Kevin Dutton (@therealdrkev) is a psychologist and author known for his research on the psychology of evil and the science of charisma. His latest book is The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success. [This is part two of a two-part episode. Make sure to catch up with part one here!]
What We Discuss with Kevin Dutton:
- How having a con artist father who never lost his cool sparked Kevin’s interest in understanding the mindset of the psychopath.
- What Kevin means when he says that psychopaths understand the “words but not the music” of emotion.
- Contrary to popular belief, psychopaths aren’t necessarily violent. They could be a surgeon or a killer, a firefighter or an arsonist. (Or even a professor or an ax murderer.)
- Why psychopaths are often excellent at persuasion and identifying weakness in others.
- What percentage of the population exhibits psychopathy, and how psychopaths can actually be useful for society.
- And much more…
Like this show? Please leave us a review here — even one sentence helps! Consider including your Twitter handle so we can thank you personally!
On this episode, we’re joined by psychologist Kevin Dutton, author of The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success. Here, we delve into the lives of psychopaths and their famously manipulative behaviors, exploring the scale of “madness” on which we all sit. Through the use of the latest advances in brain scanning and neuroscience, as well as on-the-ground reporting and original research, Kevin demonstrates that functional psychopaths, or those who use their detached and charismatic personalities to excel in mainstream society, do exist.
Kevin also asserts that society as a whole is becoming more psychopathic, as the qualities of fearlessness, confidence, and ruthlessness are increasingly valued in the modern world. Join us as we challenge traditional beliefs about psychopathy and explore how it can sometimes lead to success. Listen, learn, and enjoy! [This is part two of a two-part episode. Make sure to catch up with part one here!]
Please Scroll Down for Featured Resources and Transcript!
Please note that some of the links on this page (books, movies, music, etc.) lead to affiliate programs for which The Jordan Harbinger Show receives compensation. It’s just one of the ways we keep the lights on around here. Thank you for your support!
This Episode Is Sponsored By:
- Peloton: Learn more at onepeloton.com/row
- BetterHelp: Get 10% off your first month at betterhelp.com/jordan
- HVMN: Go to HVMN.com promo code JORDAN for 20% off Ketone-IQ
- YAP: Listen here or wherever you find fine podcasts!
Miss our conversation with behavioral expert Thomas Erikson? Catch up with episode 465: Thomas Erikson | How to Protect Yourself from Psychopaths here!
Miss the show we did with James Fallon — the psychiatry professor who can teach you how to spot a psychopath because he is a psychopath? Catch up here with episode 28: James Fallon | How to Spot a Psychopath!
Thanks, Kevin Dutton!
If you enjoyed this session with Kevin Dutton, let him know by clicking on the link below and sending him a quick shout out at Twitter:
And if you want us to answer your questions on one of our upcoming weekly Feedback Friday episodes, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources from This Episode:
- The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton | Amazon
- Kevin Dutton | Website
- Kevin Dutton | Twitter
- Kevin Dutton | Instagram
- Kevin Dutton | Facebook
- James Fallon | How to Spot a Psychopath | Jordan Harbinger
- Thomas Erikson | How to Protect Yourself from Psychopaths | Jordan Harbinger
777: Kevin Dutton | The Wisdom of Psychopaths Part Two
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: Special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:05] Coming up next on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:00:08] Kevin Dutton: So, Ted Bundy, just to clarify, once confided to police, he said, "That I can tell a good victim from the way she walks." And what you find is a lot of bad psychopaths, special psychopathic killers, have that predatory instinct that we were talking about earlier. They're able to spot weaknesses.
[00:00:28] Jordan Harbinger: Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger. On The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people. We have in-depth conversations with scientists, entrepreneurs, spies, and psychologists, even the occasional Russian chess grandmaster organized crime figure, war correspondent, rocket scientist, or extreme athlete. And each episode turns our guest's wisdom into practical advice that you can use to build a deeper understanding of how the world works and become a better thinker.
[00:00:54] If you're new to the show, or you want to tell your friends about the show — and I always appreciate it when you do — I suggest our episode starter packs as a place to begin. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topic. They'll help new listeners get a taste of everything that we do here on this show — topics like China, North Korea, persuasion, influence, technology and futurism, crime and cults, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start or search for us in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:01:20] Today, part two with Kevin Dutton. If you haven't heard part one, go back and listen to that. Definitely a fascinating conversation about psychopaths and psychopathy. I'm going to take a psychopath test and find out if I'm a psychopath and what part psychopath I am. And you should definitely play along at home because I am very curious about your results. And my results surprise me as well. All right, here we go. Part two with Kevin Dutton.
[00:01:45] A lot of people think like, okay, psychopaths, they have no empathy at all. That's the thing. They don't feel emotions or they don't feel empathy. It turns out to not be true, apparently.
[00:01:57] Kevin Dutton: That's right. They can turn it on and off. Hey, well, there was a study which looked at psychopaths and empathy. And it turns out that actually psychopaths can feel empathy, but they have an ability to shut it off. So one study shown that. The other interesting kind of way of approaching that question is within academic circles, Jordan, there's quite a lively debate about what's the psychological, what's the cognitive cause of psychopathy.
[00:02:24] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:02:25] Kevin Dutton: And one theory suggests that it's an emotional disorder. So that actually there's part of the brain called the amygdala, which is about the science of your thumbnail. It's an almond-shaped construct, which is right in the middle of your brain. And that's like the emotional control tower as it were of your brain. So that's involved in emotional processing and there's a lot of evidence to suggest that that's understaffed in the brains of psychopaths. So it doesn't have as many connections as say would in the brain of a normal person. So one theory is that actually psychopaths are, as I say, they have emotional processing deficits.
[00:02:59] The other theory is called the response modulation hypothesis, not to get too technical with you. And that is that actually psychopaths feel emotions like fear or empathy, if they are cued, if they are primed to feel it, but it's just a lot of the time they don't recognize the primes and the cues that normal people would recognize.
[00:03:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:03:24] Kevin Dutton: Great example would be to keep it simple. Let's say you're an arachnophobic, right? Let's say that you are scared of spiders, right? There might be one dangling right over your head now, and you are not going to be frightened of it because you don't know it's there. But if I prime you to the fact that it's there, if I cue you and say, "Look up," and all of a sudden you see the spider, you're going to be sh*tting and say, "Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. I've got to get out of here," right? So that's the idea. So if you're on arachnophobia, you don't have spiders there, you're going to be talking completely normally. But as soon as you are cued or primed to its existence, its location, then all of a sudden you're going to be scared. So the other hypothesis about what causes psychopathy, as I said, on the one hand you've got that there's emotional deficits. On the other side, you've got the theory there that are not emotional deficits, but attentional deficits. In other words, psychopaths might not pay the same attention to fear-inducing stimuli. The rest of us might pay.
[00:04:24] And that's very interesting because that could very well explain the psychopath's kind of tunnel vision, that killer instinct to go after whatever they want, irrespective of consequences. Because they're so reward driven, all they're focusing on literally is what they want. Whereas you or I might be looking at it and thinking, "Okay, that's what I want, but hey, I could go off the road here because that might happen or that might happen," okay?
[00:04:52] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:04:53] Kevin Dutton: But psychopaths don't see that. And it's very interesting. During the Second World War, there was anecdotal evidence that some of the best fighter pilots who would absolutely glory in aerial combat actually came to grief, often came to grief because they ran out of fuel. They spent so much time fighting the enemy and determined to put them away that actually they took their eyes off the fuel gauge and realized actually eventually they're not going to have enough fuel to make it back to base. Whereas they should have disengaged earlier from the fights and thought, "Okay, I need to get home safely." They were so engaged, they were so wrapped up in taking the other guy down that they thought, well they didn't even notice the fuel gauge. It didn't even cross their mind.
[00:05:41] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:05:42] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. That's an interesting fact that which kind of points, you know, there's evidence for both camps. It's usually a case, especially in academic psychology, it's never either or. There's always a bit of both. So there's considerable evidence for both camps, but the research keeps going. So one hand, it could be an emotional processing disorder. On the other hand, it could be an attentional processing disorder.
[00:06:00] Jordan Harbinger: So it's not that they don't feel emotions, it's that they maybe ignore them because they're so focused on a task that brings them benefit or reward.
[00:06:08] Kevin Dutton: You got it.
[00:06:09] Jordan Harbinger: It sounds like it's not even that psychopaths don't feel stress or stressors in a moment. It's that they're just again, focused on the task at hand, that they block out other things.
[00:06:17] Kevin Dutton: They might not even notice it.
[00:06:19] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. They don't notice it. So, they're so focused on getting Osama bin Laden. They're not focused on getting shot at by the fact that they're getting shot at by a bunch of terrorists.
