The Difference Between A Sociopath And A Psychopath

Over the years, there has been alot of debating going on as to the differences between these two disorders: sociopathy and psychopathy.  Some say the two disorders are identical; some say there at several distinctions between the two. Psychologist have been studying both disorders for years, but with their studies have yet to be concluded because of the increased difficulty of getting their subjects to cooperate with them, therefore prolonging the results. As time moves on, more and more pertinent information is being released to the public along with the testimonies of surviving victims that can be used to help protect those potentially at harm’s risk.  The more knowledge that is released to the public, the less chances of their premeditated destructive plans succeeding against humanity.

 

There are indeed several differences between the two. It is important to understand the major difference between the two disorders. Not being able to recognize the most important signs of distinction can result in being the victim of someone with whom you will end up regretting  investing your time, your trust, your sanity, and even your life into in the long run.

 

So let’s move on with a brief list of distinctions between the two:

 

Intelligence: The sociopath has no regards for the rights, feelings, and safety of another human being, and sadly enough, sometimes no regards for their own safety as well. The psychopath also has no regards for the rights, feelings, and safety of another human being, but they are a wee bit “smarter” than the sociopath in regards to their own safety. Psychopaths are risk takers as well as the sociopath, but the sociopath is more apt to getting caught than the psychopath because they lack the wisdom to see their mistakes in their premeditated plans. A psychopath will think of a plan, will take the risk, examine how close they were to getting caught, and will try to perfect any flaws so as to not get caught the next time they try taking the same risk. The sociopath just keeps doing the same thing over and over again, in the same manner, no matter how many times that method has proved to expose them. The difference here is the level of intelligence: one has it, one does not.

 

Remorse: The sociopath feels no remorse for the destruction they cause, the feelings they hurt, and the trauma they inflict because their brain is missing the pieces that process emotions in regards to anyone else but themselves. They will imitate what remorse should “look” like, but that does not necessarily mean they feel it. Actually, they cannot feel much at all because of their limited range of emotions. The psychopath will sometimes feel remorse for what they have done after they have been caught mainly because of the fact that they were caught, not necessarily for what they did. Their brains can process that emotion, so it is possible for them to feel remorse after the fact. The difference here is the ability for both to feel: one can, one cannot.

 

History: The sociopath usually has a past history of problems with making and keeping friends, repeated behavioral problems as a juvenile, poor performance in school during their childhood years, problems with paying child support or anything that requires responsibility and/or accountability on their part. Rebellious in nature, it is their narcissistic attitude that gets them into constant trouble; they feel like they are entitled to everything and anything they want and very seldom have respect for anything that represents authority. The psychopath doesn’t have much regard for authority neither, but may have demonstrated respect for the law (to an extent, of course), had a spotless school and juvenile record, and may have been the most likable person in their social setting growing up as a child. However, the psychopath is more “classy” with how they cover up their mental illness, and this is why they are more successful in those previous areas as mentioned than the sociopath. The difference here is the history of self-discipline: one has it, the other one does not.

 

Boredom: Neither can stand boredom, however, it is what they do to relieve this boredom is what counts. The psychopath will be able to find constructive ways to relieve themselves from being bored, mainly because they can be highly intelligent creative people… that is, only when they’re not satisfying some perverted urge of theirs. The sociopath will relieve their boredom by causing drama: conflict between friends/coworkers/family, disturbing the peace in society for the heck of it, displaying age-inappropriate behaviors in public for attention, etc. The sociopath does not have the mental stability, the mental capacity, nor the self-discipline to finish what they start. The majority of them never bother to waste time or money on starting something they cannot finish. Causing conflict in someone else’s life for the fun of it is the main preferred source of entertainment for sociopaths. The psychopath can cause drama among their friends/coworkers/family and disturb the peace in society also, but this is more of a byproduct of the selfish acts they do to satisfy themselves and not necessarily intended to be something they intentionally planned to do like the sociopath. A psychopath can actually be entertained by other less destructive means to relieve their boredom. The difference here is their style of enjoyment : one is narrow, one is not.

 

Hopefully, these difference are enough to get a clear understanding of the difference between the two, and of course, the list is longer than what appears here. Is it possible for a person to be a sociopath AND a psychopath? Sure it is. In fact, some of the differences stated above can be reversed or overlapped in the personality of one person. There is no sure way to distinguish which trait belongs to whom, for that takes time and a lot of energy to invest in getting to know someone before a positive identification can be recognized. In my honest opinion, it’s not worth the risk to find out….

