Genetic link to psychopaths
|I think it is important to identify psychopathic behavior not just because it may be crime related. Based on descriptions of psychopaths in Robert Hare’s books, most of their behavior is not criminal. However, much of it is hurtful and damaging to their victims.When the CEO makes a bad business decision that leads to the company’s decline or collapse, they hurt the employees, the investors, and even other companies if their collapse triggers an effect industry wide.
In addition, modern corporations tend to reward psychopathic behavior and drive non-psychopaths to emulate it. Until the point of failure, the corporate psychopath is often the favored son who is groomed for and often installed in top executive positions.
The meme of the corporation functions as a responsibility relieving mechanism to let corporate psychopaths focus on ROI to the near exclusion of other interests. It drives them to sub-optimize the corporations in favor of a few metrics that reward a small class of people with an interest in the corporation. Those people get rewarded and move on to the next corporate job and the workers, investors and partners take the hit, but no crime has been committed.
A company that I used to work with has a practice that I overheard being discussed by an executive and a person who was considering moving up to an exec position. The exec told the candidate: “It is a little known secret here at [company] that management is conserved. (and, by implication, resources—meaning employees—are expended) when business failures occur.” The candidate was concerned about what would happen if his product did not succeed. The answer is that ‘leadership’ is viewed as a capability to be conserved by the company and the leader whose bad business decisions led to the failure of his/her division would be protected and moved to a new group while layoffs would take care of excess employees. [needless to say, I felt a strong desire to expend both of these leaders, however, I did not].
In the world of nature, animals are embedded in an ecosystem and cannot externalize costs and risks to hapless investors, customers and suppliers. Either they behave in an ecosystem friendly way, or, statistically, they decline and fail as a species.
Under the guidance of single ROI minded psychopathic leaders, (large public shareholder) corporations often act as if they are living alone in a sea of food and can do what ever they can get away with. With their manipulation of government to bias the rules of the economy in their favor, they often get away with it for some time.
So, respectfully, I disagree with the idea that psychopaths are only of interest if they are committing a crime.
Here is a link to a documentary:
Are you good or evil?
This science I hope leads us to be able to detect psychopathic killers before they murder people.