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Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work
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347 of 355 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2006
The work of psychopath researchers Babiak & Hare has been reviewed in several periodicals over the past year, including Business 2.0, New York Times: Year In Ideas, Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, among others. Babiak is an Industrial-Organizational Psychologist with years of experience in the business world---he was the first to identify the "corporate psychopath"---and Hare is the world renowned author of Without Conscience, a seminal work on psychopaths. Their long awaited book, Snakes In Suits, has finally come out and it was well worth the wait.

Snakes In Suits is a page turner, written in an engaging and entertaining style, all the while conveying lots of new information on the topic. The book is structured in a somewhat unique way, as well, making it both a good book for the general reader as well as a must-have for the business reader. The fact that it is also well indexed is a plus, making it easier to refer back to topics in the future.

The authors make the point early on that "serial killer" psychopaths, those who make the headlines and crime show plot lines, make up only a small percentage of those in society who actually have a psychopathic personality. And, the rest of these people are living and working in the cubicle right next to us. To their credit, the authors carefully avoid the sensationalism that often characterizes books and articles on this topic. Their approach is even handed, balancing scientific evidence with an easy-reading style.

Each chapter begins with a case---drawn from the authors' real-life experience, no doubt---that includes dialog among the players (psychopath and victim alike). The reader becomes the "fly on the wall" watching and listening to what is going on. With the case in the back of my mind, I found the accompanying text much more meaningful. Although the authors do not suggest this, I found that if I reread the case after finishing each chapter, the deep, dark picture of the psychopath became even more chillingly clear. The chapters present the latest knowledge about the psychopath, with sidebars sprinkled throughout for those wanting more technical information or supporting evidence (from research, newspaper articles, comments from judges and criminal justice researchers). [One particular fact I had not heard before was that there are actually 3 types of psychopath: the "manipulator," the "bully," and the "puppetmaster." Their similarities and differences are covered in this book.]

The book starts out with a review of the traits of the psychopath, but unlike other books on this topic, it does not stop there. These authors continue with their own multi-step model of manipulation (3 steps for psychopaths in society, 5 steps for their corporate counterparts) that psychopaths use to manipulate their victims (which fall into the cleverly labeled categories of Pawns, Patrons, and Patsies). I found the model (and their non-technical terminology) very helpful in understanding how people can actually get away with the types of abuse, fraud, and deceit often attributed to psychopaths. In subsequent chapters, they refer back to these steps and offer advice (both personal and business-related) to help identify and deal with potential psychopathic manipulators---or snakes.

Throughout, the authors bring the point home quite clearly that psychopaths are both parasites and predators, and their targets are not only individuals (the rich, the famous, the naive), but also companies (the large, the sophisticated, the uninformed). They explain how psychopathic traits (they call them talents) can make them look like ideal leaders, capable of misleading well-meaning executives who are not familiar with psychopathic manipulation techniques. Part of the problem for companies in our fast-paced world, the authors argue, is the fact that psychopathic manipulation, when layered over with charm and charisma, can look like strong, confident leadership. Thankfully, the book offers advice on how to recognize them before it is too late, and how to beef up hiring and promotion practices in order to protect the company and its employees.

Babiak & Hare are masters of the catchy title with Snakes In Suits (wish I had thought of it). In a chapter titled, "Hot Buttons and Weak Spots: Personal Self Defense" they offer (compassionate) advice to the reader on how to identify aspects of their own personality and life situation that might make them more attractive and vulnerable to psychopaths. Likewise, in a chapter titled, "The Fifth Column: Psychopaths in Our Midst" they suggest things to do if you are dealing with a psychopathic boss, subordinate, or coworker on the job. I found both quite useful.

They also weave among the chapters the case of "Dave." Is he a psychopath, a narcissistic corporate climber, or just what the doctor ordered? I'll leave it up to you to decide.

If you've ever experienced a boss or coworker from "hell" and wondered if he/she had psychopathic tendencies, this book is for you. If you are just interested in the topic of psychopathy, this is a must read as well. I recommend this book; read it once and refer to it often.
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159 of 162 people found the following review helpful
on March 7, 2007
I don't usually recommend books that fall into the "Business," "Popular Psychology" or "Self-help" categories, but I believe this book is a must-read for anyone in business. (Read it before you start any new job, and remember its lessons.)

