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Your office might be full of psychopaths

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There might be more psychopaths in your office than you think.

According to a study published in the Personality and Individual Differences journal, the workplace is home to many more psychopaths than those in the external world.

Assessing 200 participants on their dark triad qualities – psychopathy, machiavellianism, and narcissism, the researchers found that these people can be expert manipulators especially in face-to-face negotiations.

“It’s believed that around 3-4% of senior positions in business are occupied by psychopaths, as opposed to 1% in the population as a whole,” wrote.

Thankfully, researchers also uncovered a trick to dealing with these people.

Since these psychopaths and manipulators with dark triad traits are best at face-to-face negotiations where they can ‘switch on the charm’, it is possible to deal with them by taking things online and communicating via email.

Lead author Michael Woodworth of the University of British Columbia said, “The results of this study are pretty clear–once you remove non-verbal cues such as body language from the equation, the ability to smoke out narcissists and psychopaths becomes easier.

“‘We can also conclude that it is very likely that the qualities that allow these people to successfully charm, manipulate, intimidate or exploit others appear to require a live, in-person audience.”

In another study, researchers at De La Salle University in Manila led by Adrianne John Galang found that psychopathic traits might actually be key to creativity. This potentially means that your colleagues working in the creative field might all be psychos.

Examining 503 participants with various divergent-thinking and gambling tasks as well as questionnaires, researchers found that psychopathy-related traits like risk-taking, lowered autonomic response and specifically boldness were related to a person’s creative achievement.

“We argue that emotional disinhibition, in the form of psychopathic boldness, is actually integral to some creative personalities and functionally related to the creative process,” they explained in the Personality and Individual Differences journal.

“Generally then, a creative field might not just shape a person into a more arrogant or dishonest personality, it might be actively selecting them, not for the sake of having disagreeable traits, but because such traits meaningfully co-vary with creativity itself,” they added.

Image: Shutterstock

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