It can be hard to spot a psychopath.
Not least because many people display personality traits consistent with psychopathy, even if they don’t have a personality disorder. Psychopaths are antisocial creatures, but just because you are anti-social, doesn’t necessarily mean you are a psychopath.
But you may be more likely to encounter a true psychopath in some workplaces than others. According to the Hare psychopath checklist, which was developed in the seventies, psychopaths tend to feel a lack of remorse for destructive acts, but they are unable to feel empathy – just the kind of qualities you might find in a chief executive charged with firing thousands of staff to save costs at a company. But they can also be impulsive, manipulative and sexually promiscuous.
More recent studies by Scott Lilienfeld show that psychopaths display fearless dominance over other people, such as the kind of assertiveness prized in a courtroom or operating theatre.
Journalists, police officers and even clergymen are among the most popular professions for psychopaths, as the graphic shows.