A Woman’s Guide to Identifying Psychopaths, Part 6
The Most Common Jobs for Psychopaths
- Supply Chain Manager (21% per other research)
- CEO (20%)
- Lawyer (12.5%)
- Financial services worker (10% per other research)
- TV or radio personality (10%)
- Salesperson (8.3%)
- Surgeon (5.5%)
- Journalist (5%)
- Police officer (4%)
- Clergy (3%)
- Chef (2.5%)
- Civil Servant (1.6%)
The most psychopathic jobs involve having short-term control or influence over other people’s lives, which mirrors the short-lived sexual relationships psychopaths prefer.
Dutton also reports the ten jobs which have the lowest frequency of psychopaths. They are:
Artisans or craftsmen (0.025%)
Charity workers (0.037%)
Most of the jobs with the least psychopathically-inclined people have to do with nurturing others, grooming, and/or keeping things orderly. Artisans and craftsmen are always seeking to make their work more aesthetically pleasing; idealism probably derives at least in part from this instinct.
Jobs psychopaths like better tend to have a larger pay gap between the 90th and 10th percentiles. In fact, there is a correlation between the pay gap width and whether it’s a top or bottom job among psychopaths of 0.23, which is fairly strong. Among occupations having more than 100,000 people, it moves to an even stronger correlation of 0.38. Correlation doesn’t always imply causation, and linear regression analysis is needed to determine whether psychopathy is causing this pay gap. Many things determine the pay gap in a field, such as whether the job deals with necessities versus luxuries, whether the field is overcrowded or short-staffed, whether the compensation must offset hikes in higher tax brackets, and how broad or varied jobs in the field are, but I suspect the prevalence of psychopathic traits among the workers influences it to some degree.
Given that psychopaths thrive under abusive bosses, one would imagine they also thrive under stingy bosses who don’t want to pay them a living wage as a starting salary.
Let’s now review each of these jobs in detail:
1. Supply chain managers are highly psychopathic on average. In fact, 21% are clinical psychopaths, which means almost all of them are probably subclinically psychopathic. According to one source,
[a] study of 261 corporate professionals working in supply chain management found that 21 percent of those individuals had clinically significant levels of psychopathic traits, such as insincerity, lack of empathy or remorse, egocentric behavior, and the ability to be both charming and superficial.
The effects of their lack of empathy are seen in how they treat workers in the transportation and warehousing industries. Warehouse workers often must start work at as early as 4:00 AM, presumably so some schlub can get a package in three days instead of four. Psychopaths’ coldness makes them well-suited for pushing workers to their limit.
Coldness alone isn’t enough to be a good slave driver. One supply chain consultant claims the main thing that makes them good at their jobs is people skills, or “emotional intelligence,” as the Jew Daniel Goleman calls it. People like Dale Carnegie seem to second this notion of weaponized agreeableness and extroversion in the service of self-advancement in a capitalist system. This way, when they deprive the poor Amazon worker of a bathroom break, they look as nice as possible while doing it.
The reason psychopaths likely excel in supply chain management is that it is entirely parasitic in the sense that they don’t make or nourish anything, but instead direct resources around the economy so that middle-aged people (the only people with any money to spend) can consume them more efficiently.
2. Chief Executive Officers: If American corporations were people, they’d be psychopaths. Perhaps the reason is that an eighth of corporate CEOs are literal psychopaths, and most are probably subclinically psychopathic. Psychopaths like to dominate a conversation, so it makes sense they’d want to dominate a company. Glibness and superficial charm help them impress investors and clients. Being manipulative helps them to exploit workers, and their callousness helps them not to feel bad about it. Their lack of remorse helps them scapegoat employees for their mistakes and terrorize the rest into working harder. It often doesn’t work out in the long run, though, because turnover accelerates as people jump ship, creating a vicious cycle of using people up and spitting them out. The easy method of advertising on the Internet enable psychopath-run institutions to fill these gaps more quickly than in previous times, which may contribute to providing a greater carrying capacity in the economy for psychopathic CEOs.
Entrepreneurs become CEOs on a smaller scale. Entrepreneurial orientation is associated with all three dark triad traits, including psychopathy, but sustained entrepreneurial success correlates with having less psychopathy. In other words, entrepreneurs are more psychopathic to begin with, but successful ones aren’t as much. Thus, the best thing an entrepreneur can do to salvage his reputation is to succeed.
For its part, the short-term nature of the highly psychopathic entrepreneur’s ventures mirrors the psychopath’s tendency to have dalliances with women.
