It’s long been believed that psychopaths possess the gift of brains. (See: Hannibal Lecter.) But new research suggests that this commonly-held belief about psychopaths might be wrong. Although psychopaths are often portrayed as preternaturally intelligent (especially in fiction), this may not actually be the case — a finding which drastically alters the image we’ve held for so many years.
In truth, over the years, the findings of the relationship between intelligence and psychopathy have been inconsistent; still, though, the stereotype persisted. Why? Because much of the research conducted on the matter was biased from the get-go, mainly focusing on people who were well-educated and from the upper and middle class. These kinds of samples are not necessarily representative of the general population.