We Wish We Had The Traits Of A Psychopath.

New research reviews the concept of successful psychopathy.

Write Mind Matters
3 min readJun 10, 2022


Photo by Joel Muniz on Unsplash

“She just goes a little mad sometimes. We all go a little mad sometimes. Haven’t you? … Yes. Sometimes just one time can be enough.” — Norman Bates & Marion Crane in Psycho.

Psychopaths are appealing characters, they’re cool and collected, and often smart and successful. Understanding successful psychopathy would have implications for minimising the negative consequences and maximising the positive traits of the disorder.

The main goal of research on mental health is to learn how best to support people who have dysfunctional or maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.

As Marion Crane points out, there is a limit on the level of madness one can reach before it becomes enough. So, when and why does functional or successful psychopathy become dysfunctional?

A review of the research on psychopathy, published in May of this year in Forensic Science International, found that the majority of findings on psychopathy suggest successful psychopathy consists of:

  1. Adaptive traits.
  2. The absence (or inhibition) of antisocial behaviours.
  3. External factors that foster success (e.g. higher socioeconomic status and a strong support network).

Psychopaths possess many characteristics we strive to attain:

  • Fearlessness.
  • Stress immunity.
  • Social potency.
  • Normal or superior cognitive performance.
  • Professional achievement.
  • Stable socioeconomic status.
  • Leadership.
  • Pride.
  • Aversion to punishment during conflict.

What Successful Psychopaths Do Differently.

The Forensic Science International review sought to establish the factors that unify the definition of success in relation to psychopathic research. The…



Write Mind Matters

BA(psych), GradDipPsych, DipHlthSc(NatNut)|Parenting, personality disorders & trauma.