What could be the favorite college course of psychopaths?
Determining psychopathy remains a challenge. The available instruments are not perfect.
Nonetheless, researchers continue to find ways in order to unravel behaviors that are related to psychopathy. They solely rely on personality tests.
For instance, a new study investigated what type of subject psychopaths might be interested in college.
The researchers used personality test that measures the “Dark Triad”. The triad consists of three negative personality traits that characterize psychopathy:
Psychopathy – being indifferent to others’ emotions, being selfish, and anti-social.
Machiavellianism – being manipulative, and love to exploit others.
Narcissism – focused on personal pride and value without empathy for others.
The study surveyed more than 400 Danish students. They were given personality test and asked their preferred future courses.
The finding suggests that high scorer on “Dark Triad” scale are most likely interested in business and economics subjects in college.
In other words, psychopaths are more likely to enroll in business courses.
The possible explanation is that most business people may have focused on self-interests and being indifferent to others’ opinion. A behavior that is common among psychopaths.
However, students who want to enroll in psychology subjects were found to have a low score on the “Dark Triad” scale.
The authors concluded that:
“… there are more individuals manipulative, ruthless, and self-serving behavior in the corporate world than elsewhere, as evidenced by the accumulating research on corporate psychopaths.
It has long been argued that this is partly due to the specific model of the human being that economics, business, and law students are consistently exposed to during their studies: the traditional homo economicus model which emphasizes rationality and self-interest.”
Because of the nature of the future jobs of business graduates, it does make sense why psychopaths are more likely to enroll in business courses.
The authors added:
“The desire for power, status, and money characterizing Dark Triad individuals may steer them towards for, example economics, business, and law educations because these educations pave the way for a career in the corporate world, and the corporate world generally rewards self-serving behaviour and provides an environment in which individuals with dark personalities can make use of their qualities and succeed.”
The findings, however, does not imply that all students who enrolled in business courses in college are all psychopaths.
I’m a licensed psychometrician, author, and blogger. I’m currently working as a University instructor teaching psychology. I love writing and doing psychological research.