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Top Bosses More Likely To Be Narcissistic And Machiavellian

The good news, according to this German study? Actual psychopaths rarely make it to the top ...

That's Mr. Burns, Homer's boss (Poor Homer...)
That's Mr. Burns, Homer's boss (Poor Homer...)
Sebastian Herrmann

MUNICH — It's considered common knowledge throughout the business world that, too often, the wrong people are in executive positions. But does it then follow that all top managers are ultimately sociopaths?

There may be at least a kernel of truth behind every generalization. A study published by University of Bern psychologists in the scientific journal Social Psychological and Personality Sciencedemonstrates that at least some negative personality traits do correlate with career success. It seems that narcissists and Machiavellians really do have the edge over others on climbing the career ladder. The good news is bonafide psychopaths, on the other hand, tend to get nowhere.

Psychologists were focusing in their analysis on the "dark triad," a group of three personality traits: overconfident narcissists who nevertheless need constant approval, Machiavellians who manipulate others, and psychopaths, who are characterized by a lack of impulse control and anti-social behavior.

For the study, the psychologists analysed data from 793 German employees, all at the beginning of their careers. It turned out that the narcissists earned slightly more than employees with smaller egos, and that Machiavellian personalities were more commonly found in leading positions than less manipulative people.

But psychopaths scored badly in both categories: They earned less than employees with more pleasant personalities and they were rarely seen in executive positions. Even in terms of subjective satisfaction, they came off worse.

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Society

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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