Cold-blooded killers? Rethinking psychopathy in the military
Stress and the military go hand-in-hand, particularly in combat environments. While some personality traits or types weaken relationships between stress and performance, others, such as psychopathy, may strengthen them. In the present chapter, we consider the ramifications of individuals with high levels of psychopathy or psychopathic tendencies in the military with regard to both their own stress and performance and that of those around them. We discuss different reactions to psychological and physical stress, as well as the implications of psychopathic tendencies as they relate to current military issues, including gender, leadership, teamwork, turnover, post-traumatic stress disorder, and suicide. By juxtaposing relevant research findings on stress and psychopathy, we conclude that psychopathic tendencies should have neither uniformly negative nor positive effects on stress and performance in the military. Rather, effects on such individuals and the peripheral others with whom they interact will likely vary greatly depending on numerous factors.
Research in Occupational Stress and Well Being
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Landay, & Frieder, R. E. (2018). Cold-Blooded Killers? Rethinking Psychopathy in the Military. In Occupational Stress and Well-Being in Military Contexts (Vol. 16, pp. 23–47). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-355520180000016002