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013 Learus Ohnine

 

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532 thoughts on “The Difference Between A Sociopath And A Psychopath

  1. I am a retired registered advance practice nurse who worked in mental health for a good deal of my career.

    I h ave a son who is in prison for murdering a 17 year old girl.http://familyarrested.com/jessica-witt/ My biological father was a psychopath, also guilty of murder, and I have made a study of all the most recent research on the disorder. The DSM-v, the “bible” of diagnostic labels for psychology calls this disorder “anti-social personality disorder and does not use the words “psychopath or sociopath” Dr. Robert Hare,, one of the first of the more modern researchers into the disorder DOES use the word “Psychopath” and has developed the “Psychopath check list, revised” which is the legal gold standard for courts to use to determine if a criminal is also a psychopath.

    Recent testing has proven that 25% of all felony convicts ARE psychopaths, and the rest have an average score on the PCL-R of 22, it takes a score of 30 out of 40 to be labeled a psychopath.

    The DSM-V chooses not to use the labels that most lay people use.

    Twin studies have shown that at least 50-80% of the disorder is GENETIC and the rest environmental. There are BIG differences in the brains of typical people versus the brains of psychopaths.

    Unfortunately the psychology community holds on to the old thinking of “everyone can be helped with therapy.” Unfortunately, too, psych therapy just makes psychopaths WORSE, because it gives them the tools to increase their ability too manipulate and con.

    My son comes up for parole this year, I have hired an attorney to FIGHT his parole and I hope he does every day of his “life” sentence. Unfortunately he’s been in over 20 years and too many times they parole murders, but my son will also be a danger to society and to his family if he ever gets out. He sent one of his ex cell mates to try to kill me in 2007. Fortunately his plan failed and he went to prison.

    Not all psychopaths are in prison and not all prisoners are psychopaths, but psychopaths damage anyone they come into contact with. the book “The sociopath next door” is an excellent book to read about the ones living next door to you. Ii suggest that anyone get the book and read it, it is an eye opener. Also Dr. Robert Hare’s book “without conscience” is another excellent text book on the psychopaths.

    • Thank you for sharing this info. Unfortunately, it is our compassion that draws these people to us, but it is not enough to heal them. Most of these people don’t believe there is anything wrong with their thinking, reasoning, and logic… so naturally, any kind of therapeutic intervention(personally or professionally based) is just a waste of time on them.

      I am so glad your son’s plot against your life did not fall through. All the best to you in your efforts with dealing with this situation. Keep us updated. I hope you were able to find comfort and support for overcoming this ordeal.

      • Thank you, I have been working hard on healing, letting go of the bitterness, and am in my own way through my blog trying to educate others who have “offenders” in their family to let go of these people, they will only cause you heart ache and trouble.

        Unfortunately “the system” encourages families to take these people back into their homes and lives when they get out…even sex offenders…which may help the system, but sure does nothing for the families involved.

        The recidivism rate for offenders released on parole is quite high, in some areas a much as 60% in 3 years after release before they are arrested for another felony. A study was done with felons over a 20 year period and found that anyone convicted of a felony, is 80% likely to reoffend within 20 years, so those people have obviously not changed much if any.

        25% of all felony inmates are psycho/socio-paths and the other 75% have an average score of 22 on Hare’s psychopath check list, revised, which is the “gold standard” of identification of psychopaths. So while this 75% of the inmate population is “only” a score of 22 on average with, average free world score is 4-5, they are not choir boys and are not in prison for singing too loudly in church.

        That 75% of the inmate population has half of them over 22 and half under 22, so the vast majority of all felony inmates are high in psychopathic traits even if they do not fully “qualify”–which explains the high recidivism rate of released prisoners.

        Also, just an aside, about 80% of the violent crimes in the US are committed by the psychopaths. Sobering statistics. We can’t change them but we can learn to recognize them and avoid them if at all possible. I’m glad to see more blogs discussing this issue because education is what will ultimately save us from their abuses.

    • Oxdrover; Thank you for your post and experience. I can imagine what that is like. I too have a son who lies so much and so well and manipulates. He has hurt people physically even went to jail for stabbing someone. Even as a young child he seemed incredibly intelligent. He could read and add and subtract at age 5. But always causing trouble and drama. He became infatuated with fire and after my 2nd child was born I feared he would set the house with us in it after a few bad incidents, fires he set in the house. I had no medical insurance as I married before my second child was born and he being a step son of my new husband was not covered. I had no insurance of my own. I spent a year trying to contact agencies to get him some professional help, until I found out the only other choice that was recommended to me was Foster care where I had been told by many government agencies that they would have to provide medical and professional help while working him back into our family to try to resolve his problems and try to help him.

