Washington, D.C., is the most psychopathic of all U.S.

Psychopaths are dangerous people because they are human predators.
Some are violent criminals and serial killers. Many others are not, but are upstanding pillars of the community, found in reputable professions, especially CEOs, politicians, lawyers, journalists, and most alarmingly, clergy. (More on these occupations later in this post.)

The hallmark attributes of a psychopath include a lack of empathy for others, selfishness, lack of guilt, and a superficial charm that manifests exclusively to manipulate others. It should be noted that those attributes, except maybe lack of guilt, also characterize pathological narcissists or the Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Psychopathy is not a binary, either/or attribute, but displays itself as a spectrum of more or less. We are told that as many as 5% of people may possess psychopathic tendencies.
A recent study by Dr. Ryan H. Murphy, a research assistant professor at Southern Methodist University’s School of Business, in Dallas, Texas, found that Washington, D.C., is the most psychopathic of all of United States.
Published as a 14-page online working paper, titled “Psychopathy by U.S. State,” Murphy employed the Big Five personality traits as a measure to estimate the level of psychopathy for each of the contiguous 48 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
The Big Five personality traits are:

  1. Extraversion
  2. Agreeableness
  3. Conscientiousness
  4. Neuroticism
  5. Openness

Psychopathy is loosely correlated with low extraversion, very low agreeableness and conscientiousness, very high neuroticism, and moderately high openness. In other words, psychopaths are introverted, very disagreeable, very unconscientious, highly neurotic, and moderately open.


Each of the Big Five personality traits receives a T-score centered on a mean of 50 and a standard deviation of 10. Extraversion enters positively, while neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness enter negatively.
Using Renfrow, et al.‘s data for the Big Five personality traits for the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia, Murphy created a raw score for each state by subtracting its scores for neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness from its score for extraversion. The raw score is then converted into a standardized z-score. The 48 states and D.C. are then ranked in accordance with each state’s z-score, from most psychopathic to least psychopathic.
Rentfrow, et al.‘s data are from:

  • Rentfrow, P. J., Gosling, S. D., Jokela, M., Stillwell, D. J., Kosinski, M., & Potter, J. 2013. “Divided We Stand: Three Psychological Regions of the United States and Their Political, Economic, Social, and Health Correlates.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 105 no. 6: 996–1012.
  • Rentfrow, P.J. and M. Jokela. 2016. “Geographical Psychology: The Spatial Organization of Psychological Phenomena.” Current Directions in Psychological Science 25, no. 6: 393-398.


Murphy found that areas of the United States measured to be most psychopathic are those in the Northeast and other similarly populated regions. The least psychopathic are predominantly rural areas, Wyoming being a curious exception.
The top five in psychopathy are the District of Columbia, Connecticut, California, New Jersey, New York & Wyoming (tying for #5 rank).
The states that are the least psychopathic are West Virginia, Vermont, Tennessee, North Carolina, and New Mexico.
Here is the list, beginning with D.C. as the most psychopathic:

  1. District of Columbia, with a z-score of 3.58. Murphy wryly observes: “The presence of psychopaths in District of Columbia is consistent with the conjecture found in Murphy (2016) that psychopaths are likely to be effective in the political sphere.”
  2. Connecticut: 1.89
  3. California: 1.21
  4. New Jersey: 1.09
  5. New York: 1.01
  6. Wyoming: 1.01
  7. Maine: 0.99
  8. Wisconsin: 0.95
  9. Nevada: 0.89
  10. Illinois: 0.73
  11. Virginia: 0.67
  12. Maryland: 0.66
  13. South Dakota: 0.61
  14. Delaware: 0.56
  15. Massachusetts: 0.46
  16. Arizona: 0.45
  17. Florida: 0.40
  18. Iowa: 0.30
  19. Colorado: 0.28
  20. Texas: 0.25
  21. Ohio: 0.22
  22. Utah: 0.09
  23. Arkansas: 0.00
  24. Idaho: -0.05
  25. North Dakota: -0.06
  26. Michigan: -0.07
  27. Alabama: -0.08
  28. Pennsylvania: -0.12
  29. Rhode Island: -0.14
  30. Louisiana: -0.17
  31. Kansas: -0.19
  32. Georgia: -0.11
  33. Minnesota: -0.28
  34. Missouri: -0.33
  35. Washington: -0.43
  36. Kentucky: -0.51
  37. Nebraska: -0.53
  38. South Carolina: -0.64
  39. New Hampshire: -0.79
  40. Oregon: -0.81
  41. Indiana: -1.01
  42. Mississippi: -1.10
  43. Montana: -1.10
  44. Oklahoma: -1.29
  45. New Mexico: -1.39
  46. North Carolina: -1.55
  47. Tennessee: -1.48
  48. Vermont: -1.66
  49. West Virginia: -2.11

Murphy hypothesizes that the level of psychopathy of a state has to do with at least these two factors:

  1. Rate of urbanization (and therefore, population congestion).
  2. Occupation

Murphy writes on page 5 that:

  • The “most disproportionately psychopathic” occupations are CEO, lawyer, media, salesperson, surgeon, journalist, police officer, clergyperson, chef, and civil servant (or politician).
  • The least psychopathic occupations are care aide, nurse, therapist, craftsperson, beautician/stylist, charity worker, teacher, creative artist, doctor, and accountant.

