Far out Friday: Psychopathic professions

by Mackenzie McCarty01 Nov 2013

Here’s a cosy thought: According to a survey conducted by psychologist Kevin Dutton, some of society’s most highly-regarded occupations – including police officers and surgeons - are held by a disproportionate number of psychopaths.

There is some good news though; while most people associate psychopaths with Hannibal Lecter-types, apparently not all of them kill people. Around 15-25% of people in prison suffer from the condition, but many people with psychopathic tendencies aren’t criminals - they just don’t feel all that bad if you happen to die on the operating table while they pick away at your brain with a rusty scalpel.

According to Dutton’s study, the Great British Psychopath Survey, the ten professions most likely to be held by psychopaths are (in order from most likely to least):

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

And, just so you know where you’re safest, here are the professions with the least psychopaths (from least to most):

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

Of course, none of this means that every lawyer - or journalist - is a psychopath (hey, stop rolling your eyes!), it’s just that there appears to be an overlap between psychopathic personality traits and the types of people who go into the above professions.

Now, where did I leave that pesky chainsaw…


  • by Lyndi Adams 1/11/2013 9:18:46 AM

    Aren't a lot of CEOs ex-accountants? Does moving up the career ladder increase tendency towards psychopathy then?

  • by SIDBROKER 1/11/2013 10:26:11 AM

    How would we classify KRudd then. What about the Swan. What about the faceless men. Holly smoke this opens up an interesting debate for want of a better adjective.

  • by Well.... 1/11/2013 12:47:25 PM

    Think Sid qualifies.