Your 'Inner Psychopath' Could Make You a Big Success

A book by Kevin Dutton looks to learn from nutcases
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2012 6:15 PM CDT

(Newser) – What psychopaths have too much of, we could all use in small doses—or so argues Kevin Dutton in a new book called The Wisdom of Psychopaths. Easy charm, unassailable self-confidence, outsize ego, and resistance to self-blame are among the qualities that horrify us in Anders Breivik, say, but seem admirable in John F Kennedy. "Indeed, those at the higher end of the psychopathic spectrum are often stars in the professional world," writes Robert Herritt in a mostly favorable review at The Daily Beast.

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One British survey even listed the most psychopath-heavy professions, including lawyer, chef, clergy person, and—yikes—media professional. It makes sense scientifically, notes Herritt, because Darwinism would naturally reward those with psychopathic qualities. He likes the book, but says its "provocative thesis"—that we can all learn from such maniacs—"sometimes falls victim to the pervasive habit among popular psychology writers to turn every insight into a self-help strategy." Click for Herritt's full review. (Or read about psychopaths' verbal tics or lousy sense of smell.)

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