clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Apparently the Cooking Profession Is Full of Psychopaths

New, 18 comments

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Photo: Shu

Great news, an Oxford psychologist has determined that a whole ton of chefs out there are literal psychopaths, but that it might not be such a bad thing? In his new book The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Kevin Dutton reveals the results of his Great British Psychopath Survey assessing the prevalence of psychopath traits in the population — and chefs came in ranking ninth most psychopathic, just after the clergy and before civil servants.

But no, it's not so dramatic as it sounds. In the book, Dutton argues that there are "'functional psychopaths' among us—different from their murderous counterparts—who use their detached, unflinching, and charismatic personalities to succeed in mainstream society, and that shockingly, in some fields, the more 'psychopathic' people are, the more likely they are to succeed" — specifically citing surgeons and Navy Seals in an interview with Smithsonian. Indeed, as The Guardian writes in its review, the book "supports the idea that to thrive a society needs its share of psychopaths – about 10%." Here's the list of professions with the most and least psychopaths.


· The Wisdom of Psychopaths [Amazon via ISSF]
· All Book Club Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day