I'm not a mental health professional or scholar, so I can't say whether the characterization of "psychopath" is accurate; in my understanding, the more accurate term is "sociopath," unless actual physical violence or criminality is involved, but the definition is for those in the field to dispute or determine. Besides, in the absence of conscience, I would guess it's a slippery slope from the one to the other.

What I like most about this book is that it isn't merely focused on case studies, or on the havoc these personalities can wreak on their individual victims. Yes, the Ah-ha! moments when you finally recognize the manipulator and his/her tactics can be comforting, and it's great to finally see through these snakes' distortions of reality. However, the real contribution of this book, I contend, is that it addresses the collateral damage these monsters can do within an organization: crushing overall employee morale, eroding confidence in the company's internal ethics, and ultimately diminishing employee performance and retention of good "talent." (HR professionals, take note.)

I also appreciated that the authors don't give "band-aid" solutions to the victims. In my own case, after reading this book and assessing the damage done me by a snake in my sphere at a corporation I had loved working for, I sadly realized that the time had come to cut my losses and reinvent my professional life elsewhere. If I had read the book earlier on, I might not have fallen prey to his/her reptile tactics in the first place, but at least this book prevented me from rationalizing and deluding myself that goodness would prevail and that I could reverse the damage.

So yes, this book is a useful reference for those in contact with corporate snakes, but it is thankfully not a clichéd working manual. I appreciate that it is able to raise the profound ramifications of allowing these manipulators to spawn in an organization, and that it is analytical enough to go beyond the individual anecdotes to show the broader damage that ignoring or sheltering these creatures can effect.

Lastly, it's a fascinating read.... highly recommended.
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170 of 178 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2006
I read Without Conscience first, and then this book, and consider them to be useful complements to each other. Contrary to what another reviewer remarked - the first book is essentially a primer, and Snakes in Suits is a more advanced text dealing with the organizational environment.

The authors give plenty of examples, and plenty of tell-tales of psychopaths. Sure, you may see one or two signs here and there of others around you - but as they point out - you need to see a repeated pattern of many of the signs to be sure that you're dealing with the real thing.

Therein lies the real benefit of this book - to give you the tools to make the assessment in advance or as the situation unfolds - not after the fact. Armed with that, you can protect yourself from the machinations of the corporate psychopath. Being a little distrustful of everyone also doesn't hurt - until proven otherwise of a long period of time. Over the years, I've observed that one mistake people tend to make (which makes them vulnerable to the psychopath) is that they look to have 'friends' at work. Find your friends elsewhere - and go to work for the paycheck and career advancement.

I take issue with some of the conclusions of the authors (personal opinion - I'm not in a position to professionally disagree) - that the psychopath can ingratiate themelves with senior magagement to the extent that all criticism of them is brushed off. Sure, in some cases that maybe true. But in most cases, some dark hints or FUD (fear, uncertainty, doubt) can work both ways - both for and against the psychopath. The key, as they point out - is to establish your own reputation and relationships throughout the organization and steer clear of the psychopath.

Also, in this day and age - I think they overvalue the desirablity of staying with an employer that has psychopaths in management. As they point out, the assessment has to be to stay or depart. Usually, there is a better job (or client) elsewhere. The smarter players will leave if they observe that the psychopaths have too much sway in management - they won't waste the time or energy to fight them. Probably a lot of folks who were at Enron wished they had jumped ship.

As a final note - the conditions the authors describe that nuture psychopaths seem to be those that are highly political and highly organizational (bureaucratic) hence the psychopath can do one-on-one manipluation and secret agreements, etc. I see it as very hard to do in organizationally flat, highly-fluid environments that are results-oriented, especially when you're dealing with a lot of savvy players who are not psychopaths, but just as skillful as they are at stabbing someone else in the back. That being said - this book is a must-have for your reference shelf - to be consulted periodically when those 'strange' situations or individuals are encountered.
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43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on June 22, 2007
Psychopaths are ruthless, cunning, and conscienceless egotists. They will sell out their own mother in their quest for power. And yet they are loved and admired by many. How can we reconcile this contradiction?

Babiak and Hare demonstrate that psychopaths are masters of adopting a "mask of sanity" (a term coined by Hervey Cleckley in his masterpiece, "The Mask of Sanity"); that is they are extremely effective at impression management. They are con artists who can fool even the experts, donning whatever persona is needed to manipulate their victims.

