The State With the Most Psychopaths

Connecticut is No. 1 ... unless you include DC
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 18, 2018 7:49 AM CDT
Updated Jun 23, 2018 3:10 PM CDT
States With Most, Least Psychopaths
A peaceful view of Hartford, Connecticut. The state has the most psychopaths, according to a new estimate by researchers.   (Getty/DenisTangneyJr)

Surprise, surprise: The place home to the most psychopaths in the US is Washington, DC. By far. That's according to new research out of Southern Methodist University. The survey doesn't count actual diagnoses but extrapolates from earlier research on the distribution of the "big five" personality traits (extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience) across the country, per ScienceAlert. DC came in with a score of 3.48, far outpacing the next highest score—1.89 in Connecticut. One big caveat: Researchers say DC is a tiny, highly populated urban area compared to the states, and thus might be considered an outlier in the survey. Still, the ranking jibes with the theory that "psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere," writes SMU's Ryan Murphy. The highest- and lowest-ranked states follow:

States that ranked highest in psychopathy, with their score:

  • Connecticut, 1.89
  • California, 1.21
  • New Jersey, 1.09
  • (tie) New York, 1.01
  • (tie) Wyoming, 1.01

States that ranked lowest in psychopathy:
  • New Mexico, -1.39
  • North Carolina, -1.55
  • Tennessee, -1.58
  • Vermont, -1.66
  • West Virginia, -2.11
Click for the full rankings, including methodology. One line of defense for residents of Connecticut: The study has not been peer-reviewed. (More psychopath stories.)

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