“Snake in a Suit”: What percentage of senior corporate executives got high marks on the “Psychopathic Personality Checklist”?

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Snake in a Suit, The above sentence is an impromptu conversation that Haier answered questions on the spot after attending a speech at the Canadian Police Association in St. John, Newfoundland and Labrador in 2002. The person who asked the question turned out to be a reporter. In the next few days, the international media picked up this passage in his report and regarded it as a big reveal. Media coverage clearly reflects the popular perception that psychopaths equate crime and violence, as well as the popular and media fascination with murder and brutality, which typically label such individuals “psychopaths” or “sociopaths.” sick people”.

Media headlines and TV crime dramas are often the only way the general public is exposed to the concept of psychopathy, which has led to a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding. Most people only see it entertaining, with psychopaths being portrayed as personal heroes independent of general societal norms. However, most people would be horrified if they actually experienced or observed the cruelty portrayed on television or in the movies. The same is true for professionals in the corporate world, where the plot of such movies has little relevance to their day-to-day interactions with their colleagues.

Unfortunately, solid empirical research on entrepreneurial psychopathy is rare. Most research (including some by the authors of this book) relies on self-reported personality categories, as well as ratings of various dark personalities. These include: The Dark Triad (including: psychopathy, narcissism, Machievelliism), and the “Dark Tetrad” (The Dark Tetrad) with sadism added.

This raises some questions, because self-representations of personality, especially those with a natural tendency to manipulate and deceive others, tend to be on the bright side in a corporate context. Many of these studies did not involve people in actual workplaces. Instead, they often use college students, or volunteers recruited from online crowdsourcing marketplaces such as Amazon Mechanical Turk.

Until recently, we had only a handful of small studies, anecdotal studies, and inferences about corporate psychopathy and its effects. One of the main reasons is that active collaboration between companies and their employees for research purposes is not readily available. At the same time, the public and the media have a keen interest in knowing what type of person abuses their position of influence and trust; deceives customers, investors, friends and family, circumvents legal regulations, and causes financial chaos and harm to themselves. Personal harm, indifference.

When there are massive Ponzi schemes, insider trading, mortgage fraud, and Internet scams, inevitably, psychopathy is the most frequently cited explanation for such ruthless social harm. But we lack empirical data on the role of psychopathy in fraud, corruption, malfeasance, and other malicious breaches of public trust. We need to do research in this area, but we also need to examine a related and equally important question: the prevalence, strategies, and consequences of psychopathy in the corporate world.

Information from such investigations can provide invaluable clues about the general nature of corporate psychopathy, while building an empirical basis for the study and evaluation of high-profile perpetrators who have brought financial and financial consequences to large numbers of people. Emotionally significant harm. While they’ve gotten a lot of attention in the media and law enforcement of late, we should also be concerned about less visible, but no less common, internal fraud and corruption in many corporations and some smaller companies around the world. Little is known about these individuals, or how they avoided prosecution, removal or formal discipline, sometimes by virtue of the company’s own reluctance to show its ugliness.


An Empirical Corporate Study Using the Psychopathic Personality Checklist (Revised Edition)

We briefly mentioned a seminal study in the previous chapter, and an in-depth analysis of it is here provided for interested readers. This research comes from a rather unusual scenario. Over a period of several years, one of the authors (Babiak) consulted with seven US companies and evaluated 203 corporate executives (77.8% male and 22.2% female) selected for management development programs .

Through face-to-face interviews, observations of social and work-team interactions, and interviews with participants’ supervisors, peers, and subordinates, he completed comprehensive field notes from participants, and used these notes to complete each participant’s The Psychopathy Personality Checklist (Revised Edition).

He and the second author of this book (Hale) reviewed the scores of some of them. We had to remove two of the non-applicable items, because the focus of these two is on criminals (revocation of parole, diversity of criminal behavior), according to the standard procedure of the Psychopathic Personality Checklist (Revised Edition) , to scale the remaining 18 items into fractions of 20 items.

With this information, we were able to determine the prevalence, distribution, and structure of psychopathic traits in the sample. Importantly, we had access to “independent” performance and management development measures provided by these companies, allowing us to determine the extent and manner in which psychopathy was associated with these variables.


Competence area

While the format and terminology of some items differed, the assessment tools used by the companies shared the same outcome variables, as is often the case when defining “leadership.” These assessment items reflect six management competency areas:

  1. Communication skills: conducting presentations, report/letter writing, representing the company externally in public, coaching others.
  2. Creativity/Innovation: The ability to generate new or different ideas (creativity) and bring them to market (innovation).
  3. Strategic Thinking: Conceiving the big picture, envisioning future visions, and setting long-term goals.
  4. Leadership Skills: Making decisions, solving problems, dealing with problems without direction, having integrity.
  5. Management Style: The ability to use people effectively to get work done, solve personnel problems, and empathize with others. Including: dealing with diversity issues, delegating work, and building teams.
  6. Team focus: Ability to work with teams of colleagues and cross-disciplinary teams, collaboration, sharing information and credit with teams, keeping others informed at work, striving to find common ground.

