Although the traits of psychopathic personality (psychopathy) have received extensive attention from researchers in forensic psychology, psychopathology, and personality psychology, the relations of these traits to aspects of everyday functioning are poorly understood. Using a large internet survey of members of the general population (N = 3388), we examined the association between psychopathic traits, as measured by a brief but well-validated self-report measure, and occupational choice, political orientation, religious affiliation, and geographical residence. Psychopathic traits, especially those linked to fearless dominance, were positively and moderately associated with holding leadership and management positions, as well as high-risk occupations. In addition, psychopathic traits were positively associated with political conservatism, lack of belief in God, and living in Europe as opposed to the United States, although the magnitudes of these statistical effects were generally small in magnitude. Our findings offer preliminary evidence that psychopathic personality traits display meaningful response penetration into daily functioning, and raise provocative questions for future research.
Lilienfeld, Scott O., Robert D. Latzman, Ashley L. Watts, Sarah F. Smith, and Kevin Dutton. 2014. “Correlates of Psychopathic Personality Traits in Everyday Life: Results from a Large Community Survey.” Personality and Social Psychology 5: 740. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00740.
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