[00:06:26] Kevin Dutton: That's one way of looking at it. Yeah.
[00:06:27] Jordan Harbinger: What if they're focused on emotions, then can psychopaths then have an emotional response just like anybody else?
[00:06:33] Kevin Dutton: They can. Now, there's evidence to show that that's the case. If you cue a psychopath to emotions, then they do feel it. So again, evidence for the response modulation, the attentional hypothesis. Yeah, if you actually say, you know, you point psychopath in the direction of emotional responses, then yes, they will feel emotions just like the rest of us. So absolutely, and I think a great way of, you know, I think we've all been in situations where actually we've been so intent on whatever we are meant to be doing, a task that we're engaged in, that we've actually lost track of our surroundings. You know, we've all done—
[00:07:07] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Like flow state.
[00:07:08] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, flow state, flow state is a great example. We've all been in those kind of situations and that's kind of, you know, what it might well be like for psychopaths. They're absolutely caught up in what they're doing and they literally are oblivious to the dangers around them.
[00:07:24] Jordan Harbinger: If psychopaths have emotion, we just busted the myth that they don't, are they then as good at recognizing emotion in other people? You mentioned your friend, the psychopath you studied, I shouldn't say your friend, but he said, "Oh, I don't need to know what color the light is. I just need to know which part is lit up." Does that make them less good, as good, better at recognizing emotion in other people?
[00:07:47] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, I mean, they can be much better than normal people. So there's two kinds of empathy here, Jordan, just to kind of complicate a little bit more for you and your listeners.
[00:07:57] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Why not?
[00:07:58] Kevin Dutton: But it's pretty simple. So you've got what's called cold and you've got hot empathy. Okay, so hot empathy is, it's the feeling of feeling what another person is feeling, okay?
[00:08:09] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:08:10] Kevin Dutton: So that's what hot empathy is. It's like when you genuinely feel what another person is feeling, it's that feeling of that. Cold empathy is when you can cognitively and dispassionately gauge what another person is thinking. So you can almost do it remotely or almost like mindreading. Now, there is evidence to show that psychopaths are brilliant at that kind of cold empathy. They are really, really good at figuring out what you might be feeling. They're great actors like that. They're psychological cat burglars. They can kind of slip into your psychological airspace without setting off any of those kind of neural security alarms that say people who are less skilled at that can do.
[00:08:55] Yeah, definitely, in terms of cold empathy, psychopaths are of very, very good at that. They're great at figuring out how you might be feeling, and of course that allows them to be great persuaders, as we were talking about earlier. That's the key to why they're so manipulative, because they're able to push those buttons and without getting caught up in the heat and the light of situation. So whenever you hear that psychopaths are great manipulators or you feel like you're being manipulated, that's precisely why, because actually, you've got someone there that's not feeling it like you are feeling it, but they know how you might be feeling.
[00:09:33] Jordan Harbinger: That makes a lot of sense. Tell me about your friend, Johnny, that you had as a kid, because it sounds like he had a lot of this cold empathy.
[00:09:40] Kevin Dutton: Oh, John, yeah. Well, John ended up working for British Military Intelligence, actually.
[00:09:46] Jordan Harbinger: Surprise, surprise.
[00:09:46] Kevin Dutton: And I'm still in contact with him now. He's a great friend. I've known him, he's my oldest friend actually. There was a very funny incident actually when we were at school. I always remember him coming up to me one day at the beginning of a history class and saying, "Oh, Kev, I've left my history assignment at home. Do you mind if I borrow yours during the break time?" And, you know, we were kids, I said, "Yeah, sure, okay, Johnny, give it back to me at the beginning of the class." And beginning of class. I go over to him and I'd say, "All right, Johnny, have you got my assignment?" And he says, "Sorry, Kev, no can do." And I say, "What do you mean no can do?" Just like that and he said, "I don't have it. I didn't have time to rewrite it like I said. I know I said that I'd make it all different and no one would know that you've given it to me. But I didn't have time to do that as it turned out, so I just copied yours out verbatim." So I said, "Yeah, okay, Johnny, well, where's my assignment?" And he looks to me as if I'm totally insane, and he said, "Well, we both can't hand in exactly the same piece of work, can we Kev?" And I said, "No, no, we can't, Johnny." "So where is it?" And he said, "Oh, it's in the bin around the back of the music block." And immediately, I kind of jump my feet, I say, "You know, you, bastard, I don't believe it." And I'm just about to run out. He's teeming with rain and he says, "Listen, listen, look, it's teeming down with rain out there. You know, you don't want to kind of go out there in the rain." He said, "Besides," he said, "I wasn't being entirely truthful." He said, "When I said it was in the bin round the back of the music block, I should have told you that I burnt it."
[00:11:10] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:11:10] Kevin Dutton: And so all of a sudden, you know, we've got this teacher coming and he wasn't a teacher to be messed around with. Johnny's got his homework, which is mine copied out verbatim, and I'm the one with nothing. Now, I know what you're going to say, Jordan. You're going to say, "Why the hell am I still friends with this guy?"
[00:11:23] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. That was my next question. And also, I think he's lying. I think he just put his name on your homework. That's what I would've done but whatever.
[00:11:30] Kevin Dutton: Well, you know what? Well, maybe you're pretty higher on the spectrum than you think, but—
[00:11:35] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe. I mean, look, I just don't like doing extra work.
[00:11:39] Kevin Dutton: That's exact, well, that's probably why I ended up doing so well in military intelligence.
[00:11:43] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:11:43] Kevin Dutton: But yeah, he was absolutely ruthless, fearless, no shame whatsoever. A great example, yeah, "Can I borrow your homework? I'll make it look completely different." Turns out, he just copies it out and destroys mine.
[00:11:56] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:11:57] Kevin Dutton: A few years ago, I did a study, which was called The Great British Psychopath Survey, which looked at professions and looked at what is the most psychopathic profession in the UK. Now, it wasn't done scientifically, Jordan.
[00:12:10] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:12:11] Kevin Dutton: Because I was actually on a radio show and I had a website which was collecting data for a psychometric measure that I was developing at the time. But also I thought, well, might as well collect a bit of data while we're at it, enter your profession, you know, what profession do you do?
[00:12:25] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:12:25] Kevin Dutton: Little did I know it was going to be really, really popular. So we had thousands of people doing this. Now, I wished I'd have known because I'd have taken it more seriously and I'd have done it all properly in terms of collecting the data for the professions. But I didn't really control in a nuanced fashion what people have put down. But anyway, when we looked at the data afterwards, there's enough reasonable data there to come up with a reasonable list. In fact, I've since run that experiment again, and I'm analyzing new data on this, but I've got the list down here actually, and the top 10 psychopathic professions a few years ago — number one, probably unsurprisingly CEOs, right?
[00:13:00] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:13:01] Kevin Dutton: Okay.
[00:13:01] Jordan Harbinger: So I run this company, so I guess technically I'm that, but it's a small company.
[00:13:05] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, yeah, that's right. Yeah. CEO is number one. Number two is lawyers.
[00:13:10] Jordan Harbinger: Which I used to be.
[00:13:11] Kevin Dutton: Did you? It's not looking good, mate.
[00:13:13] Jordan Harbinger: No, it's not. It's two out of two so far.
[00:13:15] Kevin Dutton: Your way to hit number three, right?
[00:13:17] Jordan Harbinger: Come on.
[00:13:17] Kevin Dutton: TV and radio.
[00:13:19] Jordan Harbinger: Really?
[00:13:19] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. I'm serious. I'm serious. Yeah.
[00:13:21] Jordan Harbinger: How many of these are they?
[00:13:22] Kevin Dutton: Number four is salespeople.
[00:13:27] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. I've definitely excelled at that profession in the past.
[00:13:30] Kevin Dutton: All right, this is one you're definitely not, right?
[00:13:32] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:13:33] Kevin Dutton: Surgeon is number five.
[00:13:34] Jordan Harbinger: No, I am not a surgeon, thank goodness.
[00:13:36] Kevin Dutton: Number six is a journalist.
[00:13:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:13:38] Kevin Dutton: Number seven is police.
[00:13:40] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:13:40] Kevin Dutton: That's not surprising actually, you know?
[00:13:42] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:13:42] Kevin Dutton: Number eight is — this is a really interesting one. I'll tell you a funny story about this. Number eight is clergy, church people.
[00:13:48] Jordan Harbinger: That would've surprised me a decade ago and doesn't surprise me at all now.
[00:13:51] Kevin Dutton: Dead right, dead right. That's exactly how I feel about that. I'll finish it off. Number nine is chef and number 10 is civil servant. A civil servant could be anything.
