[Paleopsych] sociopaths in business
waluk at earthlink.net
Wed Nov 16 18:34:26 UTC 2005
For those interested in Dr. Robert Hare's psychopathic checklist might
find this link of interest:
Todd I. Stark wrote:
>Frank posted this article a while back, it seems relevant to the current
>discussion since it offers a rationale for how and when psychopaths
>Evil lurks at the top? MD urges screening CEOs for psychopaths
>Thursday, August 29, 2002
>By ALAN CAIRNS, TORONTO SUN
>ST.JOHN'S, Nfld. -- A leading expert on psychopaths said the
>heartbreak, chaos and economic slump caused by corporate corruption
>could be avoided if prospective CEOs were screened for psychopathy.
>Saying he was ill at ease with many of North America's top executives
>who are currently under fire for misleading shareholders and milking
>hundreds of millions of dollars in company cash, Dr. Robert Hare said
>corporate North America is likely rife with psychopaths.
>Hare, whose psychopathic checklist diagnostic tool is used around the
>world, said ruthless psychopaths who have managed to hide their true
>nature because of a privileged upbringing can commit their crimes with
>impunity in the business world.
>THEY FIT THE MOULD
>While he stressed that many thieves and fraud artists are not
>psychopaths, Hare said when executives take hundreds of millions of
>other people's cash "blatantly and with malicious forethought" they
>fit the psychopathic mould.
>"Many people will lose their life savings. Some will have heart
>attacks, commit suicide. If they are not psychopaths, they sure as
>hell are not model citizens," he said.
>Hare said psychopaths typically "eat up" interviewers and head hunters
>who scrutinize CEO candidates.
>"For your average psychopath, it's no problem at all."
>He said screening CEOs and financiers who handle millions could be
>"You would check into his family background. He is what he is in all
>domains -- a rule breaker. The rules don't apply."
>Hare said companies are more at risk in today's tough economy.
>"That's when the psychopath moves in ... where there is chaos and the
>rules no longer apply. Enter the psychopath ... saying: I've got the
>Hare gave the analogy of psychopaths who rise to power whenever there
>is chaos in political structures, noting African warlords, the former
>Yugoslavia and Nazi Germany.
>Steve Hovland wrote on 11/15/2005, 6:41 PM:
> > I can't remember the name of the book, but some time
> > ago some people wrote a book claiming that our child-
> > rearing practices were creating an increased number
> > of sociopaths- empathy impaired. When I think about
> > children killing children these days, I think they
> > were right.
> > So I think the supply has changed and the rules
> > have chained as well. Those of us who don't like
> > Bush may want to reflect on the idea that he
> > represents a composite portrait of the American
> > psyche.
> > Steve
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org
> > [mailto:paleopsych-bounces at paleopsych.org]On Behalf Of Michael
> > Christopher
> > Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2005 11:34 AM
> > To: paleopsych at paleopsych.org
> > Subject: [Paleopsych] sociopaths in business
> > Frank says:
> > >>But how did it come to pass that "greedy
> > psychotics" took over the business world?<<
> > --If it's true that sociopaths have had an advantage
> > in any field, it would likely have been due to an
> > ability to "play the game" better, to manipulate
> > social networks more effectively than those who
> > concentrated on ability or ethics. And strategies that
> > get results tend to spread throughout a culture,
> > regardless of whether those strategies are ecological
> > or predatory. If it undermines long term stability,
> > that's just the outcome of everyone's short term
> > decisions.
> > >>More seriously, what is there about the
> > *current* rules of business that result in "greedy
> > psychotics" taking over? Have the rules changed? Has
> > the supply of "greedy psychotics" increased? If so,
> > why?<<
> > --It's possible that sociopaths eventually learn to
> > exploit *any* social system, if everyone else falls
> > asleep or is too busy focusing on personal advantage.
> > Perhaps sociopaths exploit everyone else's minor
> > flaws. It may not be the official rules that are the
> > problem, but rather the unofficial culture, the web of
> > personal connections and communication styles. As I
> > said, I have no reason to believe the problem is
> > confined to business, since I've seen groups with
> > little power or money fall under the same spell.
> > >>I urge you to always think about processes and
> > the rules governing those processes.<<
> > --Good advice. The faces change, but the underlying
> > processes remain.
> > Michael
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