The Scientific American podcast recently had an episode titled “Psychopathy’s Bright Side: Kevin Dutton on the Benefits of Being a Bit Psychopathic”. In it, interviewee Kevin Dutton says:

Psychopaths in everyday life, if I’m talking about what kinds of psychopathic characteristics serve people well in everyday life, well, psychopaths are assertive, psychopaths don’t procrastinate, psychopaths focus on the positives, psychopaths don’t take things personally, they don’t beat themselves up when things go wrong, and they’re very cool under pressure.”

I listened to this bit and thought, “Wow, I’m pretty much the anti-psychopath.” Not completely (I’m assertive in many circumstances and I sometimes focus on the positives), but mostly.

Psychopaths probably make good poker players.

(Dutton’s book on the subject is The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success.)