If you can be of value to the social striving of a subclinical psychopath, you can bet that he will convince you of his good intentions, his honour, his kind nature, etc. But it is a lie. He is simply using you.

"Snakes in Suits" examines psychopaths in the corporate workplace: how to spot them and how to deal with them. But its lessons are applicable to a bigger picture. The moral relativism inherent in our Capitalist system is the perfect opening for opportunistic psychopaths to rise to the top.

And as the authors show, this can never be a good thing. Psychopaths are untalented narcissists who profit only on the work of others. And in a political environment, this can be disastrous. Witness, for example, the historical phenomena of Nazism and Stalinism, systems of government in which psychopaths occupied all positions of authority.

Without a general understanding of the reality of psychopathy, they will continue to operate freely, causing misery and suffering for their victims (more numerous by the day). "Snakes in Suits" should be read along with Lobaczewski's "Political Ponerology" (Political Ponerology (A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes)), an analysis of systems of government in which psychopaths rule. Both books contain information urgently needed not only by ordinary citizens, but by anyone in a leadership position.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 5, 2007
Until you have had a working or personal relationship with a pyschopath you can not fully appreciate this material in this book. Any form of personal involvement with these types of people is unique and an unforgettable experience. Imagine what it may be like to encounter someone with no forthought of anyone but their own benefit, this person will act so without any regard of how their actions may impact anyone else. A psychopath is incapable of considering anyone else in life. Learning how to cope, and deal with their actions will aide you greatly in surviving your encounter with this type of person.

Babiak does an excellent job of describing different types of psychopaths and their different actions. He does a wonderful job chapter after chapter describing scenarios in which a psychopath destroys the organization they work within, taking out other employees, and sometimes even the business itself. Seeing these different examples is key in understanding the motivation of this type of person. Before you can formulate a plan of action, you need to know the type of person you are dealing with.

Babiak starts the book with describing the characteristics of a psychopath. It is very important to identify this type of person, and to seperate it out from someone who has a few bad characteristics. I like that he spends time in checklists, and going over how this type of person may look like. It is important to remember this person above all is generally very charismatic, and will tend to win others over.

Paul Babiak then gives example after example of how actions of this type of person can destroy an organization and/or business. He gives warning signs to look for, and suggests your plan of action is to eliminate this person from your team, or to make sure they are moved to ineffective roles where they can do little or no damage.

This book is invaluable in additional information about psychopaths. Other books about psychopaths tend to range in personal relationships, where your with that person one on one. Unforunately, many of these people also work, and they do not change their personality when they leave the home to earn their living. If you think you may be involved a working relationship with one of these people, read this book, and decide what you should do next.
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50 of 52 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 8, 2007
The tendency is to read a book like Snakes In Suits AFTER you've had a close encounter of the psychopathic kind - sort of in the spirit of a post-mortem. The ideal would be for everyone to read books like this one BEFORE the excellent advice offered is actually needed. Even I, sister of a clinical psychologist, mother of a psychology major, myself a former medical student and amateur student of deviant personalities, got well and truly tagged and only just now relieved myself of the stress and heartache and monetary loss of a psychopathic employee.

Part of the reason the victims of psychopaths don't recognize or appreciate their imminent danger is that when we think of psychopaths we visualize a knife-wielder with neutron eyes. In most cases, nothing could be farther from the truth. These people often give the appearance of being attractive, funny, intense and sincere, religious, efficient, enthusiastic, and in possesion of a particularly well-defined moral code. All these things are the accoutrements that enable them to appear to be what we want them to be, and to hide what isn't there: a conscience, affection, empathy, and an acknowledgement of the rights of other human beings.

I think we've heard it all before; what we need to do is BELIEVE it. Read the book. Don't engage in a witch hunt, but learn what to look for. Keep your distance until you have lost all doubt about the agenda of someone you have recently met, no matter the circumstances of the meeting. Learn how to disengage yourself from one of them if you do get involved (think of being wound all around tight with barbed wire) and remember that nothing they have to offer can ever make up for what they will take from you.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2006
In close to two decades, I've come across some six people in work-related situations who would seem to share many of the traits of the "snakes" portrayed in Snakes in Suits. That may not be surprising, as the authors of Snakes in Suits estimate that some 3.5% of those in the workforce are probably psychopaths-- individuals without conscience or empathy who have no difficulty in manipulating, bullying or otherwise harming others for personal gain.