Most of the white-collar entrepreneurs I’ve met were dodgy, unforthcoming with details, and not interested in forming genuine relationships. The blue-collar ones, however, were humbler and more honest, especially if they did the same work as their employees. Regardless of whether they are blue- or white-collar, a great way for an entrepreneur to show they’re not overly psychopathic is to succeed, because as stated earlier, the successful ones are less psychopathic on average.
Similar to how the most psychopathic entrepreneurs don’t last, psychopaths get fired more often than non-psychopaths. Their short stints at companies are something recruiters, human resources, and hiring managers — many of whom are also very callous and cold-hearted, like psychopaths — gladly hold against them.
Psychopaths are not only more likely to get fired, but they get promoted faster. They advance more quickly through institutions by cutting corners and do an incredible amount of damage in the process. One study showed that corporations which show greater “corporate social responsibility” perform better in the market, but when psychopaths are in charge, they show less corporate social responsibility and perform worse. In other words, psychopaths are both more likely to become bosses, yet will be bad at it.
One must wonder whether Ayn Rand, who conceived of CEOs as being like the mythological Atlas holding up a company instead of the Earth, ever met one in real life. To quote Napoleon, who was once the most powerful man in the world, “Soldiers generally win battles; generals get credit for them.” Similarly, workers make companies succeed, and CEOs get the credit for it — and the money.
And the money is increasing. CEO pay has been increasing relative to worker pay since the 1960s. More money is at stake in these companies because they are much bigger and more powerful, but it’s hard to imagine they’re truly worth 15 times what they were in 1970 — as that’s how much more they are paid nowadays. It seems that CEOs pay themselves more because they are psychopathically bamboozling people into thinking they’re worth it, rather than actually earning it.
The ratio of CEO pay to worker pay is higher in the US than anywhere else. It is higher in general in multiracial nations. It makes sense that in environments where people don’t feel altruistic towards their fellow man, because their fellow man isn’t like them, there’s more of a winner-take-all mentality.
While psychopaths probably do more harm than good in executive roles, some attributes of psychopathy seem to help mildly psychopathic people do better as managers. For one thing, psychopathic men produce less cortisol in their adrenal glands (located above the kidneys) in response to stress. This helps them better manage the stresses that go with a CEO’s job. Oddly enough, psychopathic women don’t produce less cortisol like psychopathic men do, so they have no advantage in this respect.
There is more evidence that a mild degree of psychopathy may cause CEOs to perform better. For example, as we saw in Part 3, psychopaths tend to have wider faces on average, and a study showed that CEOs who had wider faces performed better than ones who had narrower faces. Although this seemed to hold true most often for companies whose management has more of a black-and-white worldview.
Christopher Columbus was the CEO of a venture to find gold. When preparing for the return journey from the New World, he and his men realized they were going to starve unless they brought enough food for the journey. Columbus asked the Indians of what is now Jamaica for food, but they refused to give him any, since they only grew what they needed. Columbus knew a lunar eclipse was coming, so he told them that if they didn’t give him the food he wanted, his god would block out the Moon. When the eclipse occurred, the Indians were frightened, and they did what Columbus demanded. Neil DeGrasse Tyson bemoans what might have happened to those Indians after they lost their crops, but the choice for Columbus and his men was life or death. When a leader acts psychopathically on your behalf in a zero-sum game – i.e., when it’s either you or them – it’s hard to complain. Obviously it’s best to avoid interethnic conflict, but when it’s unavoidable, a nice guy doesn’t help.
3. Lawyers: A lawyer friend tells me that lawyers used to be able to get away with shadier behavior in the 1980s and ‘90s, but that this isn’t as true today. A psychopath can still dupe clients in some ways, though. One is to collude with judges and other lawyers to keep cases going for a long time and then charge huge retainer fees. Another is to charge a fee for a service and then jump ship once it has been completed, sometimes leaving their client in a fix. These things still go on, even if not as much.
It’s telling that lawyer is a top occupation for psychopaths. The callousness and lack of remorse are likelier stronger among lawyers than other psychopathic traits because they need to side with their client — or, perhaps more appropriately, money — to get rich. Also, because many federal-level politicians in America are former lawyers, they have an incentive to empower their lawyer friends to live parasitically on the commoners, who must employ their services to comply with their colleagues in power.
I suspect female lawyers, just like female CEOs and real estate agents, are less psychopathic than men in those fields on average, but then again they usually need to forego childbearing to some extent for the sake of their career.
