Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

Key Difference: Psychopaths and sociopaths are people who are suffering from antisocial personality disorder. A psychopath is distinguished from a sociopath by his criminal and violent behavior. A psychopath is the one of the two who is more likely to go on a murdering spree.

The terms psychopath and sociopath are often used casually to describe people who are a little different, or at times they may be used in anger towards the person whom the anger is directed towards. However, what is actually a Psychopath and a Sociopath.

Depending on who you ask, a Psychopath and a Sociopath are exactly the same, at least in terms of their behavior. Both psychopaths and sociopaths are people who are suffering from antisocial personality disorder or dissocial personality disorder.

Psychopathy is a personality disorder that is partly characterized by antisocial behavior, a diminished capacity for remorse, and poor behavioral controls. They have no conscience and cannot feel love or remorse, which hampers their ability to establish meaningful personal relationships. However, note that they are completely rational, functioning and even charismatic, which is why it is very difficult to identify and diagnose a psychopath.

The word sociopathy was first introduced in 1909 in Germany by biological psychiatrist Karl Birnbaum and in 1930 in the US by educational psychologist George E. Partridge. The term was meant to be an alternative to the concept of psychopathy, and was used to indicate the violation of social norms, or antisocial behavior. As per this definition, sociopathy is the same as psychopathy.

Both psychopaths and sociopaths do have a conscience, they do not have the ability to feel love, remorse or shame, they lack empathy, they are untruthful and insincere, they are charming and intelligent, they take risks no one else will, they act unreliably, they are rational and lack signs of irrational thinking, they have poor judgment and failure to learn by experience, they do not have insight, and they often have several short term relationships.

Today, most therapists and psychiatrics do not like the terms psychopath and sociopath, instead they opt for antisocial personality disorder. However, in cases where a distinction must be made, a psychopath is distinguished from a sociopath by his criminal and violent behavior. A psychopath is the one of the two who is more likely to go on a murdering spree. A sociopath, however, is more likely to just barricade themselves in their room away from other people.

A sociopath is someone who depicts anti-social behavior, but a psychopath is the one who uses his charm and lack of moral compass to cause harm. A psychopath is the one who enjoys hurting others and gains joy and happiness from they pain, and the manipulation the conduct.

Comparison between Psychopath and Sociopath:

 

Psychopath

Sociopath

Description

A person diagnosed with psychopathy, a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.

A person diagnosed with sociopathy, a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behavior, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behavior.

Definition (Dictionary.com)

A person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

A person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.

Type of

Antisocial personality disorder

Antisocial personality disorder

Symptoms

  • Criminal intent
  • antisocial behavior
  • diminished capacity for remorse
  • poor behavioral controls
  • covetous, risk-taking, malevolent, tyrannical, malignant, unprincipled, disingenuous, spineless, explosive, and abrasive behavior
  • Violent behavior
  • Bedwetting, cruelty to animals and firestarting, known as the Macdonald triad
  • Learning impairment
  • Lack of Emotion recognition and empathy
  • Lack or Moral judgment
  • antisocial behavior
  • diminished capacity for remorse
  • poor behavioral controls
  • covetous, risk-taking, malevolent, tyrannical, malignant, unprincipled, disingenuous, spineless, explosive, and abrasive behavior
  • Violent behavior
  • Bedwetting, cruelty to animals and firestarting, known as the Macdonald triad
  • Learning impairment
  • Lack of Emotion recognition and empathy
  • Lack or Moral judgment

Possible Causes

  • Genetic factors may generally influence the development of psychopathy
  • Environmental factors affect the specific traits that predominate
  • Low monoamine oxidase A (MAO-A) gene (dubbed the "warrior gene") activity
  • The strongest factors included having a convicted parent, being physically neglected, low involvement of the father with the boy, low family income, and coming from a disrupted family.
  • Other significant factors included poor supervision, harsh discipline, large family size, delinquent sibling, young mother, depressed mother, low social class, and poor housing.
  • Possibility of head injuries, and associated traumatic brain injury.
  • early damage in the prefrontal cortex
  • damage to the amygdale
  • an increased ratio of HVA (a dopamine metabolite) to 5-HIAA (a serotonin metabolite)

Image Courtesy: streetdemocracy.wordpress.com, huffingtonpost.com

Most Searched in Food and Drink Most Searched Non-Alcoholic Drinks
Most Searched in Business and Finance Most Searched in Beauty and Style
Velocity vs Angular Velocity
Reserve Officer vs Regular Officer
Smartphone vs Touch Phone
Part time vs Casual Job

Add new comment

Plain text

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.