• Text size      
  • Send this article to a friend
  • Print this article

Henry VIII was 'most likely to have been psychopath'

BLOODTHIRSTY Henry VIII has been crowned the British historical figure most likely to have been a psychopath by researchers.

Oscar Wilde came a close second whilst Lord Byron was third, according to a study by research psychologist Professor Kevin Dutton, an honorary affiliated member of the Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Sciences, Magdalen College, University of Oxford.

Least likely to have been a psychopath was Edinburgh University educated Charles Darwin, author of Origin of the Species, the research suggested.

Henry VIII topped the list of figures from through the centuries who were assessed with a psychometrically validated personality questionnaire.

Other historical characters included were Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Elizabeth I, Charles Dickens, Freddie Mercury, William Shakespeare and Winston Churchill.

Subjects were rated on eight constituent psychopath traits: Machiavellian self-interest, persuasiveness, physical fearlessness, emotional detachment, rebelliousness, feelings of alienation, carefree spontaneity and coolness under pressure.

Mr Dutton said: "We know that psychopathic attributes can predispose to success in various occupations, so I thought it would be interesting to see where great figures from throughout British history fit on the spectrum."

Contextual targeting label: 
Education

Commenting & Moderation

We moderate all comments on HeraldScotland on either a pre-moderated or post-moderated basis.
If you're a relatively new user then your comments will be reviewed before publication and if we know you well and trust you then your comments will be subject to moderation only if other users or the moderators believe you've broken the rules

Moderation is undertaken full-time 9am-6pm on weekdays, and on a part-time basis outwith those hours. Please be patient if your posts are not approved instantly.

166725