$460 billion per year—the cost of psychopathy

Psychopaths are estimated to make up 1 percent* of the population but constitute roughly 15 to 25 percent of the offenders in prison and are responsible for a disproportionate number of brutal crimes and murders. A recent estimate by the neuroscientist Kent Kiehl placed the national cost of psychopathy at $460 billion a year — roughly 10 times the cost of depression — in part because psychopaths tend to be arrested repeatedly. The societal costs of nonviolent psychopaths may be even higher. Dr. Robert Hare, the co-author of “Snakes in Suits,” describes evidence of psychopathy among some financiers and business people; he suspects Bernie Madoff of falling into that category.

* Opinions about the percentage vary. 1% is the most moderate estimate.

Chasing Madoff Jeffrey Dahmer


2 thoughts on “$460 billion per year—the cost of psychopathy

  1. Does this cost include the medical conditions that psychopaths induce in others such as MS, adrenal fatigue, PTSD and so many others? Clearly the emotional and spiritual damage are incalculable. AND this number that represents the total estimated amount of psychopaths themselves. I believe this is based on prison populations. Personally, I believe this is a huge miscalculation. HUGE! I would like to see a real, randomly done test on different populations in different demographics using MRI’S instead of the checklist as this is easy for a psychopath to manipulate. Start with the states that have the highest percentage of serial killers then move on to the jobs that are the top choices for serial killers such as cop, minister and counselor and then on to the chronically homeless. Let’s just take a little peek and see where we really stand on percentage of psychopaths. Money and time well spent. I think the results will be amazing!


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