[00:14:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:02] Kevin Dutton: It covers the whole thing, so that's where it kind of went wrong. But going back to the clergy at number eight, you are absolutely right. And I've said this to people, you know, a decade ago, wow, what's going on there. Now—
[00:14:12] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:13] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. Okay. Absolute power for the course of the church. It's just like any other business. It's got a power structures, hierarchies.
[00:14:19] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:14:20] Kevin Dutton: If you are very persuasive and manipulative, it would be literally a godsend—
[00:14:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:14:25] Kevin Dutton: —to manipulate your way to the top of the church. And when I was in University of Cambridge many years ago, Jordan, I'll never forget this. This is one of the most chilling things anyone ever said to me. There was a senior church person in University of Cambridge who came up to me once and said, "You know what, Kev? I don't believe in God. I'm just good at him."
[00:14:44] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man, that is creepy.
[00:14:46] Kevin Dutton: I'm not digging the church people out here because there's always going to be a few rotten apples in the basket, right?
[00:14:50] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:14:50] Kevin Dutton: But I mean, I'll never forget that. "I don't believe in God, I'm just good at him." That's pretty psychopathic. That is right there.
[00:14:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:00] Kevin Dutton: So you are using God as a means to an end to get what you want, you know, get yourself up the power hierarchy, but absolutely right. You know what? One of the things people have to say to me is like, well surely politicians are going to be in there.
[00:15:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:12] Kevin Dutton: I think that was probably one of the things that went wrong with the study. Well, there weren't any politicians or people admitted to being a politician that actually answered it. Maybe some of them were civil servants, I don't know but—
[00:15:23] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:15:23] Kevin Dutton: But yeah, I mean, anyone that's in politics who's kind of made it, is going to be high on the psychopathic spectrum, let's get that cleared up, even the really nice and supposedly nice ones. If you think about the kinds of things you're going to have to do in politics, you need to schmooze people you don't like. Put the knife into people you do like, you need to make all kinds of tough calls from rogue nation states to climactic disasters. You might need to send men and women of your country to war.
[00:15:49] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:15:49] Kevin Dutton: You need to feign empathy even if you don't have it. You need to be pretty tough skin to run for office in the first place. So all of these things are pretty psychopathic characteristics.
[00:15:59] There is one British politician, Jordan, I'll have to tell this mate who once said to me, "You know, in politics, the only way to tell who's stabbed you in the back is to see their reflection in the eyes of the person stabbing you from the front," which is a pretty sad indictment of British politics, but I would imagine American politics isn't that far behind.
[00:16:17] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think so.
[00:16:18] Kevin Dutton: So politics, a good friend of mine over here once said, "The clues in the word," right? So politics is derived from two words, poly, the ancient Greek meaning many and ticks, meaning blood sucking insects. So it's kind of like the keys in the word there in politics.
[00:16:32] Jordan Harbinger: Some of these studies that you have written about in the book and run are pretty terrifying. The study that shows how psychopaths were able to identify good victims by the way that they walk.
[00:16:43] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:16:43] Jordan Harbinger: Is it John Wayne Gacy, who is just, he said, "I could pick a victim based on way—"
[00:16:47] Kevin Dutton: Ted Bundy. It was, yeah.
[00:16:48] Jordan Harbinger: Ted Bundy. Okay. I mean, that's really scary if you have the victim walk. That's really scary.
[00:16:53] Kevin Dutton: Oh, that's right. So Ted Bundy, just to clarify, once confided the police, he said that, "I can tell a good victim from the way she walks." And what you find is a lot of bad psychopaths, especially psychopathic killers, have that predator instinct that we were talking about earlier. They're able to spot weaknesses. And there was a famous study conducted a few years ago, not by myself, but by a woman, I think, she was a Canadian researcher. I'm not sure actually. But anyway, what she did was she, first of all, she sampled a bunch of female students, 12 female students, some of which had suffered a previous traumatic attack, six of whom had suffered a previous traumatic attack, six of whom hadn't. Secondly, after selection, she videotaped these students walking along a corridor, and then she presented these videos to a bunch of students on the one hand and a bunch of psychopathic killers on the other. And she asked them quite simply to figure out who was who, which of the 12 women had been attacked and which hadn't. The rationale was simple. If Bundy's assertion held water and he really had been able to pick out victims weaknesses and victims from the way they walked, then the people harm the psychopath spectrum, the psychopath should be better at decoding vulnerability, then the students, and it turned out that's precisely what they found.
[00:18:03] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:18:04] Kevin Dutton: I ran a study similar to that because I thought to myself, well, if that's the case, then rather than being a drain on society, can psychopaths confer a benefit in that light?
[00:18:13] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:18:13] Kevin Dutton: Enlightenment dawned when I was meeting a friend at the airport. Okay. So we all get a little bit paranoid going through customs, you know, even when we're perfectly innocent. But imagine how it would feel if we did have something to hide.
[00:18:24] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:18:24] Kevin Dutton: Study, I got 30 undergraduate students, some of whom scored high on a psychometric test of psychopathy, and some have scored low. And I got five confederates or helpers, my evil co-conspirators in the plot. Okay? So what I did was I got the undergraduates in a room and basically one of the five confederates was given a scarlet handkerchief to conceal, right? And had to walk in one door and out the other traversing a stage as they came across and only one of them had the scarlet handkerchief. Now, if the student who was given the scarlet handkerchief was able to get away with it, they would be given a hundred pounds, all right? Which is a lot of money for students. But if on the other hand they didn't and they were caught, then they would have to pay a hundred pounds, okay? So I needed something to like really turn the pressure on and make people feel that they had something to lose here. Anyway, the students in the auditorium, their job was easy. They simply had to figure out which of the five confederates was concealing the scarlet handkerchief, right? Some of them were high on the psychopathic spectrum, some of them were low. And lo and behold, when I looked at the study, when I looked at the data afterwards, 70 percent of those scoring high on the psychopathic spectrum correctly identified the handkerchief smuggling associate compared to just 30 percent of the low scorers.
[00:19:41] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:19:41] Kevin Dutton: So again, zoning in on weakness might well be part of the serial killers toolkit, but hey, it might also come in hand at the airport.
[00:19:48] Jordan Harbinger: What do they do? Are they reading microexpressions? Are they just looking at the body language?
[00:19:51] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, probably that's what it is. Do you know what? Generally speaking, Jordan, we don't really know.
[00:19:57] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:19:58] Kevin Dutton: They're definitely picking up on something. The jury down on what precisely it is, but yeah, it's absolutely fascinating. Yeah, it looked like Bundy was actually onto something there. He was probably for once in his life, telling the truth.
[00:20:12] Jordan Harbinger: You're listening to The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Kevin Dutton. We'll be right back.
[00:20:17] Kevin Dutton: A lot of people ask me how I'm able to stick to my fitness routine, especially since I have such a bananas schedule. For me, it's really creating a routine that is sustainable and can be duplicated on an ongoing basis. Consistency is the key, right? And Peloton helps me have a sustainable fitness routine because there are thousands of classes to choose from. It's also 24/7. I've always got time for it. I might only have 15 minutes in between calls, but I can still fit in a Peloton class. Peloton is really famous for their bikes, but they also make a top-notch rowing machine that stores upright, which you think no big deal, but when you try to have a rower on the floor, you'll be so glad this thing goes upright. If you're a newbie to rowing, the Peloton Row has sensors that can track your movements, that shows you how your form is doing, and it warns you if you're doing something wrong, that could injure you or whatever. And right now is the perfect time to get rowing. With Peloton Row, we can promise you've never rowed like this before. Peloton Row offers a variety of classes for all levels and game-changing features that help you get rowing or advance what you can already do. Explore Peloton Row and financing options at onepeloton.com/row.
[00:21:18] This episode is also sponsored by Better Help online therapy. If you're going through a rough time, you're definitely not alone and you shouldn't deal with it on your own either. Seeking a therapist through Better Help is great. It's convenient, flexible, affordable, super fast. It's nice to be able to talk to somebody as soon as you need to. And with Better Help, you have access to over 30,000 licensed professional therapists.
[00:21:38] Jen Harbinger: I had a really great experience with Better Help. I filled out my preferences, like what kind of therapist I wanted to work with, and I was really surprised when I got a match in just 15 minutes. I was fortunate to click with her right away, but I also took comfort in knowing that I can always switch therapists and no additional charge anytime.
[00:21:53] Jordan Harbinger: The Better Help app is also legit. It's got a journaling feature. You can text your therapist anytime from the app. Don't be the guy or gal who's constantly venting to your friends and family. They've got their own stuff going on. They're not qualified to help you anyway. Reach out to a therapist instead.
