“There is a high proportion of psychopathic CEOs in Silicon Valley, enabled by protective investors and weak human resources departments, according to a panel of experts at SXSW festival,” Olivia Solon reports for The Guardian. “Although the term ‘psychopath’ typically has negative connotations, some of the attributes associated with the disorder can be advantageous in a business setting.”

“‘A true psychopath is someone that has a blend of emotional, interpersonal, lifestyle and behavioral deficits but an uncanny ability to mask them. They come across as very charming, very gregarious. But underneath there’s a profound lack of remorse, callousness and a lack of empathy,’ said forensic and clinical psychologist Michael Woodworth, who has worked with psychopathic murderers in high security prisons, on Tuesday,” Solon reports. “According to recent studies there’s a high prevalence of psychopathy among high-level executives in a corporate environment: 4-8% compared with 1% in the general population.”

“This makes sense, according to Silicon Valley venture capitalist Bryan Stolle because ‘it’s an irrational act to start a company,'” Solon reports. “‘You have to have a tremendous amount of ego [and] self-deception to embark on that journey,’ he said. ‘You have to make sacrifices and give up things, including sometimes a marriage, family and friends. And you have to convince other people. So they are mostly very charismatic, charming and make you suspend the disbelief that something can’t be done.’ However, when a psychopath isn’t getting his or her way, they lose their veneer of charm. ‘When things aren’t happening the way they thought they were going to happen, they tend to completely flip and resort to bullying,’ said Stolle.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Have at it, armchair psychologists!