Participants were given an average score for each of the six assessed variables, categorized as: “high” (i.e., strength), “moderate” (representing some improvement), or “low” (representing strength). Weaknesses require training or administrative guidance). We mark them as 3 points, 2 points, and 1 point respectively.

Most large companies use formal annual performance reviews, which often lead to recommendations for training and development. Most companies use a five-point performance appraisal (Performance Appraisal), from the highest 5 points (far above expectations) to 1 point (much below expectations). An exploratory factor analysis of the six management competencies and job performance evaluations reveals two clear factors, or composites:

  1. Charisma/Expressive Style: This combination incorporates the first 3 competency areas listed above: Communication Skills, Creativity/Innovation, and Strategic Thinking.
  2. Responsibility/performance. This combination includes the last three competency areas: management style, team focus, leadership, plus performance evaluation.

The main rationale for this study was to answer the following question: How much do these “combinations” correlate with psychopathy? Given what we know about psychopathy, we would expect that those who score high on the Psychopathy Personality Checklist, Revised, should score high on Charisma/Expressive Style and low on Responsibility/Work Performance point. In other words, they are superficial, but the actual work performance is poor.


psychopathy score

The scores of the “Psychopathic Personality Checklist (Revised Edition)” for senior executives range from 0 to 34, and the overall average score is 3.6. That said, the level of psychopathy in this sample was fairly low.

“However, nine participants (4.4%) scored over 25, eight (3.9%) scored over 30 (the threshold score for psychopathy in general studies), two scored 33, and one scored 34. In comparison, the average score of male inmates in prison is around 22, with about 15 percent scoring over 30.”

Babiak and colleagues note an interesting point: “Of the nine individuals who scored over 25 on the Revised Psychopathic Personality Checklist, two were vice presidents and two were directors. Two are managers or team leaders, and one holds other management positions; that is to say, they have reached a considerable rank and status in their respective companies.”

Statistical analysis shows that the scores of the “Psychopathic Personality Checklist (Revised Edition)” here also find out the scores in the “Psychopathic Personality Checklist (Revised Edition)” and the Psychopathic Personality Checklist (Screening Edition) in the past. 》The same four factors: interpersonal, emotional, lifestyle, and antisocial.


book introduction

This article is excerpted from “Snake in a Suit”, Yuanliu Publishing

Author: Paul. Babiak, Robert. Haier
Translator: Ye Zhongren

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The most terrible parasitism in the world happens in the workplace. Are you parasitized? Psychiatry authorities Dr. Paul Babiak and Dr. Robert Hale found that the white-collar workplace is full of glamorous but incapable, liars and cruel villains. These people are genuine pathological personalities Or, many white-collar crimes are committed by them! The industry also calls this kind of people: “snakes in suits.”

  • Who is “Snake in a Suit”?

They often appear to be human, but beneath their normal, charismatic exterior, they tend to have deep, dark personalities based on lying, manipulation, deceit, self-centeredness, callousness, and destructiveness. behavioral traits. In psychology, this kind of personality is called “psychopathy” or “psychopathy”.

  • Concentrated haunting place: office

There are a large number of snakes in suits parasitic in major companies; judging from most measures of career success, they are often the winning group in life, and their destructive personality traits cannot be seen by their colleagues. However, don’t think that you are just an honest and sincere office worker, so you won’t be targeted by these snake-hearted colleagues. Once you are not careful, you will often become a stepping stone and tool for their promotion.

“Snake in a Suit” hand mode: evaluation-manipulation-abandonment

  1. Evaluate “parasitic objects” (find chess pieces and backers)

Please be careful below! ! ! Snakes in suits pick on you

  • rich and famous
  • savvy professionals
  • highly self-aware supervisor
  • People who are alone and need emotional support and companionship
  • elders with regular income
  • inexperienced young people
  • recent victim of deception
  1. Manipulation

They start to use their charm, deceit, emotion building and false appearance.

  • Gain the object’s trust (through flattery and impression management skills through superior lying ability)
  • Use Secrets to Strengthen Relationships and Make Commitments
  • Bad guy sues first (shows loyalty to manipulator by blaming others)
  1. Abandon (take advantage of)

Once all the value of the victim has been extracted, immediately abandon the victim and move on to the next target.

Different from the first edition of theoretical psychoanalytic research, the republished “Snake in a Suit” fully includes “precious real cases in the workplace” that the author and readers worked together, as well as “scanning and analysis of corporate psychopathy”, using the latest The scientific research and case studies are revised and updated for your career and work environment, a comprehensive check. This book adopts a complete workplace story throughout the book with a comprehensive perspective. Each unit is supplemented by theoretical analysis and problem discussion. Psychopaths Parasitic in the Workplace:

  • How to get into an organization?
  • Identify its various characteristics
  • Analyze its manipulation skills
  • How will it affect the functioning and reputation of the organization and personnel?
  • Provide “response to workplace harm avoidance” and “rights and interests”

Workplace life is a very important part of our life, and we must not let those mentally ill take advantage of it because of kindness. This book will be your back-up for workplace consultation, supplementing you with complete defensive knowledge, helping you see through their tricks, providing methods to protect you and your career, and becoming your strong backing.





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