[00:22:08] Jen Harbinger: If you want to live a more empowered life, therapy can get you there. Visit betterhelp.com/jordan to get 10 percent off your first month. That's better-H-E-L-P.com/jordan.
[00:22:19] Jordan Harbinger: If you're wondering how I managed to book all these great authors, thinkers, and creators every single week, it's because of my network. And I hate words like networking and network because it's a little gross. But I'm teaching you how to build your network — ugh, cringe, right? For free over at jordanharbinger.com/course. Now, the course is all about improving your relationship-building skills and inspiring other people to want to develop a relationship with you. And the course does all that in a super easy, hopefully, non-cringey, down-to-earth kind of way. No awkward strategies, no cheesy tactics that are going to make you pucker up, if you know what I mean before doing it. Just practical exercises that are going to make you a better connector, a better colleague, a better peer, a better friend, and it just takes a few minutes a day. The course is free, and many of the guests on the show subscribe and contribute to the course. So, hey, come join us, you'll be in smart company. You can find the course at jordanharbinger.com/course.
[00:23:10] Now back to Kevin Dutton.
[00:23:13] It seems like psychopathy helps criminals up and until the dials are turned all the way up and then it hurts them, right? Because they can't control anything and they're just wildly, I don't know, going out and killing people or just committing crazy crimes without the fear or thought of any consequences. So basically, there's this optimum level of psychopathy as long as you're a criminal or you're working on Wall Street, because we know they're better at financial stuff as well.
[00:23:39] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:23:40] Jordan Harbinger: Is that accurate?
[00:23:40] Kevin Dutton: I think that's pretty much, I mean, but success in the criminal for fraternity is pretty much the same as success in any kind of line. You know, Patrick Bateman, Scarface, all went out of control in the end.
[00:23:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:23:51] Kevin Dutton: As you know, so it was. That's an example where the dials just started, you know, they were just jammed on max. I mean, it's really interesting. I mean, imagine you got you get a poor start in life that you are low in intelligence. Imagine you're a psychopath, first of all, you're a psychopath. You get a poor start in life. You are low in intelligence, and you are also dispositionally violent. Well, your prospects aren't exactly good. You're going to end up as a low level thug or an enforcer of a criminal gang, something along those lines. Either way, you're going to end up in prison pretty quickly. Remove violence from the equation, the prospect's a little better. You're going to be a crook, small-time con artist, drug dealer, or pimp/. More likely than not, all four in combination, once again, you're going to wind up in prison pretty quick.
[00:24:28] But now, let's say, you're a psychopath, that you're not naturally violent, that you get a good start in life, and you're intelligent, right? Now, it's a different story altogether. Now, as the famous Reuters headline once put it, you are more likely going to make a killing in the market than anywhere else, all right?
[00:24:42] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:24:43] Kevin Dutton: Finally, if you're a psychopath, intelligent, and violent, well any number of exotic occupations might await you. Anything from Special Forces operative to the head of a criminal syndicate, okay? And that's where the dials, you need to be careful with the dials because as you rightly say, even in crime, if you're a top crime boss, you are likely going to be high on the psychopathic spectrum but those dials need to be controlled. By the way, this is not a recipe for how to be a good criminal.
[00:25:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:25:09] Kevin Dutton: Just in case, we all get canceled, but absolutely it works in the criminal world. It works in the underworld as well and it goes hand in hand with intelligence. Like I was just saying, if you are intelligent and can control those dials, but you can turn them up to max ruthlessness when you really have to, then yeah, you are just as likely to succeed in criminal world as you are in any world.
[00:25:29] Jordan Harbinger: I know you became a psychopath for an hour using this transcranial—
[00:25:34] Kevin Dutton: Cranial magnetic stimulation. Yeah, that was interesting.
[00:25:37] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Tell me about that. That sounds possibly uncomfortable.
[00:25:40] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. When I was doing research for the book a few years ago, transcranial magnetic stimulation, it's basically you place like a helmet on you head. It's a non-invasive form of just manipulating a certain brain waves and certain neurons in the brain through magnetic pulses. And yeah, it was really scary. You can't go deep into the brain, but you can manipulate the cerebral cortex, which is the outer layer of the brain, which then has connections with the deeper part of the brain. So yeah, I'm sitting in the chair and first of all, you have to work out because everyone's brain is slightly different, so you have to work out the coordinates of the kind of motion parts of the brain. So in order to do that, you need to take a reference point. And a reference point was part of my motor cortex, which move my little pinky finger on my left hand.
[00:26:28] So all of a sudden, I'm sitting there with this helmet on and these magnetic pulses being passed into my brain, and all of a sudden I felt my little finger just twitching like that. Absolutely, I couldn't do anything about it. It was like Frankenstein. I mean, it really did. It felt like wow, this is unbelievable. There was something which was manipulated in my brain remotely. My colleague, of course, was an expert in transcranial magnetic stimulation. We weren't doing this at home. We're doing this in a psychology lab, by the way. And he said, "Yeah, okay. We've got an accordance of your brain now." And then he kind of zapped — you don't feel anything. He then zapped the projections from the cerebral cortex into the emotion areas, deeper into my brain rather. And then it was basically, well, how'd you feel? And I'll tell you how it felt. It felt like I'd had like half a bottle of Jack Daniels, but without that sluggishness, without that lack of focus. I just felt disinhibited. Anxiety has never really been that much of a problem for me but, well, a little I had completely disappeared.
[00:27:23] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:27:23] Kevin Dutton: We did this in the university. I went into the student bar. I used to like this driving machine where you have to drive as fast as you can around a track. I broke my record on that. It was great. It lasted about half an hour. It was like being spring cleaned in a huge psychological tumble dryer. It was amazing.
[00:27:42] Jordan Harbinger: I got to tell you, to become a psychopath for half an hour and then spend it playing a racing video game is probably one of the lamest uses of superpower that I've ever heard of in my entire—
[00:27:52] Kevin Dutton: You know what? Yeah, I agree with you, Jordan, but it's a little bit like when you go out on the town and you have a load of drinks.
[00:27:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:28:00] Kevin Dutton: When you get a bit older, you think, what's it going to feel like the next morning?
[00:28:03] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:28:03] Kevin Dutton: And I could have done anything, but I had people around me that was, "Yeah, let's try the video game, shall we?
[00:28:10] Jordan Harbinger: Maybe that's smart. because I think if I'm in my '20s and I become a psychopath for 30 minutes, I'm going to go talk to women. That's what I'm going to do. If my anxiety is gone for 30 minutes and I'm 25 or whatever, I'm going to talk to women. I want to feel what that's like without getting nervous.
[00:28:25] Kevin Dutton: Here's an invitation for you. Next time you find yourself in the UK. I don't know if you come over here that often, but if you do—
[00:28:31] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:28:31] Kevin Dutton: —come up and see me and we'll turn you into psychopath for half an hour.
[00:28:34] Jordan Harbinger: I'll do it. I'm coming in May, I think, so, we'll do it.
[00:28:37] Kevin Dutton: I spend a lot of time in Australia, but I'll be back in May, so we'll see if we can do that, but—
[00:28:41] Jordan Harbinger: Perfect.
[00:28:41] Kevin Dutton: This is one of the reasons why I think a lot of people are jealous of psychopath.
[00:28:46] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:28:46] Kevin Dutton: Why we're so fascinated with them? I mean, I've often wondered why. When I wrote Wisdom of Psychopaths, I had no idea the book was going to do that well or psychopaths were going to be that popular, I thought, but they never die. People are fascinated with them and I've often wondered why that might be. And you know what? You just answered it right there.
[00:29:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:05] Kevin Dutton: I once did a little experiment. I never published you or anything, but I once asked people, you know, imagine that you could do anything you wanted, right? For the next three hours, alright? So there's no legal repercussions. There's no emotional repercussions. There's everything is just the slate is wiped clean, but you can do anything you want for three hours, what would you do, right? Generally, speaking, people fall into two camps. The first camp is the camp that you just said you were part of, and that's it, they would go up to women if they or—
[00:29:34] Jordan Harbinger: Well, in my 20s. Now, I'm married, I got kids. There's consequences. But when I was in my 20s and single, that was one and kind of a scary proposition sometimes, and two—
[00:29:43] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:29:43] Jordan Harbinger: You know, I would love to feel what that's like without feeling nervous or whatever, and worrying about those consequences. Now, I have real consequences. I have kids and stuff, you know? I have to worry about that.
[00:29:51] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Again, there was an interesting story about how to approach people like that and make it work for you without feeling anxiety. I'll tell you about that in a minute, but actually, yeah, people fall into two camps. What they generally find is that people that they always fancied, but they'd never got round to telling them that you had that a lot. I would go to that person and I would say, look, you know, I made a mistake all the years ago. This is how I really feel," that kind of thing.