Religious clergy are among the most psychopathic occupations! I am reminded of what the late psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, M.D., wrote: what better place for evil to hide than in the church, by camouflaging themselves as good.
Murphy concludes:

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…. Additionally, Wyoming is an odd data point, ranking very high in psychopathy given its lack of population.

To find out if you’re a psychopath, go to “Are you a psychopath” and take the test!
See also:


Rate this post

Please follow and like us:

Leave a Reply

16 Comment authors
Americans' regard for religious clergy's honesty and ethics at all-time low - Fellowship Of The MindsMickturnDr. EowynTPRStephen T. McCarthy Recent comment authors
Notify of

Shocker, not…

Brian Heinz

DC is the cesspool of depravity so yea I can see it. And we had the country run for 8 yrs with a psychopath at the helm. So not a stretch at all. Thanks Doc for showing us what they are.


Wyoming… Isn’t that the home of Richard ‘Big Dick’ Cheney? And if so, then I think that alone qualifies to bump that State up by a factor of 10. As one of the principal planners of 911, he’s known as Dork Canine in my epic, The Daze of Dubya, a series of linked poems memoralising that most grievous day of infamy.

ioan palcau
ioan palcau

Psychopaths, hug? Another good reason and time for U.S.A. to have a new Capital city,u name it.WWG1WGA!

carl hassell
carl hassell

Honestly, one has to be a criminal psychopath it seems to want to seek any higher office. What better way to commit crimes, almost without interference?

Steven Broiles

Very important and revealing post. I would also like to see each occupation and profession scored for psychopathy and sociopathy. At first, I was shocked by what happened to the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. But after having witnessed the Church welcome and cater to every lunatic fringe group imaginable, I came to understand one thing: The saboteurs and destroyers won’t leave the Church PRECISELY BECAUSE they detest Christ and What He Represents; Hence, they WILL NOT leave because they wish to DESTROY the Church. So these moral monsters are Judas Iscariots—with a twist: They will not hang… Read more »


Fun fact: about five years ago I read an article on the cities with the highest percentage of lawyers in their populations. DC was first, and twice as high as #2 Newport Beach, CA, which was almost twice as high as the #3 city.


Lawyers are the outlaws that own a degree to deceive from the truth.


I don’t know….I’ve known a LOT of psychopathic teachers and doctors. The smarter they are the easier it is to hide it usually.


“….In other words, psychopaths are introverted, very disagreeable, very unconscientious, highly neurotic, and moderately open.” -wow! No wonder I don’t get along with most writing critics!
And it explains why the internet operates like it does. ;D
I am only half-joking


I have a question: if psychopaths are deceivers, why don’t they just cheat on psychopathy tests?

Stephen T. McCarthy
Stephen T. McCarthy

>>… The “most disproportionately psychopathic” occupations are CEO, lawyer, media, salesperson, surgeon, journalist, police officer, clergyperson, chef, and civil servant (or politician). Aside from paying a great deal of attention to the rampant police brutality in today’s Police State USA environment, I have known many cops on a friendly personal basis. At one time, back in the mid-1970s, I even worked for a police department’s Property Room in the Los Angeles area and received training from the L.A. County Sheriffs Department. So I know the LEO mindset very well, and if police officers had not been mentioned in this category,… Read more »


Let’s rearrange this list:
C Conscientiousness
A Agreeableness
N Neuroticism
O Openness
E Extraversion
Perhaps by making this into an acronym, we can more easily recall it in those moments when our red flags go up. And if it floats my boat, maybe it’ll do the same for you!


If you look carefully at the list…almost all of the Freakout states are run by Libs…


Yesterday 6/23/18, John Brennan wrote a “hate tweet” directed to POTUS: {twitter dot com/JohnBrennan/status/1010500990288695298 re Trump’s tweet here: twitter dot com/realDonaldTrump/status/1010485876806348800} This link was in the replies to Brennan: 🙂 6/9/16: “Science says liberals, not conservatives, are psychotic”: https://nypost.com/2016/06/09/science-says-liberal-beliefs-are-linked-to-pyschotic-traits/amp/ The above is re a correction to a 2012 study’s results that had originally claimed it was conservatives who were “psychotic”! Four years later (2016) some other researcher discovered that the results had been misinterpreted in the exact opposite direction. The original 2012 researchers said, “We don’t know how that happened nor who is to blame.” What a mess! There must… Read more »


[…] Religious clergy are among the most psychopathic of occupations […]