Difference Between Psychopath and Sociopath

Overview

This article will examine and compare two antisocial disorders – Sociopathy and Psychopathy. Both disorders are believed to be a result of the interaction between an individual’s genetic predisposition and the environment in which one is brought up. However, the term “Psychopathy” is used when the core problem leans towards genetics while “Sociopathy” is used when the underlying cause is the one’s environment.

Several differences can be observed in the outward interactions of psychopaths and sociopaths in various circumstances ranging from social relationships, careers and violent tendencies. Both psychopaths and sociopaths have the ability to form social relationships. Psychopaths lack empathy and do not feel guilt, hence, they are capable of forming beneficial relationships although they are not concerned about taking advantage of others. Sociopaths have empathy and guilt but are too weak to overcome their impulsive and erratic behavior.

Career

Career wise, psychopaths are usually very successful due to their manipulative nature and their ability to mimic human social emotions, even though they don’t experience those emotions. Sociopaths often find it difficult to get steady jobs due to their uncontrollable erratic behavior and tend to have more violent tendencies. These tendencies are usually erratic and unplanned. On the other hand, psychopaths are more calculating and meticulous in planning their crimes.

Diagnosis

Despite the differences mentioned above, both psychopaths and sociopath suffer from antisocial personality disorders which could be treated if rightly diagnosed. However, treatment usually requires medications and psychotherapy. Symptoms in both diseases begin to surface at around the age of 15. The initial symptoms might include cruelty towards animals and lack of remorse and lack of guilt for hurtful actions at a later stage. Antisocial personality disorder can be managed with the right medication and therapy like any other mental disorder. Psychopaths are not mentally disabled or lack the ability to contact with reality. A psychotic person suffers a break from reality and is therefore mentally disabled.

 

 

Comparison Board

Psychopath
Sociopath
Created by Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD). Antisocial personality disorder (ASPD).
Cause Innate condition. Environmental factors.
Predisposition to violence Varied High
Impulsivity Generally low High
Behavior Controlled Erratic
Criminal Predispositions Devious and opportunistic violence Impulsive, opportunistic and risky violence.
Social Relationships No attachments, conscience or empathy.  May seem normal in social relationships. May empathize with a select few including family and friends.

Venn Diagram

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