[00:30:16] Jordan Harbinger: Oh wow.
[00:30:16] Kevin Dutton: So you got the love camp.
[00:30:17] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:30:17] Kevin Dutton: And then you've got the hate camp, what I call love and hate camp. Then you've got people that said, I'd go to that bastard that did me down all those years ago and finish him off or I'd do this now, what have you. I'd sort him out. So people generally fall into two camps, love and — then there's chocolate, of course. There's three camps, love, hate, and chocolate. So people just eat as much chocolate as they want.
[00:30:34] Jordan Harbinger: Oh geez.
[00:30:34] Kevin Dutton: But, mainly it's love and hate, and it's really interesting, Jordan, because that really is what life is like for a psychopath in everyday life. They don't feel any sense of consequence. They don't feel anxious about what might happen. They just go about their business. Remember we were talking about, they don't have those cues to implications, repercussions, consequences down the line. Life is really like that for these people in a real sense. And you know what? I think probably deep down we have a little bit of existential envy for people like that.
[00:31:08] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:31:09] Kevin Dutton: And that's why I've reflected on this a lot and I've often thought, I have a feeling that's why psychopaths are so popular. But let me tell you about a guy who I interviewed many years ago. He was a real villain in the east end of London, which is a rough part of London. He and three other mates would go out to the pubs and bars of London Town on a Friday night chatting up women. And he said they would deliberately try to get as many rejections, rejections as they could.
[00:31:38] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, sure.
[00:31:38] Kevin Dutton: And he said the guy that got the most rejections would have the drinks paid for him by the other three the next night on a Saturday night when they went out. So there was a real incentive to get as many rejections as you possibly could. And then, what do you think started happening?
[00:31:55] Jordan Harbinger: I know exactly how this goes because I used to play this exact same game, right?
[00:31:57] Kevin Dutton: Oh really? Well, yeah, you know.
[00:31:58] Jordan Harbinger: Should I guess know?
[00:31:59] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, go on.
[00:32:00] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. So what happens is you start off and it's a little bit uneasy like it normally would be, I guess, unless you're a psychopath. And then after a while it becomes really fun and funny because you can start doing outrageous things. And since you're just trying to get rejected, people start to accept those as just—
[00:32:16] Kevin Dutton: You got it.
[00:32:16] Jordan Harbinger: You're a character with a weird personality and you find that it's almost more difficult to get rejected at a certain point because you have to almost be completely obscene to the point of getting punched in the face—
[00:32:28] Kevin Dutton: You got it.
[00:32:28] Jordan Harbinger: —in order to get that rejection and the line is much, much, much further than you think it is.
[00:32:33] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:32:34] Jordan Harbinger: And so after a while, you're entertaining yourself and you're having so much fun doing this, that the rejections are coming slower and slower and it becomes harder and harder to do.
[00:32:41] Kevin Dutton: You are that guy.
[00:32:42] Jordan Harbinger: I guess so.
[00:32:42] Kevin Dutton: You just nailed it. I couldn't have believe, but that's exactly what happens. So what happens is once you start getting rejected, you realize, hell, who cares?
[00:32:52] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:32:52] Kevin Dutton: You know, this isn't the end of the world. Actually, you are thinking that, you know, oh God, if I'll get rejected—
[00:32:56] Jordan Harbinger: You're closer to free drinks.
[00:32:58] Kevin Dutton: Absolutely right. It's not the end of the world. And then, of course, what happens is you don't care anymore.
[00:33:03] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:33:03] Kevin Dutton: Then, you start getting more confident and then you don't start getting rejected because a lot of the reasons why women reject you when you go after it's cause you're a bit weird, self-conscious, and unconfident.
[00:33:13] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:33:14] Kevin Dutton: But when that disappears, all of a sudden you become quite an attractive prospect. So you're absolutely right. So look, if you want to go out and prove your success with women, go out and start trying to be rejected to begin with.
[00:33:25] Jordan Harbinger: It's actually more fun to do it in a way that is not disgusting and obscene and hurts other people's feelings.
[00:33:31] Kevin Dutton: Sure. Of course.
[00:33:31] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm not just saying that to be PC, it really is better to try to do this in a way where everybody wins because it's a little bit more of a challenge and it's better for you and it's better for them. So that's my caveat to that.
[00:33:42] Kevin Dutton: Absolutely. Right. You know what, I did a study on chat lines once, Jordan, it was the University of Cambridge many years ago, and I wanted to know whether any chat up lines worked purely in the interest of scientific advance, if you understand, right?
[00:33:53] Jordan Harbinger: Sure. Yeah.
[00:33:53] Kevin Dutton: Whether any chat up lines worked, five out of five times let students lose the bars and clubs of London and Cambridge, and we sampled 200 chat up lines from the web and there's quite a few out there. And I let them loose with them. They had to try each line out five times and I wanted to know whether any line worked five out of five times and one did. One did. I'll tell you what it is. There were plenty that worked zero out of five times, right?
[00:34:16] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:17] Kevin Dutton: Probably the least memorable was, "Roses are red, violet are blue. I've got a gun. Now, get in the van."
[00:34:22] Jordan Harbinger: That's terrible.
[00:34:23] Kevin Dutton: That didn't work at all.
[00:34:24] Jordan Harbinger: That's terrible.
[00:34:25] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. Even in a humorous way, it didn't work at all. You can't help laughing at it though, because it's so dire.
[00:34:31] Jordan Harbinger: Depends. Well, now, in this context, it's funny. I think in another context, maybe not so much.
[00:34:37] Kevin Dutton: Oh, absolutely. Yeah. Well, chat-up lines work. Anybody that goes out there with a chat-up line and actually thinks this line is really going to impress someone—
[00:34:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:34:47] Kevin Dutton: —is using it in the wrong way.
[00:34:48] Jordan Harbinger: Uh, yeah. Mm-hmm.
[00:34:49] Kevin Dutton: Chat-up lines are there to kind of break the ice and make people go, "What?" But then you have to back it up with something, right?
[00:34:56] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:34:56] Kevin Dutton: You have to be the genuine. So when you were saying earlier about, you know, don't be gross, actually being gross and obnoxious really doesn't work because people trying to just go, "What?" They don't want to know what you want him to go is like, you know, you want it to be cheesy. You want it to be a little bit, "Did he really say that? Did she really say—?"
[00:35:14] Jordan Harbinger: This is science talking now, apparently, right?
[00:35:16] Kevin Dutton: Exactly right. Yeah. So one chat-up line that worked five out of five times is you go up to a girl or a guy in a bar and you say, "Hi, my name's Microsoft. Any chance of crashing at yours tonight," right?
[00:35:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's so dumb.
[00:35:30] Kevin Dutton: Now that look on your face. I think I think I've pulled Jordan. I think I pulled you. I think I pulled you, mate.
[00:35:36] Jordan Harbinger: Damn.
[00:35:36] Kevin Dutton: I think I've got you there, mate. Now that line that look on your face right there and your reaction was, "Oh, get out of here, sh*t."
[00:35:45] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good one for Silicon Valley, I think too. Everybody will get it.
[00:35:47] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. But that's exactly the kind of reaction that you're looking for. So chat-up lines, actually, yeah, I did a study on that and absolutely. It's kind of, you want to be able to break the ice in a good way, in a way that makes people go, "God, alright," but then you need to be sensible.
[00:36:07] Jordan Harbinger: This is The Jordan Harbinger Show with our guest Kevin Dutton. We'll be right back.
[00:36:12] This episode is sponsored in part by HVMN. You've probably heard buzz about ketones supplements and how they can boost your workouts by helping your body use fatty acids for fuel. I often take a shot of HVMN'S Ketone-IQ supplement before my morning workout. It's focused energy. It's not an energy drink. The feeling is like being in the zone, but no jitters, no anxiety. It's not a bunch of caffeine. Ketone-IQ comes in portable, convenient shots, which are perfect for on-the-go cycling, long runs, running from meeting to meeting. The taste is horrible. It tastes like it works. I've said that before. I like that HVMN does not try to hide the flavor with a bunch of sweeteners because I just don't need that. It's a use it when you need it kind of thing. I feel much more focused and less hungry during workouts and less hungry after the workout. I don't have the same type of super intense appetite or spikes or crashes. Better endurance. No slowdown at the end. So if you're working out hard or you're training for something specific, especially, definitely give Ketone-IQ a try. A lot of my elite athlete friends are using it. Usually, I don't bother with this stuff, but it's been recommended by a ton of them. I'm curious as well, write in and tell me what you think of it.
[00:37:14] Jen Harbinger: And for 20 percent off your order of Ketone-IQ, go to HVMN.com, promo code JORDAN. Again, that's H-V-M-N.com promo code JORDAN for 20 percent off Ketone-IQ.