Psychopathy may actually make lawyers better in one way: A study found that people high in psychopathic traits get more dopamine in the part of the brain called the nucleus accumbens when anticipating monetary rewards. This may help a lawyer to take on cases that don’t pay as much because the reward seems bigger to them. This may be a good thing because they will then help the less fortunate win cases where they will receive small payoffs but where it might be quite big for the client. A lawyer who is both generous and a little psychopathic can do well for a poor client.
4. About 10% of finance workers are psychopaths. Finance smacks of psychopathy for several reasons. For one, psychopaths talk about money twice as often, so interest in jobs in that sector comes naturally to them.
Secondly, the pay scale for finance jobs starts out quite low and ends up quite high, which is typical of fields where psychopaths are more common. Investment banks strongly base compensation on experience to prevent employees from leaving for other jobs. Even when they finally start making good money in their thirties, they must live in extremely expensive cities such as New York. It’s almost like a “blood in, blood out” sort of deal where they rope people in and don’t let them leave. The lack of empathy for the people in the jobs is obvious, but psychopaths thrive under abusive conditions, so they probably enjoy it.
CEOs in finance are the square of two highly psychopathic fields: finance (10%) and corporate CEOs (20%). From this explosive mixture we find Ponzi schemers such as Bernie Madoff or Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX.
Callousness, a trait of factor 1 psychopathy, may actually help someone in finance though because such people don’t react emotionally to downturns in the market. They buy low and sell high contrary to what most people’s emotions would tell them. Isaac Newton, who was a genius, lost money in investments due to reacting emotionally, so intelligence alone doesn’t seem to be enough to facilitate success in this field.
5. TV and radio personalities must attract many women, just like how a polygamous chieftain would. Psychopathy is associated with polygamy, since DNA shows that East Asians and whites have been more monogamous, and modern testing shows them to be less psychopathic. It helps to explain why nearly every actor and media personality has a carousel of romantic partners, offering good fodder for parasitic paparazzi to photograph and gossip columnists to discuss.
6. Psychopathic salesmen can’t do as much damage to you as psychopathic lawyers can. They may fool you into wasting your money on something, but they can’t make your life a living hell or bilk you out of thousands of dollars like a psychopathic lawyer can. Despite not having the capacity for as much harm, they still aren’t the best lot. If a salesman ever tells you something is a bestseller, the odds are that he’s lying. Adjectives are the salesman’s best friend, and numbers and statistics his worst enemy.
There are a number of psychopathic traits which help salesmen. While psychopaths may feel regret over past actions, they fail to anticipate the ramifications of future ones. This may help psychopathic salesmen in encountering dozens of rejections before making a sale.
Superficial charm (often manifesting itself in pretending to be tickled with glee), being manipulative, pathologically lying about every item, lacking empathy for the people they’re swindling, and being irresponsible in getting customers to buy things on loan-shark terms all help salesmen to succeed. Salesmen often put their interests above those of their clients.
Sales managers are a sort of cross between a CEO and salesman. Any time two jobs that are high in psychopathy overlap, the prevalence is probably very high. This seems to especially be the case with sales managers. One study found that the best salespeople drive down sales when they become sales managers, suggesting that if the company were to hire a random salesman rather than the best, he would make a better sales manager. This may be because sales is closer to a zero-sum game where the salesman wins out against the client, whereas being a manager necessitates mutually beneficial interactions demanding altruism and trust. Since the best salesmen tend to lack this trait, they often find themselves lackluster as sales managers.
Nowadays, corporations are trying to squeeze as much profit from their workers’ paychecks as possible, including those of salesmen. Thus, they often don’t have it as easy in the younger generations as the older ones did. This seems to empower psychopaths in the profession, since they thrive when working under abusive, presumably stingy bosses.
Good, non-psychopathic salesmen have a mentorship instinct toward their coworkers. They give them a lot of encouragement and help them advance in the company. They creatively fix the errors and mistakes that less conscientious, intelligent people make. They can still be a bit shifty, and they can talk their way out of any problem by never showing any guilt, but they ultimately have empathy for others and don’t harm those beneath them in the hierarchy. They have a stronger in-group instinct and don’t sell out their fellow salesmen. If they become sales managers, they don’t manipulate and exploit those under them. They also help them during times of distress. Sadly, shareholders are so greedy and workers are so stupid that ethically-minded salesmen are less likely to be promoted to sales manager these days.
To be continued . . .
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