Wednesday, 03 Dec, 2008 Health & Fitness

Psychopaths Are More Likely to Bully the Underdog


Scientists found that people who show psychopathic behavior are more likely to bully most vulnerable colleagues at work instead of picking out those who might represent greatest value for their career.

It is worth mentioning that because psychopathy has been formally associated with business success, researchers considered that people with psychopathic traits were more likely to bully successful people in their workplace. However, the new study overturns the popular believe. Researchers say that most psychopaths do not behave like Jack the Ripper; quite often they do not have a history of violent crimes. The study and its results were published in the Journal of Research in Personality.

Statistics show that 1 in 100 people show antisocial behaviors considered psychopathic. The most popular among them is a coldhearted ability to manipulate people with the goal of accomplishing personal desires.

Together with his colleagues, Kevin Wilson of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, decided to investigate such behavior. They divided 44 male college students into two groups based on results they registered after passing a test that estimated their psychopathic characteristics. According to Wilson, none of the participants qualified as psychopath, but a number of students were found to have behavior associated with psychopaths.

Researchers showed to the students faces of unknown people. Each picture included the name, job and interests of a certain person. Afterwards, participants were interviewed. They were asked to provide details about people seen on the photographs. The results of the interview showed that participants with more psychopathic-like behaviors memorized more details about unsuccessful women and women with sad faces than the normal group on students.

"Psychopaths seem to be better at picking out the most vulnerable victims," concluded Wilson.

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