[00:37:26] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is also sponsored by the Young and Profiting podcast with Hala Taha. Looking for a new, riveting and informative podcast? Look no further. Check out, Young and Profiting, hosted by my friend, Hala Taha. This is a frequently ranked number one entrepreneurship podcast. We're duking it out over there. Young and Profiting is all about listening, learning, inspiring, and of course, profiting. Each week, Hala investigates a new self-improvement topic and interviews some of the brightest minds in the world who are experts in that topic. A good life comes from good choices, but good choices come from experience, good or bad. Go ahead and subscribe to Young and Profiting if you want to benefit from the motivational insights and powerful experiences their guests have had. Hala interviews many entrepreneurs and experts in their field and she does sort of homework, you know, she learned it from me. Actually, I'm going to take a little bit of credit for that. She does a lot of research. She asks in-depth questions and YAP provides resources and tools that can be applied to everyone. Hala really is a little hustler. I've been friends with her for a long time. Subscribe to YAP, Young and Profiting podcast on Apple, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform.
[00:38:25] If you like this episode of the show, I would love it if you would share it with other folks, and more importantly, do what other smart and considerate listeners do, which is take a moment and support our amazing sponsors. If you're looking for something for yourself or a gift for somebody else, all of those sponsors, all those codes, they're on one page, jordanharbinger.com/deals. Also, if you're supremely lazy, you can just go to jordanharbinger.com and use the search box on the website to search for any sponsor and the code should pop right up. Thank you so much for supporting those who support us.
[00:38:54] Now for the rest of my conversation with Kevin Dutton.
[00:38:59] Kevin Dutton: Listen, do you want to know if you're a psychopath? Do you want to do a little test?
[00:39:01] Jordan Harbinger: I was going to say, should we do the test? Let's do the test.
[00:39:04] Kevin Dutton: Should we do a little test?
[00:39:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, let's do it.
[00:39:05] Kevin Dutton: Let's do a little test, all right. So you're going to need — you got a pen and paper there?
[00:39:08] Jordan Harbinger: Can I type it or does it have to be a pen?
[00:39:10] Kevin Dutton: You can type it.
[00:39:10] Jordan Harbinger: All right, let me do it.
[00:39:11] Kevin Dutton: So this is a very simple little test.
[00:39:14] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:39:14] Kevin Dutton: Quite an accurate test to work out to know where you are on the psychopathic spectrum. Okay? So what I'm going to do, Jordan, right? I'm going to read out 11 statements, okay? And these statements all hypothetically describe you as a person, okay?
[00:39:29] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:39:29] Kevin Dutton: And what you're going to do, you are going to score each of these 11 statements according to how accurate a description you think they are of you, okay? And the little scoring key—
[00:39:39] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:39:39] Kevin Dutton: —goes from zero to three. And here's what it means. If you strongly disagree that the statement accurately describes you, if you strongly disagree, give yourself zero points. Okay? If you disagree, give yourself one point. If you agree, give yourself two points. And if you strongly agree, give yourself three points. So it goes from strongly disagree, disagree, agree, strongly agree, zero, one, two, three.
[00:40:04] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:40:04] Kevin Dutton: Here we go. Statement number one. I rarely plan ahead. I'm a spur of the moment kind of person.
[00:40:12] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:40:12] Kevin Dutton: Zero, strongly disagree, one disagree, two agree, three strongly agree.
[00:40:17] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:40:17] Kevin Dutton: You can write these down. You don't want to go public with these.
[00:40:19] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:40:20] Kevin Dutton: Number two, especially this one. Cheating on your partner is okay. So long as you don't get caught.
[00:40:25] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:40:26] Kevin Dutton: I see what I mean.
[00:40:27] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:40:28] Kevin Dutton: Whenever I do this with students, that's the one where they're always looking over their shoulders, seeing what the person next to them and see what they're writing down.
[00:40:33] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I don't blame them.
[00:40:34] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. Number three, if something better comes along, it's okay to cancel long-standing appointment.
[00:40:39] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:40:40] Kevin Dutton: Number four, seeing an animal injured or in pain doesn't bother me in the slightest.
[00:40:45] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:40:45] Kevin Dutton: Yeah. Tricky one, right?
[00:40:46] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:40:47] Kevin Dutton: Number five, driving fast cars, riding roller coasters, and skydiving appeal to me. Number six, it doesn't matter to me if I have to step on others to get what I want. Number seven, I'm very persuasive. I have a talent for getting other people to do what I want. Number eight, I'd be good in a dangerous job because I can make my mind up quickly. Don't think too much about it.
[00:41:10] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:41:12] Kevin Dutton: Number nine, I find it easy to keep it together when others are cracking under pressure. Number 10, if you're able to con someone, then hey, that's their problem. They deserve it.
[00:41:23] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:41:23] Kevin Dutton: And the final one, number 11, most of the time when things go wrong, it's somebody else's fault, not mine.
[00:41:29] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:41:30] Kevin Dutton: All right.
[00:41:30] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:41:31] Kevin Dutton: So now add up those 11 numbers. You'll have 11 numbers on the page there. You can come up with a grand total. All right. You got a grand total there? Don't tell me what it is. Have you got a total?
[00:41:40] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I do. Yeah. Mm-hmm.
[00:41:41] Kevin Dutton: Okay. Right. Folks, playing at home. Here's what it means. If you scored zero to 11, You are low on the psychopathic spectrum and you're probably never been happy to fail a test.
[00:41:54] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:55] Kevin Dutton: Zero to 11. What are you laughing at? What are you laughing at?
[00:41:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. It wasn't zero to 11, Kevin. It was not zero to 11.
[00:42:02] Kevin Dutton: Okay, we're going to move up the scale.
[00:42:05] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:42:05] Kevin Dutton: 12 to 17, you are below average—
[00:42:08] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, thank god.
[00:42:08] Kevin Dutton: —on the psychopathic spectrum, 12 to 17, you're below average.
[00:42:11] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:12] Kevin Dutton: Right. 18 to 22, your average.
[00:42:14] Jordan Harbinger: Average psychopath, or just average human.
[00:42:16] Kevin Dutton: Average on the psychopathic spectrum.
[00:42:18] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:42:18] Kevin Dutton: So, yeah, if you're looking at, think of it as a temperature dial, right?
[00:42:21] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:21] Kevin Dutton: Actually, it's probably zero to 33 is a maximum. 33 is way too hot. You're going to get burned. Zero is freezing cold. You don't want to be that either. 18 to 22, average, kind of room temperature. You can feel attention rising, can't you? 23 to 28, you are high—
[00:42:35] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:42:35] Kevin Dutton: —on the psychopathic spectrum. And then 29 to 33, you are very high.
[00:42:40] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:42:40] Kevin Dutton: There's a disclaimer. We're not diagnosing anyone here. This is a general indication of where you might be on the—
[00:42:45] Jordan Harbinger: Sure
[00:42:45] Kevin Dutton: —psychopathic spectrum. Go on, mate. What did you get?
[00:42:47] Jordan Harbinger: 16.
[00:42:48] Kevin Dutton: 16. That's a nice score.
[00:42:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:42:51] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, that's all right. You're at the top end of the below average.
[00:42:56] Jordan Harbinger: That's where I live my life, the top end of below average. Served me well so far.
[00:43:00] Kevin Dutton: That's great. That's absolutely fantastic for you. Yeah, that's a good birth for you.
[00:43:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:43:04] Kevin Dutton: That's 16. Yeah. But I'd be interesting to see how the folks at home score on that.
[00:43:10] Jordan Harbinger: I'm curious if anybody has scored extremely high and then what their life is like. So if somebody is—
[00:43:16] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:43:16] Jordan Harbinger: —doing that at home, if they want to rewind and take the test, and they do this at home and they come in. What was the high one?
[00:43:22] Kevin Dutton: So 29 to 33 is very high.
[00:43:24] Jordan Harbinger: If anyone scored 29 to 33, I'm curious if you've bumped into things in life because of what these traits—
[00:43:31] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:43:31] Jordan Harbinger: —what that score might mean for you, because I'm guessing somebody's going to go, "I scored highly on this test and also I have a ton of problems, but I've never been diagnosed a psychopath. But here's the problem. "I cheated on my wife and I cheated in school and got kicked out, and then I cheated on the firefighter exam and got caught and then I did this and I spent three years in prison.
[00:43:48] Kevin Dutton: But you know what? That'd be really, really interesting, really interesting
[00:43:52] Jordan Harbinger: I'm very curious.
[00:43:53] Kevin Dutton: I'll tell you a joke. I haven't told a joke yet, so I might as well get it out of the way.
[00:43:56] Jordan Harbinger: All right.
