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Trump beats Hitler for psychopathic traits, study finds

Donald Trump outscores Adolf Hitler on a test used to determine psychopathic traits, while Hillary Clinton ranks between Napoleon and Nero, a researcher at Oxford University has found.

Published: 23rd August 2016 08:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd August 2016 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

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Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. (AP)

LONDON: Donald Trump outscores Adolf Hitler on a test used to determine psychopathic traits, while Hillary Clinton ranks between Napoleon and Nero, a researcher at Oxford University has found.

Psychologist Dr Kevin Dutton ranked the psychopathic traits of the US presidential hopefuls and historical figures using a standard psychometric tool - the Psychopathic Personality Inventory - Revised (PPI-R).

Trump himself did not sit the tests but experts on political figures gave their opinion on how he would have scored against the question to measure PPI-R. While Hitler scored an overall 169 points, Mr Trump was slightly higher with 171. Margaret Thatcher scored 136 points and Elizabeth I was at 130.

Although psychopathic traits are generally seen as negative, in fact some can be beneficial and even Jesus and Saint Paul have appeared high on the psychopathic leaderboard, both scoring 157 points.

Study author Dr Kevin Dutton said: "The PPI-R does not say that someone is or is not a psychopath. It scores them on eight traits that contribute to a psychopathic character.

"Some of those traits, such as fearlessness or stress immunity, can be positive. Others, such as blame externalisation or being unconcerned about the future, are more likely to be negative. One, cold-heartedness, can contribute to good and bad leadership.

"Both great and terrible leaders score higher than the general population for psychopathic traits, but it is the mix of those traits that determines success.

"For example, someone who scores highly for being influential, fearless and cold hearted could be a decisive leader who can make dispassionate decisions. If those traits are accompanied by a high score on blaming others, they might be a genocidal demagogue."

Experts on the political figures were asked to answer 56 questions from the PPI-R test to determine a score.

Mr Trump outstripped Hitler on factors including social influence and fearlessness, while the Nazi dictator scored higher on Machiavellian egocentricity and cold-heartedness.

While ranking lower than her rival overall, Mrs Clinton far exceeded tyrannical Roman emperor Nero on traits such as "Machiavellian egocentricity".

Of particular interest, Trump outscored the other candidates in "fearless dominance", the area associated with successful presidencies, and in "self-centred impulsivity", the set of traits considered negative.

Dr Dutton added: 'It is interesting that these scores reflect both the praise and the criticism that Trump and Clinton receive. In the end, while both score relatively highly, it will be up to voters to decide if whether their mix of positive and negative traits should send them to the Oval Office."

The findings were published in the journal Scientific American Mind.



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