“Black-Box Thinking” at the Royal Institute of Great Britain 

This is psychology sex.  A study of psychopaths that helps you become more successful………….by being a psychopath!  SAS man Andy McNab and Experimental Psychologist Kevin Dutton had my attention.  Dutton is a particularly good speaker.  McNab is a psychopath.  I wasn’t taking my eyes off either of them.

So what are the characteristics of psychopathy?  Say Hannibal Lecter.  Ruthless, fearless, persuasive, self confident, charming, functional and focused.  James Bond.  We admire these characteristics.  And, so long as your psychopaths have self-control and discipline, they don’t go bad.  Most of these characteristics are demonstrated by the greatest people who ever trod the earth; Ghandi, Churchill, Nelson Mandela.  Me?  You?

Definitely me.  Dutton posed a packed house 11 questions* testing us against known behaviours of psychopaths.  The cumulative scores placed us on a scale from 0 to 33. My score crept into Above Average.  I recognized the behaviours as my own.  And I value these behaviours, especially in a crisis.

In 2009 I was walking Scafell with three friends.  Simon fell off.  He tumbled 100 yards down a craggy slope towards a ravine.  His lifeless body flopped onto a narrow shelf of rock and he stayed there.  Mike scrambled down.  I followed more cautiously.  Simon was alive but badly hurt.  Mike secured his body and wrapped him in all the coats we could find.  Mike then sat back and kept watch for ER while I engaged Simon in piffle to keep him awake.  Our behavior was fearless and functional.  We had a job to do.  We did it.  Nothing else mattered.  On the psychopath test Mike scored a lot higher than me that day.  Six years later we went to Zambia.  Mike was the man I wanted covering my back, psychopath or not.

I for one will be getting the book.  It promises to help me release the inner psychopath for a richer life.  But here’s a challenge.  Psychopathy is largely a male affliction.  Up to 6 out of 7 psychopaths are male.  Ladies you may want to have a read too.

* Take the psychopath test here http://www.kevindutton.co.uk/test/the-psychopath-challenge/

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