Do Callous Personalities Win In Business? New Research Suggests Not

A new article published in the academic journal Personality and Individuals Differences casts doubt on a widely held assumption in the professional world — that cold and unsympathetic individuals are more likely to rise to the top of the corporate ladder. If anything, the data suggests the opposite.

“There is this public opinion or belief that psychopathy is related with higher success — that individuals high on psychopathic traits would be successful CEOs or politicians,” says Hedwig Eisenbarth, a psychologist at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand and lead author the research. “People often think so because they associate the cold-bloodedness, fearlessness, and low empathy that psychopathy is characterized by with high income positions. So, with my colleagues Claire Hart and Constantine Sedikides from the University of Southampton, we wanted to find out if this actually has an empirical basis.”

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