How much of a psychopath is Donald Trump? Worse than Hitler, apparently

Saddam Hussein tops the list ahead of Henry VIII and Idi Amin   

Tuesday 23 August 2016 17:59 BST
Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton: Who has more psychopathic traits?

Donald Trump has more psychopathic traits than Adolf Hitler, according to a a new study.

Using a standard psychometric tool, Dr Kevin Dutton of Oxford University ranked both presidential candidates and a series of historical world figures.

Trump scored 171, achieving two more points than Adolf Hitler, after experts gave their suggestions on how each individual would have scored against a series of questions.

Saddam Hussein topped the list, scoring 189, while presidential hopeful Hilary Clinton received a score of 152, placing her in the top 20 per cent.

The method, known as the Psychopathtic Personality Inventory – Revised (PPI-R), scores candidates based on eight traits, including fearlessness, stress immunity and cold-heartedness.

Study author Dr Kevin Dutton said: "Both great and terrible leaders score higher than the general population for psychopathic traits, but it is the mix of those traits that determines success.

"For example, someone who scores highly for being influential, fearless and cold hearted could be a decisive leader who can make dispassionate decisions. If those traits are accompanied by a high score on blaming others, they might be a genocidal demagogue."

It is difficult to make assessment of Trump and Clinton’s leadership potential as both scored highly on positive and negative traits.

On factors including social influence and fearlessness Trump outperformed Hitler and Clinton did better than Roman emperor when assessed for “Machiavellian egocentricity.”

Psychopaths are often pathological liars, have very high self-estimation, are impulsive and fail to regulate and take responsibility for their behaviours.

And you may be more likely to encounter a true psychopath in some workplaces than others.

Diagnosing a narcissist with Donald Trump

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 below shows.

Pyschopathy exists on a spectrum, and not all psychopaths will display all the signs.

Additional reporting by Elsa Vuillamy and Hazel Sheffield

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