The researchers, consultant Paul Babiak, Craig S. Neumann of the University of North Texas, and Robert D. Hare of the University of British Columbia, were able to get personality information on 203 professionals who had been selected by their companies either as 'high potentials' for leadership development.
These are people who were deemed to have the skills that could eventually set them up to be senior managers within their companies. A few were already directors or vice-presidents, but were thought to have the ability to rise further.
According to an article by Kimberly Weisul for CBS MoneyWatch, Babiak was already acting as a consultant to these companies, and had gained a level of trust with management when the research was conducted. Over a period of two years he interviewed many of the 203 professionals but also had access to their performance reviews and feedback provided by the people who reported to them.
Given the recent daily revelations surrounding former CBC Q host Jian Ghomeshi's alleged violent sexual personal life, it does raise questions as to how people can rise to positions of prominence who may have psychopathic or sociopathic tendencies.
In Ghomeshi's case, more women are stepping forward, accusing him of choking, hitting and pulling their hair without their consent, in what amounted to surprise attacks on them in dating situations. One Canadian actress - Lucy DeCoutere, best known for her role on Trailer Park Boys - was the first woman to publicly identify herself as a victim of Ghomeshi's alleged violence while on a date.
That was followed yesterday by author Reva Seth accusing Ghomeshi of sexually assaulting her while dating. (continued.)
One in 25 managers qualify as a psychopath – and the percentages of those who either are in positions of power or own companies are considerably higher than the general population. Why so high? A group of researchers in Texas and British Columbia explain.