

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When we say ‘psychopath’ or ‘psycho’ in everyday conversation, a lot of gorey images come to mind – Bundy, Bateman or that kid down your road who used to pull all the legs off a spider… but that’s not the full picture.

As I’ve already accidentally alluded to in the post Lessons from the Wolf of Wall Street, being a psychopath has a lot of upsides. Anecdotally, you may already know that a lot of senior managers and board members are psychopaths but they are also amongst our top surgeons, stock brokers and legal eagles.

In his book The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Kevin Dutton discusses the whole spectrum of the psychopathic blood spattered rainbow, and reaches some startling conclusions. For instance, he finalises a list of attributes all cases tend to have (regardless of whether they are behind bars or in some cases, responsible for the keys). Here they are:


1. Ruthlessness

2. Charm

3. Focus

4. Mental Toughness

5. Fearlessness

6. Mindfulness (yes, psychopaths have reached the Nirvana of mindfulness, without even trying)

7. Action


who doesn’t want to be known for any of these?

It is however, the lethal combination of all 7 that leads the rule breaking devil-may-care psychopathic tendencies. Whether that rule breaking is ‘thinking outside the box’ (vomit) at work, or killing the odd hitchhiker is a different issue altogether.

An entertaining and insightful read with maybe a few life lessons from unexpected places thrown in. You can also take the Psychopath test on his website… because yes, you do wonder about your own sanity mid-read. And if you do ‘pass with gold stars’ um, Channel4 wants to speak to you.


PS I passed (whoop!)

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Many thanks for mentioning my blog post “The Pyshco…ahem…Psychopath Test” in your related articles section.


    1. In case you’re wondering, I scored 26 out of 33 in that psychopath test. Then again, I went to law school, paid a lot of money for it, so if I didn’t score high, it would’ve been a waste of money, no?


      1. Rayray says:

        I think thats reasonable logic yes, but as Rory Sutherland says, education only works by giving an enourmous unwarranted sense of self confidence – which in turn makes you do better in life… but psychopaths have that already. So the time saving thing would have been to ditch law (which needs certs and letters) and opt for entrepreneurship instead. Too late!


        1. Which is exactly what I’ve done – ditched law and opted for running my own business (albeit a family one). Now you can see why I scored 26/33.



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