Saturday, June 23

Florida's Not #1 In Psychopaths

A recent study did NOT put Florida on top of a negative list. That should be cause for celebration. Of the lists I've seen, however, this is one I would not have questioned if FL was on top: states with the highest percentage of psychopaths.

Perhaps the methodology was flawed. Economist Ryan Murphy at Southern Methodist University linked personality traits to being a psychopath, and since these traits had been ranked by state before, he was able to come up with a formula for predicting where the worst neighbors might exist:
"Boldness corresponds to low neuroticism and high extroversion, meanness corresponds to low agreeableness, and disinhibition corresponds to low conscientiousness."

The definition of a psychopath is: "a person suffering from chronic mental disorder with abnormal or violent social behavior." Out of the three states I've lived in, I figured Florida would be on top by several percentage points. But that's not how the stats came up for Murphy.

Washington DC, which isn't even a state, came in first place. I get it: politicians, lobbyists, and other swamp residents. Oddly, even with DC, the list only has 49 entries, which means two states are sheltering psychos. Arkansas seems to be the baseline, with half above and half below. But where is Florida?

Our state, which seems to include the most partially-clothed crime of anywhere, isn't even in the top 10. Connecticut is second, and then California. I assume there are plenty of actors who fit the profile, but Connecticut soccer moms?

Wisconsin is in the top 10, with nearly double the rate of psychopaths as Florida. While it's the land of Ed Guene and Jeffrey Dahmer, I didn't feel as worried there. But maybe that's how they get you.
Florida is way down on the list (contrary to my assumptions and local news). Number 17, for heaven's sake. That's almost down in the "normal" range.

The least psychopathic state? West Virginia. I guess.

Maybe it's the heat here rather than actual psychopathic tendencies. It gets really hot for months on end. I'm sure the heat leads to what seems to be the high rate of parricides in the state. Anyone who lives here knows what it's like to not want to hug a family member when it's 85 degrees and 85% humidity at 8pm. It's probably not a huge leap to load up the old handgun, especially if the daily nagging has increased as regularly-scheduled yardwork has decreased.

But that doesn't make us psychopaths.