Authors Babiak and Hare provide details of how psychopaths operate, carefully assessing possible allies and rivals, gaining the sympathy and assistance of the former and damaging the credibility and effectiveness of the latter. And they can be hard to stop-- psychopaths are extremely adept at creating positive impressions with top management and decision-makers, so the complaints of others are frequently disregarded.

Having encontered a number of people with traits similar to those portrayed in Snakes in Suits, I was particularly impressed by the authors' differentiation between snakes who manipulate, snakes who bully and snakes who act as "puppetmasters"-- that is, wreaking havoc through third parties. I've seen all three types, and supect that others have as well. I was also impressed that Babiak and Hare rightly caution that snakes might be difficult to dislodge and frequently smear the reputations of potential rivals or detractors, often making it very difficult for would-be whistle-blowers. The authors warn victims not to engage with the psychopath, to document everything, and to vote with their feet by seeking a transfer or a new job-- all of which is useful and pragmatic advice, and parallels the realities of the workplace as I have seen them over the years. I would also hope that the "vote with your feet" advice is comforting to those who have fallen victim to a snake-- if you've been used, derailed or disparaged, please know that this is the usual course of events.

Babiak and Hare also provide some excellent advice to companies on how to prevent the hiring of a psychopath: check the facts on all resumes exhaustively, conduct multiple interviewss with multiple staff at varying levels in the organization, painstakingly review technical credentials and capabilities, which many psychopaths lack, do as much reference checking as possible, and use a hiring committee to compare impressions. Note as well that psychopaths typically excel in interviews and frequently inflate their job performance. This would suggest that companies might best be served by hiring on the basis of performance, not charm. The "perfect" candidate may not be so perfect.

As well, Snakes in Suits suggests has some valuable advice for human resources professionals and top management: project teams or units unable to function cohesively are somewhat more likely to be harboring a worker with psychopathic traits. And, sadly, the psychopath might be the worker who has charmed you and labeled others as "complainers", "disloyal" or "incompetent". It just might be a good idea to investigate complaints more carefully and wonder about someone with a great personality and seeming leadership potential who seems to want to alert the company to the inadequacies of others.

All told, Snakes in Suits provides a masterful summing up of the snakes I've known, the tactics they use to promote and entrench themselves in the corporation, the difficulties of detecting them, and how best to avoid them.

No, this book isn't perfect (characters are composites and some of the portrayals are a bit flat), but it has covered the snakes' terrain comprehensively and provided some good advice to the rest of us.

Five stars.
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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2007
The book offers an in-depth description of psychopaths in the corporate workplace, and makes them easy to identify anywhere in fact. The advice given in this respect is indispensable. The authors advise that good Human Resource practices are the first (and possibly only) line of defense against allowing these monsters into companies and agencies. However, the book comes short on strategies for how to deal with the psychopaths already among us.

In fact, the authors' advice on dealing with psychopaths can be boiled down to these two tenets: be a good and ethical employee no matter what, and know when it's a good time to leave the company/agency. Being something of a fighter myself, I found this type of counsel unsatisfactory, but also very impractical. I believe that psychopaths may be even more prevalent than the authors intimate. They are indeed everywhere, and one can hardly afford quitting a job every time a psychopath is encountered. I realize that we can't bring violence to the psychopath for his/her actions, but as workers, we need real and practical strategies for dealing with this class of people. For this failing alone I am forced to give a 4 star rating to the book instead of a 5.

One good strategy for dealing with the few psychopaths I have encountered has been that of exposure, or bringing to light the underhanded actions of the psychopath. Avoid being alone with the psychopath. Whenever possible, have witnesses present. The authors recommend that you keep detailed documentation on everything that happens, but I would add that it is better if several people keep such documentation. Another strategy is to connect with other workers in the same situation. Psychopaths thrive on fragmenting workplace communities and isolating individuals. They try to make you feel alone when in fact you are not alone. Once you connect with fellow employees undergoing psychopathic manipulation/attack, and you decide on a plan of action, their game is nearly up. And their "game" is that of promoting themselves by using and discrediting the reputations of other workers. Once you can discredit the psychopath and cast a few, well-deserved aspersions on his/her character, you really have them where they live. Therefore, you should never pass up any opportunity for showing them up--even if it involves scandal. A reputation-ruining scandal befalling a psychopath is itself a godsend for everyone else concerned, and may save many careers and even lives.

