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Bosses Four Times As Likely To Be 'Psychopaths': Survey Says

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PSYCHO BOSS
Crazy talk: Bosses are four times more likely than the general population to be psychopaths. | Getty

What's the key to business success? Well, being a psychopath might actually give you an edge. While most workers would prefer not to have a crazy boss, their attitudes toward female bosses are changing. And it's possible the high percentage of crazy bosses explains the average worker's weight gain. (Or maybe it's just the donuts in the break room). Here's a closer look at some of the latest small-business surveys.

Crazy Talk

A study of more than 200 executives by researcher Paul Babiak found that almost 4 percent were considered psychopaths when ranked on the Psychopathy Checklist, a tool therapists use to assess this personality disorder. Babiak, whose findings were reported in his book Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work, found that in comparison, only 1 percent of the general population shows psychopathic tendencies.

In other words, those who are successful in business could be four times more likely to be psychopaths than the average person. What exactly does that mean? Psychopaths lack empathy and don't feel remorse for their actions. That makes them great at manipulating their way to the top.

Who's the Boss?

While views continue to change, more Americans still prefer to work for a man (32 percent) than a woman (22 percent). Thankfully, nearly half (46 percent) of Americans say they wouldn't care if their next boss were male or female. That's a big change from 1953, when Gallup first asked this question and a whopping 66 percent of Americans said they would prefer a male boss. (Amazingly, even back then, 5 percent would prefer a woman.) The next time Gallup asked the question in 1975, 60 percent voted for a male boss.

Does This Job Make Me Look Fat?

According to the Herman Trend Alert, a soon-to-be released research report on workplace health by Aviva UK Health, growing workplace stress is causing employees' waistlines to grow as well.

Aviva found that longer hours due to job pressures are keeping employees from taking breaks to eat meals. About one-third of employees surveyed say they rarely take lunch breaks, 25 percent only do so if their workload allows and 13 percent don't eat lunch at all.

The fact they're not eating lunch doesn't mean they're not eating, however. In fact, 19 percent of those surveyed admitted stress makes them overeat at work, and 15 percent say their health has suffered as a result. Note to bosses: Stop being psycho, urge your employees to take a lunch break and fill the office cookie jar with something healthy instead.

Around the Web

How Do I Survive a Psycho Boss? | BNET

Your Boss: A Psychopath? - The Monster Blog

Quiz: Is Your Boss a Psychopath? | Fast Company