Neuroimaging reveals 'successful' psychopaths (those who can control their antisocial tendencies) have greater levels of gray matter density between the left and right ventromedial prefrontal cortex. This area of the brain is implicated in self-regulatory processes, including reactive emotions.
Taking a mobile neuroimaging system on the road to prisons, researchers look at the brain activity of those considered to be psychopaths and discover their brains are wired in a way that leads them to over-value immediate rewards while neglecting future consequences.
It is estimated that 1% of the general population has psychopathic traits. Among the upper echelons of corporations, up to 3.5% of employees are psychopathic, with the percentage rising for those who are chief executives. Researchers investigate how those with psychopathic traits impact the workplace for other employees, and how corporate psychopaths end up costing the economy billions of dollars due to their unethical behaviors.
Researchers have identified a common denominator for 'dark' personality traits they have dubbed the D-factor. D-factor, researchers report, can be defined as the general tendency to maximize personal goals and interests over those of another, often to the extent of taking pleasure in hurting others.