Study says your boss might really be a psycho after all

Ground-breaking research suggests that there could be increased numbers of psychopaths in senior managerial positions

Study says your boss might really be a psycho after all

(Image: Flickr/Filippo Diotalevi)

A University of Huddersfield student has proven for the first time what you’ve long suspected to be true – that people with psychopathic tendencies hide how much of a psycho they are to rise to key managerial positions.

Basically, your boss might truly be a psycho.

The study, carried by undergraduate student Carolyn Bate, has just been accepted for publication by the peer-reviewed Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology. The academic periodical praised Ms Bate’s groundbreaking research that traces links between intelligence and pyschopathy with special tests and data analysis.

Carolyn said she got the idea when she read that research showed that 3% of business managers can be psychologically classified as psychopaths, despite the fact that only 1% of the general population is.

“I thought that intelligence could be an explanation for this, and it could be a problem if there are increased numbers of psychopaths at a high level in business,” Carolyn said.

“The figure could be more than three per cent, because if people are aware they are psychopathic they can also lie – they are quite manipulative and lack empathy,” she added.

But Carolyn is quick to explain that in her field, the term ‘psycho’ has a more nuanced meaning than the Norman Bates archetye waiting to explode that pop culture would have us expect.

“The ones who are at the top of businesses are often charming and intelligent, but with emotional deficits, as opposed to psychopaths who are quite erratic and tend to commit gruesome crimes and are often caught and imprisoned,” Carolyn explained.

To put her theories to the test, Carolyn assembled 5 participants; after classifying their intelligence with an IQ test, she then used the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale, which indicates whether participants had psychopathic tendencies.

The guinea pigs then endured Galvanic Skin Response, a technique whereby electrodes were attached to gauge their reaction to shocking images.

The test showed that those with factor one psychopathy and a high IQ – who are more likely to become business managers – displayed little or no emotional response to he pictures of children crying and people suffering.

The conclusion is that those with higher IQs had sufficient intelligence to fake having a normal reaction and hide their psychopathy, making it more difficult to detect their condition.

So, all you'll need to do is covertly recreate all those steps and you'll have verifiable proof, once and for all, that your boss is a psycho.