Silhouettes of three people in Sixth Street Tunnel, Los angeles, California, America, USA. Photo: shutterjack (Getty)
…well, we can’t tell you here. Read on, guys.
Economist Ryan Murphy at Southern Methodist University used personality samples from almost 1.6 million people in the United States to determine where you’re most likely to run into a psychopath. Sadly, that answer is Washington, D.C. (and by a pretty wide margin, at that).
Connecticut was the most psychopathic state per capita, which is interesting considering the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk metro area holds the largest concentration of millionaires in the country. Does a crap ton of cash turn people into psychopaths? Well, you’ll have to ask people in the Constitution State. Meanwhile, California, New Jersey, New York and Wyoming rounded out the top five.
However, most six-year-olds will be quick to point out Washington, D.C. is not a state, and maybe that’s a good thing. When Murphy threw our nation’s capital into the mix, the result was terrifying. Washington D.C.’s “standardized psychopath score of 3.48 was almost double Connecticut’s 1.89.”
Just how did Murphy come to the conclusion that D.C. residents are nut jobs? Even he’ll tell you he used an “indirect methodology” in his evaluation of the “Big Five” personality traits. Some researchers believe a person’s extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness and openness to experience are directly related to determining if they’re batshit crazy; Murphy is no different.
Murphy believes other traits including disinhibition, boldness and meanness lie within the “Big Five.” He argues “boldness corresponds to low neuroticism and high extroversion, meanness corresponds to low agreeableness and disinhibition corresponds to low conscientiousness.” When you combine his way of thinking with previous findings, determining which areas of the country are crazy awesome and which are simply crazy is quite simple.
“The District of Columbia is measured to be far more psychopathic than any individual state in the country, a fact that can be readily explained either by its very high population density or by the type of person who may be drawn [to] a literal seat of power,” Murphy said.
That actually explains quite a bit these days.
To end things on a positive note, if you’re living in West Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina or New Mexico, congratulations on being sane.