Psychopathic traits of business and psychology students and their relationship to academic success

Jonathan Hassall, Daniel Boduszek, Katie Dhingra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The notion that high levels of psychopathic trait leads to career success in the business sector has become a popular point of theorising in recent years, with research providing support for the alleged overrepresentation of psychopathy in the financial sector, and the existence of a relationship between psychopathy and professional success. A cross-sectional design was employed to compare psychopathy scores of business and psychology students, as well as to examine the psychopathy-academic success relationship. Participates were 263 participants recruited from a UK university. Results revealed greater psychopathic traits in business students relative to psychology students on all four factors of psychopathy. Furthermore, hierarchical multiple regression indicated that the four psychopathy factors, gender, age, study hours, and course explain 14% of variance in grade outcome. Two variables made unique statistic contributions to the model with antisocial behaviour and gender (male) negatively related to grade outcome. Theoretical and practical implications of our findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Early online date27 Mar 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2015


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