Psychopath at Work

The word “psychopath” may evoke unrepentant criminals and sensationalist slasher films, but psychopaths are a remarkable 1% of the population — that’s one in 100 people. Hallmarks of a psychopathic personality include an unqualified absence of empathy, an inability to feel guilt or remorse, and a powerful charisma and charm used to control others. Psychopathic individuals can damage the morale and culture of a workplace, often undermining the job satisfaction and engagement of their colleagues and employees.

Cynthia Mathieu, a professor at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, has researched psychopathic behaviour in the workplace extensively. Her recent 2015 study, co published in Personality and Individual Differences, examines how psychopathic leaders impact the attitudes of their employees. Mathieu is currently working with behavioural scientists Robert Hare and Paul Babiak to develop and release the B-Scan, a standardized measure of corporate psychopathy, at the end of 2016. Their mission: keep psychopaths from harming organizations and the people in them.

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