Everyone knows the old saying that the quiet ones are the most dangerous. But how true is it, really? According to one new study, it’s pretty accurate—at least as far as American states go. That’s right. The state with the most psychopathic residents is also one of the most under-the-radar.
So just where will you want to watch your back? Connecticut. The tiny northeastern state ranked number one on Southern Methodist University professor Ryan Murphy’s research-backed list of the most psychopathic states in the continental U.S. California, New Jersey, New York, and Wyoming filled out the top five. If you live in one of these states, make sure you know the 13 signs you’re dealing with a psychopath.
To find these results, researchers relied on previous surveys that established the levels of the big five personality traits (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness to experience) in each state. They found which of the big five personality traits were most common in psychopaths and created a calculation to give each state a score.
Currently, the study has only been prepublished, meaning it is not published in a journal nor has it undergone peer review. However, according to previous published research, psychopaths often show traits like disinhibition, boldness, and meanness. “Boldness corresponds to low neuroticism and high extraversion, meanness corresponds to low agreeableness, and disinhibition corresponds to low conscientiousness,” Murphy told Quartz. Now that you know how the scores were calculated, check out the full list.
3. New Jersey
4. and 5. New York and Wyoming (tied)
12. South Dakota
24. North Dakota
28. Rhode Island
37. South Carolina
38. New Hampshire
44. New Mexico
45. North Carolina
48. West Virginia
As you can see, there seems to be a high concentration of psychopaths in the northeast. And if the research holds up, you’re probably safest in the south. Think you’re a state trivia expert? These are the 24 state facts everyone gets wrong.