Nobody likes to be called a dummy by a dummy.

Difference between lower and upper classes

If you're a lower class psycopath, you become a criminal.

If you're an upper class psycopath, you become a CEO.

http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/96/open_boss.html

Fun quote:

"The obvious danger of the new B-Scan test for psychopathic tendencies is that companies will hire or promote people with high scores rather than screen them out."
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 19th, 2005
Fun article. I recognize at least one person in my past business life that falls into the psychopath arena, and he was sales.

I distinctly recall the time that this sales guy I knew cried openly over his friend dying (supposedly). What he really wanted was the day off, and he went out drinking instead of going home to mourn with his friend's family like he said he was going to. Sure, some people handle grief that way, but we (the sales team) identified him as a snake for various other actions and we watched him manuever with disgusted awe.

I certainly didn't want to believe he could be so strangely evil. He took me in his "confidence" and told me about his sexual exploits with several females at the company. He regularly stole clients from everyone. He stabbed colleagues in the back and manipulated the management into giving him choice accounts by lying.

I sometimes thought he thought I was a psycho just like him, but looking back, I think he was trying to manipulate me, too.

He went on to become a VP at another company, has the blonde trophy wife and a huge home in the burbs. He is well on his way to CEO-dom.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
Heh. One of the commenters on the article says GWB scores 16/16 on the psychopath quiz.
Permalink sharkfish 
August 19th, 2005
Of course, that quiz is filled with subjective questions that will score differently depending on who fills it in.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Law enforcement people in the article seem to think the test has some predictive value, for whatever that's worth.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 19th, 2005
"He went on to become a VP at another company, has the blonde trophy wife and a huge home in the burbs. He is well on his way to CEO-dom."

So let that be a lesson to all you kids out there! Being an evil psychopath doesn't pay!

Er...
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 19th, 2005
The police have a number of erronius assumptions they base decisions on. I forget the specific example, but I read or heard somewhere something about how they use some decision making metric that the whole rest of the world has discredited.

Anyway, think of _anyone_ you're pissed off at, and answer those questions about them. Then fill it out a month or two later after things have cooled off and the scores will be wildly different.
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
Interesting. I was thinking that the test would be taken by the person being profiled. I thought it must be an awful clever test to prevent people from gaming it.

But if it's a test filled out by one person to assess someone else, yes, that has a whole other set of issues.
Permalink Jim Rankin 
August 19th, 2005
Who's going to answer YES to "[3] Is he a pathological liar?"
Permalink MarkTAW 
August 19th, 2005
>> He went on to become a VP at another company, has the blonde trophy wife and a huge home in the burbs. He is well on his way to CEO-dom. <<

I bet if you had some of the special glasses like Roddy Piper had, you could see that the entire family is really a bunch of aliens.
Permalink example 
August 20th, 2005
Unfortunately, the book that describes what the questions are, what they measure, and what the validity of the test covers, is only available for sale to shrinks (and it is $95). Is it a good test? Its secret. Is it a bad test? Its secret. Does it cover what the article seems to claim it covers? Its secret. When folks hide the alleged validity of a test behind a mystery, they may as well be reading the bumps on your head. After all, that is what polygraphs are doing: depending on your belief/fantasy that the test is valid.
Permalink Peter 
August 20th, 2005
I have worked for a straight 16 in the past. I left when I found out (believe me, it can take quite some time before you can see through the mask). This article thaught me nothing new.
Permalink Just me (Sir to you) 
August 22nd, 2005
The difference between crazy and eccentric is economic.

Just to play Devil's Advocate... If being a psychopath gets you further in life, then why should it be viewed with such disdain?

If it results in people having the things they want then it can't be all bad. From a morally agnostic standpoint, it is a damned good idea really.

It even increases your chances of procreation, maybe even promiscuous procreation, so why is it not the norm?

And how does a manipulative, non-violent, psychopath harm people? I mean, noone likes being manipulated, but is there any real argument that the aforementioned's crying for beer harmed anyone? The underhanded jockeying for accounts could really just be seen as the offspring of competition. It sounds like it works, afterall.

Besides, other than 'robbing' the other sales guys of the accounts, what damage has been done to anyone? Is the line drawn at lying? I always thought that a certain degree of "truth-flexibility" was absolutely required for sales.

Could it be that management knows such people lie to them, thus they are the ones that "deserve" the big accounts? (having proven they have what it takes)
Permalink I am Jack's psychopathic psalm 
August 22nd, 2005
Jack's sez : "(Being a psychopath) even increases your chances of procreation, maybe even promiscuous procreation, so why is it not the norm?"

Because a population of hawks is not an evolutionarily stable strategy. ;) Thanks, Richard Dawkins!
Permalink Snark 
August 22nd, 2005

This topic was orginally posted to the off-topic forum of the
Joel on Software discussion board.

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