John Key anyone?
Commerce students returned ‘significantly higher primary psychopathy scores than science or arts majors’. Photo / Thinkstock
Psychopaths prefer commerce degrees – that’s the finding of a world-first study examining university students’ personalities and course preferences.
Victoria University students with higher scores for psychopathy traits tended to opt to study commerce, with law next most popular.
The study of 903 undergraduates found that significantly fewer with high psychopathy scores chose science and fewer still went for arts.
The paper – Greed is good? Student disciplinary choice and self-reported psychopathy – published this month in the international Journal of Personality and Individual Differences was sparked by fallout of the world financial crisis.
The role of high-profile financiers in the global recession made the idea of the psychopath in organisations increasingly relevant, said Victoria University associate professor of psychology Marc Wilson, who conducted the research with colleague Karena McCarthy.