Friday, October 12, 2012

Guilt-Prone Individuals Versus Sociopaths

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It should be no surprise to you, my fellow (and lady) followers of The Braintenance Blog, that guilt-prone individuals tend to be the most honest in terms of their conduct in social and employment situations.

Their level of advancement in the corporate or entrepreneurial enterprise world is generally at the median average or perhaps a bit higher.

Sociopaths (those without any feelings of guilt, compunction or contrition and unencumbered by 'conscience) tend to advance more rapidly and to greater heights than do their more honorable counterparts. In fact, sociopaths generally are better at leadership roles than are others. There are a number of reasons for this centering around focus, non-distraction, leveraging of assets (Human and otherwise) and persistence despite resistance.

An article about the behavior and performance of guilt-prone individuals was published recently in a BigThink IdeaFeed Newsletter. That article is excerpted and appears here:

How Guilt-Prone Are You?

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

Social scientists at Carnegie-Mellon University have published their findings of a study that measured over 270 participants to determine their levels of "guilt proneness." Guilt proneness is the ability to anticipate bad feelings prior to doing something bad. The researchers used a 16-point Guilt and Shame Proneness (GASP) scale to find out subjects' responses to various dilemmas such as this one: "After realizing you have received too much change at a store, you decide to keep it because the salesclerk doesn't notice. What is the likelihood that you would feel uncomfortable about keeping the money?"

What's the Big Idea?

People with higher levels of guilt proneness were, unsurprisingly, more likely to walk the moral and ethical straight and narrow, even if they weren't being observed or going to get caught. Between 30% and 40% of adults in the study qualified as highly guilt-prone, and more women than men, and more older people than younger people, were in the high guilt-proneness category. Put simply, these are the "nice folks" that the researchers suggest you want in your life and workplace.

Read it at The Wall Street Journal


An observation is that we tend to want guilt-prone and empathetic persons as our friends and confidantes, but when it comes to leadership in a crisis, we tend to follow leaders with an inclination toward sociopathy.

Douglas E. Castle for The Braintenance Blog and The Daily Burst Of Brilliance Blog

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