[00:43:56] Kevin Dutton: I'll show my psychopath joke. So, a local charity, right? CEO joke. A local charity suddenly realized they've never received a donation from the town's most prosperous CEO. So one day the chief fundraiser decides to go and call on him in person in his penthouse to see if she can get him to contribute, right? So she says, "Our records indicate that we don't seem to have you on our books at the moment. You are renowned public figure and the town's most successful businessman. We were wondering perhaps whether you might like to, I don't know, make a little contribution in some way." So the CEO thinks about it for a moment and smiles. Your records also show that my sister lost her husband in a car accident several years ago, and is paralyzed with three children." "I'm afraid not," mumbles by the embarrassed charity worker. "I see. Okay. Do your record show that my brother a disabled veteran is blind and confined to a wheelchair?" "No," said by charity worker. "I see. Okay, let's try this. Do your record show that my mother lost a husband in a car crash several years ago and now, she's living on the fringes of society with not a penny." "I'm so sorry," whispered by a horrified fundraiser. "I'd absolutely no idea." "See," shakes his head, so he says, "If I don't give any money to them, what the f*ck should I give anything to you?"
[00:45:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I didn't see that one coming actually. Yeah.
[00:45:11] Kevin Dutton: Many a true word, but that's my CEO psychopath joke. Not all CEOs are psychopaths, folks.
[00:45:16] Jordan Harbinger: Not all? Just many.
[00:45:17] Kevin Dutton: Not all. Not all. Some of them are more psychopathic than others.
[00:45:19] Jordan Harbinger: Sure.
[00:45:20] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:45:20] Jordan Harbinger: I mean that goes to that saying what percentage of the population do we think is psychopathic?
[00:45:25] Kevin Dutton: Generally, about three quarters to one percent. There's a funny kind of joke that we tell, you know, like a guy's hitchhiking down a road on a dark night. Guy in a truck pulls over and guy gets in and he turns to the driver and he says, "Wow." He said, "You're taking a bit of a chance, you know, for all you know, I might be a serial killer." And the trucker goes, "Nah. Chance there two serial killers being in the same truck at the same time, pretty much zero." It's rare, but roughly between three quarters and one percent if we are talking like, yes, serious kind of psychopath that most people would kind of have in their mind, that's about the incidence of that.
[00:46:01] By the way, if you find yourself in a room with a hundred people, right, obviously just to be on the safe side, kill the other 99, just to make sure, right? Okay. That's my advice to most people.
[00:46:09] Jordan Harbinger: I was going to say, what do we do if we encounter one of these people? Because normally, you know, to avoid psychopaths, run for the hills.
[00:46:15] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:46:15] Jordan Harbinger: But if one of your closest friends is a psychopath and he's been your longest running friend for most of your life. So that can't be the recommendation—
[00:46:21] Kevin Dutton: Yeah.
[00:46:21] Jordan Harbinger: —that you're about to make.
[00:46:23] Kevin Dutton: No. Well, and obviously this is a serious point.
[00:46:25] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:46:25] Kevin Dutton: Johnny and I know very well, and obviously, I know what he's capable of and how to handle him. I think that's the very first message, really. Being forewarned is forearmed.
[00:46:36] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:37] Kevin Dutton: You know, know the signs that you're dealing with. Okay. So if you're in a, in an office, if you've got a psychopathic boss who's a bad psychopath, they're the kinds of people that are going to steal your ideas and pass them off as their own.
[00:46:49] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:46:49] Kevin Dutton: They're going to manipulate you into working longer hours when you don't want to or doing things, covering for them. All those kinds of things. They're going to gaslight, they're going to gerrymander, they're going to do all these kinds of things where they're going to make you feel guilty for stuff that you didn't do, because they're kind of manipulating you and all these kinds of things that I think all of us have experienced over the years. And you're thinking, yeah, there's something not quite right with that person.
[00:47:16] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:16] Kevin Dutton: First of all, look out for those symptoms, those signs. That's the first thing. The second thing is do not try to play these people at their own game. Alright? They are professionals. Do not try to outsmart them or take them on at their own game because you're only going to get burned. So instead, you know, if you've got a psychopathic boss that is, as I say, stealing your ideas, manipulating you, berating you in front of your colleagues and all that. One way you can do it is — you know, you are likely not the only one that this is going to be happening to. So safety and strength in numbers is always important. Try as hard as you can, not to be alone in a situation with them. Always make sure that you are with other people or you are never in an area — I mean, I know sometimes that's very difficult in some professions, but try to avoid being, as I say, one-on-one with these people where they can say stuff and do stuff where if your word against theirs.
[00:48:14] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:15] Kevin Dutton: Try to protect your ideas. You know, tell people, other people about your ideas if you're in a creative industry or in a business so that people, you know, if all of a sudden your idea disappears and it's done by somebody else, people know what's going on and they're onto them. But sometimes, Jordan, there's no easy way of saying it. If you've got a psychopathic boss and you know they're in a position of power and making your life hell, sometimes you've just got to get out, mate.
[00:48:42] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:42] Kevin Dutton: Quicker the better really, because as I say, bad psychopaths, they really can do a lot of damage. I've never denied that even in, you know, when I've been writing the books and saying psychopathic characteristics can be good for society at the right levels and with the right intentions.
[00:48:58] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:48:59] Kevin Dutton: I've never denied that actually, you know, when all those dials are turned up, these guys can, and women, can be very toxic, indeed. So sometimes you've just got to kind of get out.
[00:49:09] Jordan Harbinger: Kevin Dutton, thank you very much, man. I really appreciate this. I definitely want to go to London and become a psychopath for 30 minutes or however long it lasts. That's how long it lasts, right? Or is it longer?
[00:49:18] Kevin Dutton: Only 30 minutes. That's right.
[00:49:20] Jordan Harbinger: What does it feel like? Is it feel like you become Mr. Hyde from Dr. Jekyll? Or are you just kind of like—?
[00:49:27] Kevin Dutton: I didn't feel any evil. I didn't feel any bad intentions. It's just I felt, wow, this is, like I say, you know, it's like a shot, you know, half a bottle of Jack Daniel shot into you, and you're like, but you don't have the kind of sluggishness, you don't have the lack of focus. You're kind of crystal clear and—
[00:49:42] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:49:43] Kevin Dutton: It's a great feeling of disinhibition. I guess, I mean, I think it was Gary Gilmore even when he was being electrocuted, wasn't he? I think he was, he said, "Let's get it on. Let's do it."
[00:49:51] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:49:52] Kevin Dutton: That's kind of what you feel like. I didn't feel like sitting in electric chair and saying that, but it's kind of, that's gone, let's get, you know, absolutely, let's do it. Look, Jordan, I've thoroughly enjoyed it, mate. It's been a really, really wonderful journey to you.
[00:50:04] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I appreciate that. Or is this psychopathic charm that you're just taking on me, that you throw, that you say to everybody? I'm going to have to check.
[00:50:11] Kevin Dutton: Yeah, yeah. Secret is out, isn't it? I mean, yeah.
[00:50:13] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:50:14] Kevin Dutton: What more, what more can I say, you know? But, absolutely, people often say, well, how psychopathic am i? Yeah, I'm kind of, I would think that those numbers that we did on the test bit, like as I say, bit like temperature, so I'm like just above room temperature, kind of like just in there. You are in the high of the top end or below average. I'm in the low end of high, put it that way.
[00:50:34] Jordan Harbinger: For the population at large or for people that exhibit psychopathic traits.
[00:50:37] Kevin Dutton: For the population at large.
[00:50:38] Jordan Harbinger: Okay.
[00:50:39] Kevin Dutton: So that's population at large. Yeah. So I'm low end of high. Your top end of below average.
[00:50:43] Jordan Harbinger: A story of my life, man.
[00:50:44] Kevin Dutton: That's pretty good.
[00:50:45] Jordan Harbinger: Story of my life. Kevin, thank you very much.
[00:50:48] Kevin Dutton: Ah, it's a pleasure, mate.
[00:50:51] Jordan Harbinger: I've got some thoughts on this episode, but before I get into that, here's a trailer of my interview with Thomas Erickson on how to spot a psychopath.
[00:50:59] Thomas Erickson: Some people tell me, do they have to be psychopaths? Couldn't it just be they are evil, but hey, for me, same thing. They are out there regardless that we are talking about it or not. The stupid psychopath, he would go up to you on the street and say, "Hey, you got a nice watch." And then he will bang you in the head and take to watch. The intelligent psychopath, he will see your beautiful watch and he say, "That's a nice watch," and then he will talk you into giving him the watch. That's the difference.
