Are you able to captivate other’s attention when you speak and dominate any conversation you enter, no matter who you’re speaking with? Well, congratulations, based on a recent study from UCLA you are fairly psychopathic -- "primary psychopathic," to be more specific. Although the word “psychopath” often brings up images of blood and gore, in reality this personality trait is rather helpful with it comes to social skills.

A study led by Dr. Joseph H. Manson from the University of California, Los Angeles, attempted to find what predicts conversational dominance among strangers. The team used videotaped interactions between same-sex American college students who had never previously met. They were from various ethnic backgrounds and had the mean age of 19. The researchers observed how much factors such as physical formidability, facial attractiveness, social status, and self-reported clinical psychopathy had on conversational dominance.

The participants were asked to complete a questionnaire and complete the Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (LSRP) in order to gauge their level of psychopathy. The LSRP asks participants to rate their level of agreement with statements such as: "I let others worry about higher values," "my main concern is with the bottom line,’’ and ‘‘I am often bored.’’

“It's been validated by other researchers, e.g. subjects who score higher on it are also less sensitive to punishment (losing money) in laboratory tasks,” explained Hanson to Medical Daily in an email.

The participant’s physical attractiveness, formidability (or strength), and general prestige was determined based on the opinion of predetermined judges.

In order to determine the overall conversation dominance the researchers looked for traits such as quantitative dominance (the proportion of words used) participatory dominance (interruptions produced and sustained) and sequential dominance (topic control).

Results showed that the most influential factor to predict conversational dominance was self-reported psychopathy. “We found that individuals higher in primary (F1) LSRP psychopathy produced a higher proportion of their conversation triad’s words, a higher proportion of sequence starts, and more interruptions per minute,” the authors wrote. This trait was positively associated with the proportion of words the speaker used and their overall talkativeness.

Primary psychopaths are believed to be more a product of genetics, as opposed to secondary psychopaths who are believed to be more closely influenced by their environment, The Examiner reported.

“Primary psychop includes callousness and manipulativeness, as distinct from secondary psychop, which includes impulsiveness and anti-social behavior. These 2 are moderately positively correlated. "Subclinical" means higher than most people but not so high that a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist would diagnose the person as a psychopath,” said Hanson.

The study couldn’t quite explain why those who scored higher as in primary psychopathy are able to “leverage opportunities to assess and manipulate new acquaintances by controlling conversations,” the authors wrote. It is also suspected that individuals with considerable primary psychopathic qualities are able to use information they obtained in a conversation as a means of exploitation, which is described as “a pattern consistent with the pursuit of status through dominance.”

However if you are naturally able to grab hold of any conversation, there is no need to be need to be shy of your psychopathic qualities because, as explained by Hanson, “a modest degree of psychopathy (kept in check by other traits) can be beneficial.”

Source: Manson JH ,Gervais MM, Fessler DMT, Kline MA. Subclinical Primary Psychopathy, but Not Physical Formidability or Attractiveness, Predicts Conversational Dominance in a Zero-Acquaintance Situation. PLOS One. 2014