Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

Thanks to film industry, almost all of us are familiar to these terms. Ok, may not be in depth but for what they stand for. Psychopathy and sociopathy are in actual different cultural labels that are used to describe antisocial personality disorder.

It is said that about 3 percent of total population may qualify for a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder. This disorder is more common among males. It is also common, in people with an alcohol or substance abuse problem. People in prison are also found to have more chances to develop this mental disorder. The symptoms in both cases begin to establish and surface at approximately fifteen years of age.

Apparently, psychopaths tend to be more manipulative. They are usually seen by others as more charming and balanced personalities. Normally, no one can say that they have such an huge potential to involve in criminal activities. In contrast to psychopath, sociopaths tend to be more erratic, rage-prone, and unable to lead as much of a normal life. They become more dangerous when involve in criminal activity because they tend to do so in a reckless manner without regard to consequences.
Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

Detailed analysis of both disorders is given below:

Traits of a Sociopath

It is believed by the researchers that sociopathy is a consequence of different environmental factors. They said that child or teen’s upbringing plays a significant role in this regard. For example, a child or teen with physical abuse, emotional abuse, or childhood trauma, is more prone to develop such a mental disorder. Following are some traits that are the true signs that a person may have sociopath disorder.

  • More impulsive and erratic behavior than their psychopath counterparts. Due to their careless behavior about their activities, increase a sociopath’s chances of being apprehended.
  • Such people have difficulties in forming attachments to others. Although some sociopaths may be able to form an attachment to a like-minded group or person.
  • It is difficult for sociopaths to hold down long-term jobs or present much of a normal family life to the outside world.
  • When a sociopath engages in criminal behavior, they may do so in an impulsive and largely unplanned manner. They are careless about the risks or consequences of their actions.
  • They may become agitated and angered easily, mostly resulting in violent outbursts.

Traits of a Psychopath

Experts have difference of opinion about the concept that psychopaths and sociopaths share a similar set of traits. Some of them said that both types have a poor inner sense of right and wrong. But others said that are some differences, too. Psychopaths possess following traits:

  • It is believed that unlike sociopaths, psychopaths tends to be born. It means that psychopaths may not also suffer from some sort of childhood trauma.
  • Psychopathy might be related to physiological brain differences. According to the research, psychopaths have underdeveloped components of the brain. Under development of brain components are thought to be responsible for emotional irregularity and poor impulse control.
  • It is in general hard for Psychopaths to form a real emotional attachments with others. Instead, they form artificial, shallow relationships. People are seen as pawns to be used to forward the psychopath’s goals.
  • Psychopaths rarely feel guilt regarding any of their behaviors, no matter how much they hurt others.
  • Most often, they are seen by others as being charming and trustworthy people.
  • They hold generally steady, normal jobs. Most of them even have families and seemingly-loving relationships with a partner.
  • While they tend to be well-educated, they may also have learned a great deal on their own.
  • Unlike Psychopaths, when a psychopath engages in criminal behavior, they tend to do so in a way that minimizes risk to themselves.
  • Their criminal activities are often well planned. They design the plan so that they don’t get caught, having contingency plans in place for every possibility.

Psychopath or Sociopath, Who is More Dangerous?

Both present risks to society as they will often try and live a normal life while coping with their disorder. But as discussed above, psychopathy is likely the more dangerous disorder due to following reasons:

  • A psychopath experience a lot less guilt connected to his actions.
  • Such a person also has a greater ability to dissociate from their actions.
  • Such a person have no emotional involvement. He is totally unaware of the pain that others suffer due to him. Many famous serial killers have been psychopaths.
  • The way they present themselves is the most dangerous part of the story because any one can trust them easily.

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