Depending on your situation, the methods and tactics of the criminal detective may apply--especially to any efforts that concern evidence gathering. If you wish to use recording devices, check the pertinent legislation for your state to make sure you are not breaking any laws. It may be illegal to use recording devices without notifying the parties concerned, but not always illegal in the same way or to the same extent everywhere, so check your local and state laws before you proceed in this vein.

I'd like to emphasize that the very first victims of the psychopath in the workplace are not the underlings. Psychopaths crave power and authority, and so the first people they go after are the people in charge. Administrators, managers, supervisors, and CEO's are the first people they need to "take down" because the psychopath needs to "borrow" their authority, without which their abuse of other employees would not be possible. They need to be put in charge of departments, bureaus, projects, etc., and once they have that charge of authority they can begin their abuse. Therefore, out of all the members of any company or organization, it is those with authority who need to watch out the most. Don't think that because you're the head honcho that your power or status in the company makes you safe. It is that very class of managerial/administrative employee that is the first victim of the psychopath, usually through deception and to a lesser extent, coercion. The book also made this point but did not emphasize it to my satisfaction.

The book focuses on the psychopaths' effects on the corporate and therefore private sector. As a public sector employee myself, it was easy to recognize a lot of the behaviors ascribed to psychopaths in some of the people I have worked with. I was left wondering if there is any literature on the prevalence or effect of psychopaths in the public sector. After reading this book, it is my "educated" guess that researchers may find a prevalence of the supposedly more rare female psychopath within public sector workplaces.

Female psychopaths may be found in roles that no one may have thought of, such as that of the social worker, teacher, nurse, psychologist, or education consultant--roles that have been traditionally associated with more caring and nurturing female professionals. At least, such has been my experience. If anyone knows of any book on the subject of the female psychopath, please drop me a line, or feel free to comment here.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on May 15, 2006
Dr. Babiak and Dr. Hare have done an excellent job with an esoteric, compelling, and potentially volatile subject matter. Their case histories, along with real-life examples, will provide the reader with an educational introduction to psychopathic behavior.

In an era when many jobs are outsourced, and more of us are made to do with less, the hiring decision becomes even more important. "Slow to hire, and quick to fire" might be the mantra of the new world economy. The authors have detailed how hiring managers and HR departments need to access potential employees, and not only for the very small minority who will actually be "psychopathic."

The authors made a salient statement, and I will paraphrase it. "We found that HR departments and interviewers did not prepare enough before the actual interview, and did not have enough questions prepared in advance... Often, items on the resumes and references were not verified until much later, if at all..." With the exception of the excellent book, "Ask The Headhunter," I have not seen the focus thrust back upon the actual hiring authorities.

Practical advice was given how to evaluate talent. This can assist either party during the hiring decision. But most of all, this book, while it addresses a specific personality disorder, teaches us more about human behavior. Hopefully, we will learn more about our own behavioral patterns. This work would be a very good read for someone new to the workforce, along with anyone who wants to survive in our rapidly changing culture. As the authors concisely and adroitly mentioned near the end of the book, "The more we understand and know ourselves, the better we can understand others."

This book will make an excellent addition to your business, career guidance or psychology library.
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44 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2012
The actual content of this book is useful, but unfortunately most of it is not content. It's poorly written, vague, heavily padded, and of little practical use.

This reads very, very much like a book written by a management consultant rather than a scientist - and indeed, the first author is not highly respected scientist Robert Hare, it's management consultant Paul Babiak, and the acknowledgments imply he did all the writing. It's packed with what I like to call "Goldilocks advice" - don't make your soup too hot, and make sure you don't make it too cold either, but I won't bother to talk about how to measure temperature.

The actual scientific content could fit in 20 (large font) pages, not 300, and there are roughly three pages of endnotes. If you know anything scientific about psychopathy, you won't learn anything here. All this does is review some standard theoretical knowledge of psychopathy, and apply it to a corporate setting. When a large body of research is relevant to psychopathy, generally a single fact will be cherry-picked from it and the rest will be left out. For example, at one point they say that low "conscientiousness" is associated with psychopathy. This actually comes from the five-factor model of personality, the most popular model of personality. They don't mention that, and they don't mention whether any of the other four factors are correlated with psychopathy. One of that model's most reliable factors is Extroversion. The authors describe corporate psychopaths exclusively using examples of energetic, social, risk taking people (quite unlike the loner serial killer stereotype). Are these people predominantly extraverts? Is that because psychopathy causes extroversion, or just because management is packed with extraverts in general?

