Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Personality Disorders

The bulk of an op-ed piece ostensibly about John Bolton discussed similarities and differences in the personalities of
high-ranking business executives, psychiatric patients, and criminals with a history of mental health problems.

[T]he business population was as likely as the prison and psychiatric populations to demonstrate the traits associated with narcissistic personality disorder: grandiosity, lack of empathy, exploitativeness and independence. They were also as likely to have traits associated with compulsive personality disorder: stubbornness, dictatorial tendencies, perfectionism and an excessive devotion to work.

But there were some significant differences.

The executives were significantly more likely to demonstrate characteristics associated with histrionic personality disorder, like superficial charm, insincerity, egocentricity and manipulativeness.

They were also significantly less likely to demonstrate physical aggression, irresponsibility with work and finances, lack of remorse and impulsiveness. …

Take a basic characteristic like influence … Add to that a smattering of egocentricity, a soup├žon of grandiosity, a smidgen of manipulativeness and lack of empathy, and you have someone who can climb the corporate ladder and stay on the right side of the law, but still be a horror to work with. Add a bit more of those characteristics plus lack of remorse and physical aggression, and you have someone who ends up behind bars.

No comments: