These Are the 10 Most Psychopathic Jobs in America

These Are the 10 Most Psychopathic Jobs in America
Source: The Week
Source: The Week

As an aspiring lawyer, I suspected it all along, but now my suspicions have been (unfortunately) confirmed: We're all crazy. 

A ranking compiled by Oxford psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success, suggests that lawyers, CEOs, and TV/Media top the list for professions chosen by psychopaths. Conversely, care aids, nurses, and therapists are the least psychopathic professions. 


Some aspects of the list seem a bit counterintuitive. For example, doctors are listed as "-Psychopathy" while surgeons are listed as "+Psychopathy." I was also intrigued that chefs are a psychopathic bunch. Who knew?

Note that, while the word "psychopath" generally conjures up images of crazed men with chainsaws, the actual dictionary definition is less scary. According to The Week, a psychopath is a person who has a "personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity, and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality." 

The natural question that comes up when viewing this list is: Why? The obvious answer is that for the most part the jobs on the left offer up much more of a feeling of power than the jobs on the right do. In addition, while some of the jobs on the left certainly provide the potential for human connections (I certainly think "lawyer," "clergyperson," "civil servant," and "surgeon" do), more of the jobs in the right-hand column stress empathy on a day-to-day basis. Indeed, a prerequisite for being a good nurse or therapist is the capacity to empathize with one's fellow human beings. 

That said, it seems to me that empathy is direly needed by many of the professions in the left-hand column too. A good defense attorney, for example, should surely be able to empathize with her client. A priest should (one would hope) empathize with his congregation. Assuming the list is accurate, then, the professions on the left could probably learn a heck of a lot from the ones on the right. 

However, next time I see a chef clutching a knife, I'll be sure to run in the opposite direction. 

How much do you trust the information in this article?

Michael Shammas

Second-year Harvard Law student, politico, Breaking Bad fan, cynical idealist, coffee addict, & Duke sports fanatic. Contact me at mshammas@jd16.law.harvard.edu.

MORE FROM

Know who’s really winning ‘Game of Thrones’ this season? The show’s editing team

Props to Crispin Green and Tim Porter for episodes one and two, respectively. Y'all are some gross monsters.

TJ Miller’s explanation of the “feminist agenda” in ‘The Emoji Movie’ proves the bar is too low

How feminist can a movie with no female writers really be?

On Lana Del Rey’s lust for social consciousness

For her latest studio full-length, LDR proves there's more to her than the flower-crown aesthetic.

‘Game of Thrones’ Theories: Arya and Nymeria finally reunited, but what does it mean?

So, is Arya actually heading back to Winterfell?

‘Game of Thrones’: So Samwell Tarly is basically George R.R. Martin, right?

Finally, Jon Snow's sidekick has a greater purpose.

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone's true nature is exposed in "Stormborn"

WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, THEON!

Know who’s really winning ‘Game of Thrones’ this season? The show’s editing team

Props to Crispin Green and Tim Porter for episodes one and two, respectively. Y'all are some gross monsters.

TJ Miller’s explanation of the “feminist agenda” in ‘The Emoji Movie’ proves the bar is too low

How feminist can a movie with no female writers really be?

On Lana Del Rey’s lust for social consciousness

For her latest studio full-length, LDR proves there's more to her than the flower-crown aesthetic.

‘Game of Thrones’ Theories: Arya and Nymeria finally reunited, but what does it mean?

So, is Arya actually heading back to Winterfell?

‘Game of Thrones’: So Samwell Tarly is basically George R.R. Martin, right?

Finally, Jon Snow's sidekick has a greater purpose.

‘Game of Thrones’: Everyone's true nature is exposed in "Stormborn"

WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU, THEON!