      Long story short that was the path I took. Worried about fires and him possibly hurting us, I placed him in foster care as recommended. I really believed them, that they would give him the help he needed and work him back in with our family. Not long after, I learned they had no intentions to help him or us. I think he manipulated the system to feel sorry for him and made them believe things that were not true. Not that it mattered given the system and the way it too, is so evil. The foster parents claimed that his visits with me made him upset and so they terminated my visits.

      Then they moved to terminate my rights saying they wanted to adopt him. I began fighting them and soon found out they took several kids away from families that wanted their kids and believed like I did they would help provide some professional help and work the kids back in with their own families. These foster parents were raking in the money with about 20 foster kids, living in a shoebox filthy and dirty. And they had all the money and resources our government can provide for them for free to fight me or you period from getting your child back and out of their system.

      As for Foster parents, these foster parents often do this for the money, and they are often evil people whose own black histories are ignored when being considered for foster care. In fact I found out much later, after the fact just how evil our system is. And this includes the prison system which makes money by keeping the prisons full even by incarcerating children for no crimes at all. They get over $100,000 for every kid they can get away from their own families and into the foster care system. This is the most dangerous place for any child. Please read these articles. Now my son is an adult and more of a mess. He has gotten so much better at manipulating because he knows the system well, and saw how it can benefit you to be even more evil.

      Toddler Dies In CPS Captivity After Being Taken from Marijuana-smoking Parents
      Child Killed Because Parents Smoked Pot Handed Over to Convicted Pot Dealer
      Judge who accepted private-prison bribes to send black kids to jail sentenced to 28 years

      Think about it, they have spent billions on wars to kill people often innocent people which boosts the economy and gives them a way to deal with population control, they have given bailouts to banks who cannot even account for where the billions went, all at our expense, and no type of criminal charges brought against them for so many illegal ponzi schemes that brought our economy down.

      But instead of giving some free professional care to families who need it, they give to the real criminals who are “Truly the Criminally Insane” basically because of they are so corrupt and evil running and ruling this country as well as the world now, talked about in the Bible, Revelations.

      People wake up. Do you really trust a Medical System where people have donated and given billions of dollars for a cure for cancer and yet in 50 years they are still using the same treatments and poisons to try to heal you and the radiate what is left after poisoning you? They can send a man to the moon, but CAN’T cure Cancer. Do you really think they want a cure for cancer or for mental illness either? Our health care system is making billions to keep people on drugs and ill.

      Anyone who comes up with a cure becomes a threat, and not only is their cure taken but then they have agencies after them or they are murdered because they cannot have a threat to the Money Making Killer Medical System. Don’t believe me, look up Cancer and the Doctor Burzinski and watch the documentary of what they put him through. There are many others, but anyone now can Google this information to see for themselves who else had a cure and what happened to them.

      Now you want to believe studies from other people who work for government grants?

      Just my opinion, according to the Bible our battles are spiritual. Yes we are dealing with real evil things in this world, but most have no idea what it really is or how to deal with it. You have to battle it in the spiritual first. And if you read the Bible, when they think these conditions are hereditary, the Bible talks about curses from the fathers up to so many generations.

      My 2nd son ended up with Meningitis at 6 weeks of age and nearly died. He ended up with brain damage. He too started at a young age doing some strange things and becoming out of control. This time I saw it for what it was. I had become a Christian and learned the Bible. Just by chance I ended up with a Pastor who specialized in deliverance. Because of my son and the fact I did not drive or have a car, it was hard for me to get to church so this Pastor would come to my home.

      One day he asked me if any of my friends would want to join us at my home, and he conducted the breaking of curses over the generations. Wow, we all felt a cool breeze whirling around us and the entire room then became cold until the whirling stopped, and when it was over the room became warm again and we all felt a sense of peace.

      My 2nd son who I taught to pray, I taught him to read the Bible and about the spiritual principles. He went through many deliverance sessions as a young child and turned out a wonderful person. He has some delays but he used to be like one of those kids that you see on TV that are out of control, and they bite and kick their own families who are frightened of them.

