When ever the word psychopath is out people tend to conjure up images of serial killers and twisted stockbrokers. In actual fact, nowadays it is widely recognized that in some professions it may be useful to have some of the traits found in psychopaths in order to succeed in those positions.

Occupations like first responders and police officers require utmost courage, stress tolerance and physical abilities of top sportsmen, among other competencies. On the other hand, some leadership positions require an ability to make important and life-saving decisions under complicated and stressful circumstances in very narrow time windows thus posing challenges to the situational awareness, decisiveness and resilience of the pros.

Usually psychopathic traits are thought to include such features as grandiosity, manipulativeness, superficial charm, lack of remorse and empathy, impulsivity, irresponsibility, need for stimulation and lack of realistic long-term goals. More profound psychological traits behind these often manifest behaviors are such as high stress tolerance, strong self-reliance, extraversion and dominance that have gone wrong or over the top in psychopaths.

High functioning psychopath

However, certain combinations of some traits also found in psychopaths may in moderate amounts make very successful professionals like surgeons, crisis leaders, pilots, special forces soldiers, SWAT police officers and salespeople.

For further reading, look up psychology professor Kevin Dutton who has discussed these so called high-functioning psychopaths based on his extensive empirical studies.


Taking a Mindfindr test helps you assess whether you might have some of those beneficial traits and competencies of functional psychopaths found in people who flourish in the above professions.