[Paleopsych] The Times: Psychopaths Make The Best Market Traders

Premise Checker checker at panix.com
Sun Sep 25 01:54:59 UTC 2005

Psychopaths Make The Best Market Traders
September 19,  2005

Industrial psychology

With the right diagnosis the job is assured

The jokey maxim is as tired as it is common: “You don’t have to be mad to 
work here, but it helps.” Months of exhaustive research by three US 
universities have now proved the aphorism true.  Psychopaths, they found, make 
the best market traders.

Normally we associate the condition with a conveniently deranged murderer who 
is a television staple. Psychopaths are people unable to empathise with human 
emotion, those who feel no qualms of guilt or flashes of sympathy. Who better, 
therefore, to invest our money or trade our shares? No caution, hesitancy, fear 
of risk or reckless enthusiasm.

The American researchers found that the suppression of emotion, usually the 
result of a brain lesion, also creates splendid lawyers and company chief 

Shareholders will applaud the company boss who looks on redundancies with 
equanimity or is sufficiently conscience-free to market the latest execrable 
product while claiming, straight-faced, that it is a boon to mankind. 
Psychiatrists have a glowing future as career guidance officers. No longer need 
patients worry about a diagnosis of neurosis — let them find jobs as clergy, 
tourist guides or anything where a little extra concern would help. Pyromaniac 
firemen would enjoy job satisfaction, agoraphobics would make fine town 
planners, and anyone with an addictive personality is already far down the 
track to becoming a supermodel. Luckiest of all are those with Munchausen’s 
syndrome: a future awaits as university researchers. And in the meantime, give 
your investment advisers psychometric tests: if they pass, sack them.

More information about the paleopsych mailing list