Illustration: Ashley Siebels
We know there are certain professions that draw more psychopaths than others (and one of the top ones may rhyme with schmoyers) but are there certain states that also tend to house more of these types? Well according to a new study recently published on the Social Science Research Network, psychopaths do tend to end up in certain states and one place in particular.
The study compiled the rankings by looking at five distinct personality traits in each state plus the District of Columbia: extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness and then calculating the frequency of a combination of those traits that psychopaths tend to have for each state. Psychopathy is defined as a combination of disinhibition, boldness, and meanness.
Crooked and psychotic
So where do disinhibited, bold and mean people tend to reside? It is, not surprisingly, Washington D.C. for the win. From the study: “The District of Columbia is measured to be far more psychopathic than any individual state in the country, a fact that can be readily explained either by its very high population density or by the type of person who may be drawn a literal seat of power.”
And by type of person, this clearly refers to politicians. Though to be fair, D.C. also has the most journalists per capita. But journalists are never power hungry, right?
Connecticut came in officially as the No.1 state for psychopaths (but still less than D.C.) followed by California and New Jersey.
Ryan Murphy, the author of the study, found that, not surprisingly, the Northeast seemed to house the most Patrick Bateman-types and that psychopaths stayed away from the more rural areas which is why West Virginia came in last followed by Vermont and Tennessee. Though oddly, the very rural Wyoming came in at fifth place.
Murphy emphasized that the rankings should be looked at as estimate as it is difficult to use broad personality traits to make specific diagnoses.
The places in America with the most psychopaths
1. Washington, D.C.
4. New Jersey
5. New York and Wyoming (tie)
13. South Dakota
25. North Dakota
29. Rhode Island
38. South Carolina
39. New Hampshire
45. New Mexico
46. North Carolina
49. West Virginia
Note: Alaska and Hawaii were not part of the study.