[00:51:27] All narcissists are not psychopaths, but every psychopath is a narcissist. They think it is their right. They are entitled to act in this way. It is their birth right to use you and me and anybody else. The more you present yourself to the psychopath, the more understanding it has about you and the more dangerous it becomes.
[00:51:50] Love bombing is one of the most dangerous manipulation techniques that you can use. If you haven't experienced, let's say, true love, let's call it, and then you think you have it within your reach, you are done.
[00:52:03] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:52:03] Thomas Erickson: I get, you know, I get shavers down my spine. Psychopathy is not an illness. It's a personality disorder. It starts at the moment in the woman's womb actually, you can never change a psychopath.
[00:52:18] How much value would you put in yourself? How much do you think you deserve in life? Do you deserve a good relationship?
[00:52:30] Jordan Harbinger: For more on how to protect yourself from psychopaths, check out episode 465 with Thomas Erickson on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[00:52:40] Really good episode. I love conversations like this. As it turns out, there are evolutionary advantages to being a psychopath as we touched on here on the episode. Psychopaths are not uncommon in nature. Other disorders that people have, they also have their attendant advantages. For example, schizophrenia has advantages with creativity. Depression has advantages with memory. Turns out that for many of us, there's an upside to our downside, and thank goodness for that, I suppose. But also, you know, maybe I would trade that. The point is psychopathy is not the only genetic malady that actually has an upside. Also, depression helps us get better at solving problems. I think there's probably a whole show on just the upside of the downside to depression and schizophrenia and psychopathy. That's probably a whole show that I could do. If anybody knows an expert on those areas, I'm all ears.
[00:53:26] Also violent criminal psychopaths and business leader psychopaths, they may both be psychopaths, but they're at different places on a spectrum. They're not qualitatively different, and as we said before, psychopaths are not necessarily violent. Most are not. They could be a surgeon or they could be a serial killer. They could be the arsonist or they could be a fireman. Or in the case of that one guy, they could be both. These traits happen to overlap and that's where things get very interesting. I don't know if y'all heard about that guy who was an arsonist that was doing a ton of damage and it turned out he was actually the arson inspector for the fire department, which is one of the reasons he wasn't getting caught is because he knew what he was doing and also could hide evidence. Super interesting story. I can't remember where that was, but quite famous example of what looks to be psychopathy in action.
[00:54:09] As we might expect, psychopaths seemed to view the world as dog eat dog, maybe a zero sum game, but the problem with that outlook is that over the long term, playing the long game, humans are almost always better off teaming up, working together, as evidenced by gestures broadly, everything you see in civilization in society, other than anomalies like psychopaths and hardened criminals. We actually did a whole show about this with Rutger Bregman, that's episode 494, about how humans, by default are kind, and a lot of the experiments that people like to cite, like the prison experiment, and Lord to the Flies literature, a lot of these things that people cite is like human is devolving into cannibalistic crazies turns out to kind of just be largely BS. That's episode 494 with Rutger Bregman. Highly recommend listening to that one if you haven't yet. But this is why psychopaths have not inherited the earth by now, because they just don't work over the long term, and we've seen this play out in society as well.
[00:55:03] As you've heard today. They do serve some use, which is why they have not been bred out of the human population entirely, but also they tend to lose in the end. See also people that spend their life in prison that are hated by everyone around them and have no friends and alienate their families, those kinds of folks. But again, they do have a purpose where they fit. In fact, many psychopaths make better financial decisions than the rest of us. It's not always the case, but they're cool, sort of uncaring, calculated nonsense that screws up their life everywhere else. It's an asset when it comes to finance in a lot of ways. Whether or not that ends up being for the betterment of others in the organization or even around them is another question entirely. But psychopaths may have a higher tolerance for risk. They might have high charisma. They might be able to focus on a goal like, I don't know, some miserable financial goal that requires all of their life and energy for a long period of time.
[00:55:53] The book actually discusses a financial risk experiment and cites research, which unsurprisingly concludes that the New York Stock Exchange has a lot of psychopaths. I worked on Wall Street, can confirm. Also, I find it just wild that psychopaths in many cases might actually be better at empathy. I used to think they had none until I read this book and had this conversation. It's different than emotions, right? We're talking about being able to feel the pain of others. The difference here is that while we might see an injured person and be like, "Oh my gosh, I feel the pain. It's really uncomfortable." A psychopath may not always, but might get pleasure from it instead of having a sympathetic reaction, and that sounds really creepy. Definitely some serial killer vibes, right? I mean, if, if you feel nothing when you see somebody injured, that's creepy. But if you feel pleasure when you see somebody or something injured, that scares me and should scare everyone that people exist like that in society. But we know they do. I mean, I watch Dahmer on Netflix. That guy was doing that for a reason. It was just — ugh, ugh, I don't even want to go back there mentally.
[00:56:54] So psychopath, they don't have a deficit in reading and reacting to others. They actually have a talent for this, and they use it to manipulate skillfully instead of, you know, being a really good person or a good corporate leader, they use it to everyone else's detriment. Because again, remember, they view a lot of their interactions in their life as a zero sum game. When they win, you lose. Or when you lose, they win because that's the way it has to be in their mind. They have a detachment from the subject of their empathy, which helps them use it in a cold, calculating way.
[00:57:26] As Kevin mentioned on the show, it's not that they don't see the stop sign. It's that they see it and they just decide to run it anyway, and that abundance of charisma helps them get away with it for a long time. Psychopaths do use charm and wit to distract us from their true colors, kind of like a spider who mimics its prey in order to lure it close. That's kind of the idea here. Maybe they'll act like they really care and then they will twist the knife at the most opportune moment or some scenario that they've set up. Kevin also mentioned that women may be better at detecting psychopaths. This would be something that they evolved to detect a threat. That makes total sense. Women having typically lower levels of physical strength to fight off a threat, they have to detect threat in advance. There's some credibility to that theory. And
[00:58:08] the reason that these folks are able to, quote-unquote, walk among us so easily is a functional psychopath is essentially a psychopath minus poor decision making. A lot of the psychopaths we see that get imprisoned early on and they go through juvenile and then they're in end up in life in prison. They just have bad impulse control, bad decision making. They can't keep themselves accountable in any way. They can't keep from getting caught, first of all, and they also can't stop making a really amateur mistake like punching the cop in the face who says You're under arrest for a minor violation, right? They do that kind of thing because they just can't control themselves. A functional psychopath has that control, makes them kind of a lot more scarier in many ways because they can get to a position where they can cause even more damage, physical or otherwise.
[00:58:49] And there may be other things that psychopaths are picking up on consciously or subconsciously, it looks like subconsciously from the research. They can smell fear. I thought that was always kind of a metaphor, but apparently, skydiving sweat versus treadmill sweat smells differently. It might be a contagious thing that people can smell or fear could be contagious itself. Apparently. Smell also helps us identify fear and threats in others. Again, if somebody knows an expert on fear and smelling fear in the research that has to do with that, I would love to talk to that person.
[00:59:21] I know we did an episode with Gavin de Becker, episode 329 as part one. That talked a lot about fear, but we didn't really talk about the science of actually smelling fear. That's really, really fascinating stuff. If anybody knows who the top expert is on that, I would love to talk to her or him on that issue. I think that's really scary and interesting, but also makes sense and funny that the metaphor was smells fear when we had no idea that we could smell fear until just a few years ago. Shows you what, maybe either as a coincidence or that somebody felt subconsciously and just turned out to be totally right and thus the idiom was born.
[00:59:54] Big thank you to Kevin Dutton. All thanks Kevin will be in the show notes at jordanharbinger.com. Transcripts in the show notes. Videos up on YouTube. Advertisers, deals, and discount codes, all at jordanharbinger.com/deals. Please do consider supporting those who support this show. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on Twitter or Instagram. Please connect with me on LinkedIn if you're there as well.
[01:00:14] I'm also teaching you how to connect with great people and manage relationships using system, software, tiny habits, the same stuff I use every single day. It's our Six-Minute Networking course. The course is free. It's at jordanharbinger.com/course. I want to teach you how to dig that well before you get thirsty. Build relationships before you need them in a very non-gross, non-schmoozy way. Once again, no psychopaths allowed. That's jordanharbinger.com/course.
[01:00:40] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Millie Ocampo, Ian Baird, Josh Ballard, and Gabriel Mizrahi. Remember, we rise by lifting others. The fee for this show is you share it with friends when you find something useful or interesting. If you know somebody who's interested in psychopaths or maybe is one, share this episode with them. The greatest compliment you can give us is to share the show with those you care about. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:01:11] Once again, special thanks to Peloton for sponsoring this episode of The Jordan Harbinger Show. We really appreciate your support.
Sign up to receive email updates
Enter your name and email address below and I'll send you periodic updates about the podcast.