<!-- Begin meta tags generated by ORblogs --> </meta name="keywords" content="progressive, liberal, politics, government, edit, language, grammar, accuracy, honesty, clarity, world, news, media" /> </> <!-- End meta tags generated by ORblogs -->> Editor at Large: John Bolton: psychopath, or effective leader?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

John Bolton: psychopath, or effective leader?

Belinda Board, a clinical psychologist at London's University of Surrey, thinks John Bolton may be both a psychopath and an effective leader. In fact, he may be an effective leader because he's somewhat psycho.

Board bases her opinion on the results of a study she conducted in 2001 comparing the personality traits of 39 high-ranking business executives with psychiatric patients and criminals with a history of mental health problems.

The study showed that the character disorders of the business managers were parallel to those of the criminals and mental patients.

In fact, Board says, "the 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 that's not all. Board says the executives were also "significantly more likely to demonstrate characteristics associated with histrionic personality disorder, like superficial charm, insincerity, egocentricity and manipulativeness."

The only difference between the business executives and the psychopaths, Board says, was that the business executives were "less likely to demonstrate physical aggression, irresponsibility with work and finances, lack of remorse, and impulsiveness."

In other words, business executives have a sense of social propriety and restraint. Even though they're basically psychopathic, they're able to climb the ladder of success by avoiding "going postal."

But just because John Bolton hasn't killed anybody yet (as far as we know), does that mean he hasn't gone postal? Doesn't verbal abuse, without an apology, qualify as "aggression," "irresponsibility with work," "lack of remorse," and "impulsiveness"?

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/11/opinion/11board.html

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