Psychopathic Personality Traits in College Students: Are Business Students More Psychopathic?
Psychopathy is a condition characterized by antisocial behavior and emotional impairment such as reduced empathy, shallow affect, and behaviors like threats, bullying, and violence that cause victims distress (Blair et al., 2006). Neuroimaging research has linked psychopathy to disruptions in recognizing and responding to fear-relevant stimuli like fearful expressions and situations of impending threat (Birbaumer et al., 2005; Marsh & Blair, 2008). So although fear typically elicits altruism and prosocial behavior, psychopaths are impaired in processing others’ fear cues and fail to reflect prosocial behaviors. Moreover, recent literature on “corporate psychopathy” or “successful psychopathy” suggest that a small population of subclinically psychopathic individuals tend to succeed in the business world, thanks to traits such as assertiveness, confidence, and perceived intelligence that prove advantageous in the boardroom.
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