It's also worse organized than other management books I've read. The book has a major case study which is split into parts throughout the book, other case studies which appear in full in specific places, and the actual nonfiction content. They're not visually set off from each other, so at times I was confused as to what I was reading. The examples also use nothing but super-stereotypical anglo names (Bill, Frank, Dave, etc.) which makes the people hard to tell apart. Splitting a large case study throughout the book, as if it was a serialized story, also didn't work well for me because I kept forgetting what had gone on previously.

The book has a number of fictionalized examples but they are not case studies, because the text does not actually refer to or analyze them in any way.

For a book that's supposed to be usable by managers, this is very impractical and full of qualitative fluff. Most of the chapters are overviews of psychopathic behavior that have no explicit advice on how to detect it or deal with it - just the general vibe that detecting psychopaths is hard. It takes 200 pages to get to the "how to" sections and they are a complete joke. How should interviews catch psychopath candidates? Apply interviewing best practices properly. They spend 20+ pages explaining how to interview people. How do you deal with a psychopath boss? Be a model employee, and here's an overview of how to be a model employee. I'm not kidding, I was shocked to read their patronizing "suggestions".

Reading the book actually suggested possible strategies to me. For example, they said that psychopaths can't fool all of the people all the time, and they usually don't fool "unimportant" employees not connected to their schemes. They generate negative opinions in roughly 1/3 of their coworkers. I have personally seen an executive use one-on-one interviews with everyone in an organization to track which people generated a lot of little complaints from many people, and fire them. He was looking for low productivity workers, and found them, but perhaps this could also be used as a sanity check to find psychopaths.

Neither do they expand on the oft-mentioned fact that psychopaths are best at one-on-one manipulation. I have, unfortunately, observed this in person - the master manipulator who'd piss people off in meetings because he wasn't as good with groups. Their interviewing chapter does not, as far as I recall, even mention the possibility of doing group interviews, especially with one person assigned to ask the questions and the other to jump in with followups.

My last comment is on something that has nothing to do with psychopaths, but doesn't reflect well on the book. The book has occasional brief sidebars about examples of real-world corporate and government corruption. They often inject opinion that usually seems knee-jerk right wing and presented utterly without context. For example, there's one talking about how legendarily corrupt the UN is as if this was so universally accepted as to not need justification. Apparently on some occasion the UN gave an anti-corruption questionnaire to some employees and it had one seemingly stupid question, basically asking if stealing was OK. The book makes fun of this question in a pretty blatant "the UN, what a bunch of idiots" way, but it's cherrypicked to an extent that Fox News might pause at. What else was on this questionnaire, stupid questions or decent ones? Was this questionnaire itself highly representative of things the UN does, or just the kind of unscientific crap that HR questions often are? And is asking a blatant "do you support stealing" question actually useless, or are people dumb enough to say yes (I'd believe that)? This is supposed to be a research-based book on detecting people who distort the truth, how can I trust it if they include things this sloppy?

Some other bits reveal a deeper problem. There are repeated attacks on insufficiently long prison terms for nonviolent offenders. There is a telling comment that "as a society, we tend to attribute the causes of an antisocial or criminal act more to outside forces than to choices an individual makes". Babiak is American. The US justice system since the late 70s was redesigned to have by far the harshest penalties for nonviolent offenders in the developed world. Criminologists, which I'd expect people studying psychopathy to know about, overwhelmingly concluded that this didn't actually reduce crime. In this very book it says that psychopaths are relatively unaffected by the threat of punishment, and some may actually regard the prospect of maximum security prison as a fun challenge. They also reoffend at a much greater rate when they get out of jail. The evidence seems to be that psychopaths wouldn't be affected by "tough on crime" measures. I don't claim to know what would work, but it's telling that the book has knee-jerk statements in support of the one thing known not to work.

Even more telling is page 230. This mentions the "B-Scan", which supposedly is a test that identifies measurable differences between people who will truly be high performers and people who end up convicted of corporate crimes. Are they finally going to show us ONE scientifically valid psychopath-detecting strategy to justify this 300+ page book?

Of course not. Babiak is an executive consultant, and the B-Scan isn't freely available science, companies get it if they pay for an executive consultant. I'm sure Babiak charges more now that this book is out.
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