Kevin Dutton psychopaths

086: Kevin Dutton on learning from psychopaths

This week I speak to Kevin Dutton Professor of Psychology at Oxford University, who specialises in psychopaths. Kevin has written several books on the topic, for example The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Flipnosis, The Good Psychopaths Guide to Success and his recent book, Black and White Thinking all of which are illuminating because they unveil a world that is for many of us so alien, so peculiar, so grotesque, yet so close, so relevant and in some cases so familiar.

Because as Kevin explains, many of the characteristics that we associate with malice, danger and evil – if dialled differently are definitely determinants of personal success. 

This was such a fascinating conversation not least because Kevin turns his evaluation measure onto me to find out if I have psychopathic tendencies with interesting results, somewhat surprising.

If you grab a piece of paper you can take the test along with me.


Steve and Kevin chat about why Kevin’s jaw hurt after a VO2max test?

Are you allowed to be not as tough as you used to be

Steve’s dislike of glib sport commentary

What are the three components for success in all works of life

What are the messages you are sending out to other people and more importantly yourself

The psychopathic mindset

You need the right mind for the right context

The taxi driver bias

Dissociation in performance

Is Steve a psychopath…he takes Kevin’s test 

Distilling DNA of being successful – the ability to do what you have to when you don’t want 

Jumpers versus splashers

The use of metaphor


Yes to less

Disruptive team members

The psychology of teams


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Check out Kevin’s books, The Wisdom of Psychopaths, Flipnosis, The Good Psychopaths Guide to Success and his recent book, Black and White Thinking.

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