Clive Boddy : Well some of these self report measures, there's one called a psychopathic personality inventory, I think it's called, and that as far as I know. And that has built in measures of reliability. So you can tell whether the respondent is trying to massage the image that they give or not through their answers. So, there are concerns about them lying of course, because that's one of their stock in trades, but I think there exist sufficient variety of measures to get around that, and to pinpoint them relatively accurately.
Rob Kall : So are you doing consulting with businesses?
Clive Boddy : No, not at the moment, I'm just doing my academic research.
Rob Kall : Okay, what kind of response have you had from businesses in terms of these ideas of screening out psychopaths?
Clive Boddy : Limited response so far, I had an interesting presentation a few weeks ago. When I normally present on corporate psychopaths to people, around forty percent of people think they've worked with this kind of person. Recently, as I said, I presented to a group of HR directors, and the interesting difference there was that all of them thought they worked with this kind of person. And I suppose because of the nature of their jobs, where they're dealing with senior people and recruiting people and interviewing people and assessing them, and they're bound to come across them more often because they come across more people than the rest of us do. And they were very interested in the whole thing, and very worried about it as well. Because from their own experience they found it incredibly difficult to manage these people, and especially when they were higher levels than the HR directors in the organization, which often they were. We're just doing some research, with those HR directors to discover a bit more about this, and how they've coped with the psychopaths or potential psychopaths.
Rob Kall : Do the HR directors screen out psychopaths? Are they doing anything at all to keep them out? Whether its intuitively or face judgment, or is there anything that they're doing now?
Clive Boddy : To the best of my knowledge no, they're not looking for psychopathy in screening people. I believe one or two armed forces, and one or two police forces arouund the world try to screen out psychopaths for obvious reasons. But as far as I know they're the only organizations that do it. You mentioned that corporate psychopaths and the global financial crisis. There was a report in the UK newspaper, after that came out, that the corporate bank, or at least one corporate bank in the UK was screening them in rather than screening the man. So the reporter was talking about his theory to a friend of his, who was a corporate banker, and the banker said to him, "We used a psychopathy measure to recruit new employees." So you can use it, preferably to screen them out, but its incredible to hear that they were using it to screen them in. And I've been tracking some subjects through that research but I haven't got any yet.
Rob Kall : Term pack of wolves comes to mind.
Clive Boddy : It's unbelievable yes. It's mind boggling.
Rob Kall : It's hard to imagine somebody would intentionally hire psychopaths.
Clive Boddy : Well presumably they thought they were getting ultra ruthless, cut throat, competitive new employees who would help the business. But it's a very short term and risky thing to do.
Rob Kall : Do you know the name of the company?
Clive Boddy : No I haven't been able to find out which bank it was. As I say I would love to do some further research into this but I haven't been able to yet.
Rob Kall : Now you've said that companies tend to avoid even talking about this or dealing with this, they sweep it under the carpet, or pretend it doesn't exist, and then pay off people who've been bullied by psychopaths. And then the bully, the psychopath gets promoted.
Clive Boddy : Well that was, I think you've taken that from my Ted speech on bullying, and that was more in relation to bullies and bullying in general rather than just psychopathic bullying. Companies find it very difficult I think to deal with bullying, and from my limited experience of it, they as you said, they tend to try and sweep it under the carpet, or just ignore it and hope it will go away on its own. But it is a huge problem in companies around the world, as even a peripheral examination on bullying will show you that, will show you why.
Rob Kall : You're listening to the Rob Kall Bottom Up Radio Show, or watching on YouTube. So what is the difference between a bully and a psychopath?