California has an abundance of sunshine, sand and ... psychopaths?
A new study shows a high concentration of psychopaths in California — in fact, the Golden State ranks No. 3 in the U.S.
The top location is Washington, D.C., followed by Connecticut, according to a working study by Southern Methodist University.
Of the top five states with the highest concentration, four were on the East Coast. New Jersey and New York help round out the list. New York tied with another western state, Wyoming, for fifth place, according to the study.
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The analysis ranked the contiguous 48 states and D.C. using residents' psychopathic personality markers. It hasn't yet gone through full peer review, but "these results are the first estimates we have, to the best of my knowledge, on the degree of psychopathy found in each state," the study's author, Ryan Murphy, told Newsweek.
Murphy built the study based on the results of a previous study that ranked each state based on the "Big Five" personality traits: neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, agreeableness and conscientiousness, according to SFGate. He then analyzed the results of thousands of personality surveys given to residents in each state.
The study came to the conclusion that most psychopaths gravitate toward areas with higher populations, and fewer psychopaths live in rural areas. It admits that Wyoming, tied for fifth place, is "an odd data point."
The least psychopathic states are West Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina and New Mexico, according to the study.
Most psychopaths tend to be male and are "superficially charming," according to Scientific American, which added that psychopaths are "largely devoid of guilt, empathy and love."
"They rarely learn from their mistakes or benefit from negative feedback, and they have difficulty inhibiting their impulses," the publication wrote.
According to the study, the professions with the highest rates of psychopaths include CEOs, lawyers, salespeople, surgeons, police officers and journalists. The professions with a low rate of psychopaths include therapists, nurses, charity workers and teachers.