      My other son, the 1st one, I keep trying to help, but in a safe way, I can never have that spiritual influence over him that I did with my younger son enough to help him. All because I made the wrong decision, and trusted an evil system over one that is good meaning Gods system of truth and his healing and his principles. But we still keep praying for him. It has been amazing how Jesus brings out things he thinks we must know to be safe when my 1st son tries to lie and manipulate. He shows us what we are dealing with when it comes to my first son and in strange ways that even he cannot believe how and the ways it often happens. It is incredible. We just go into prayer and pray for this son for his help and well being and ask Jesus to reveal anything he thinks we should know and keep us safe. We ask for revelations of the truth. Only my 1st son can choose his path as God is no respecter of persons and gives us all free will. My second son chose a long time ago and learned so much that helped him. God can only try to teach us things to help those people change. So please pray, turn to God and the Bible for real answers and do give up on them. They too are Gods creations.

    • I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve gone through. That must be extremely difficult as a mother. Thank you for actually knowing what you’re talking about. I’m taking a Forensic Psychology class right now and you basically recited a compact version of our lecture on this subject. I’ve found site after site claiming there’s a difference between psychopathy and sociopathy and listing fake diagnostic criteria for each. As you said, neither are diagnostic terms and no authority on the subject has ever listed criteria for a diagnosis. Glad to see someone else is paying attention, although I do wish for your sake that the reason you paid attention wasn’t quite so horrible.

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  8. Are you sure you don’t have psychopath confused with sociopath. Almost all the characteristics you labeled as psychopath are sociopath and vise versa. Do you have any page sources? Or where did you get this information? I always thought it was the psychopath that was the eratic behaving one, but according to this it’s the sociopath? Even your quote you have at the bottom says “I am not a psychopath I am a high functioning sociopath” which would make me assume that the sociopath is the more tame one of the two.

    • As I’ve said, the two are very similar in behavior, nature, etc. Keep in mind the sociopath changes, like a chameleon, to throw off any signs of being recognized as a sociopath. It is also possible for one to be both psychopathic and sociopathic as well. Thanks for reading :-)

    • I completely agree with you on this one. I thought I’d had the difference filed away in my brain in the correct order, and this post has scrambled my information :/

  9. You make sociopaths sound stupid in this, and inferior to Psychopaths, it’s very offensive to sociopaths…and most of the list seems the be the wrong way round…imo sociopaths are far better at blending into society.

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  11. Learus, the information you provided is excellent. I am married to a man who seems to fit the profile of both a psychopath and a sociopath. Lucky me. It has taken me years through formal counseling, reading books, and researching to find information that literally describes his behavior and identifies it as an actual personality disorder. In one way, I find relief in knowing that what I’ve managed to endure for 20 years is the result of an actual disorder, rather than a bizarre behavioral pattern that’s unique to him. However, it’s also very unnerving to know how serious and potentially dangerous this situation is.

    Your opening comment about the investment of time, trust and sanity is an understatement. Time: For me, the better part of 20 years. Trust: It’s totally gone. Sanity: I thought I was losing mine when his personality started to reveal
    itself in the early years of our marriage. Until you experience living with
    a psychopath and/or sociopath, you have NO idea what goes on, especially behind closed doors. It defies reason, logic, and normalcy. Everything you described is spot on. Even as I sit here typing, I struggle to find the words because it’s so overwhelming! The amount of effort that’s needed to remain on the alert and be prepared at all times for whatever behavior may unfold is exhausting.

    My husband is one of 4 children. Their father abandoned the family when they were young and their mother suffered from depression and was institutionalized at one point after their father left. So, I’m sure those environmental factors contributed to the development of the disorder.

    • Thank you so much for reading. I’m so glad you’re aware of the dangerous your situation imposes, not only on you yourself, but your loved ones as well. Yes, living with people with this disorder can be so taxing on every inch of your nerves and sanity. I hope there’s a solution for you that’s feasible to the safety of everyone who’s involved.

  12. I agree with a previous commenter, Lisa, regarding the fact that we should not give up on these people. With God, all things are possible – not with man, but with God. Lisa is right that we are in a spiritual battle, we are battling generational curses and the sins of the fathers. I have chosen to stay with my husband because I have the hope that only comes through faith in Christ. However, I also believe that sometimes we have to get out of the way and let God move. For me, I am now at that point.

    My husband is completely detached from me and our marriage. I am not able to have a rational conversation with him, I cannot reason with him, I cannot work through any issue with him because he has no regard or respect for my rights and feelings. He feels he’s entitled to get what he wants and he expects me and most people to do what he wants. If he had a motto, it would be “Obey or Pay”, and it would apply to every person who has some type of relationship with him.

    I’ve prayed for God to move in my husband and bring him to the end of himself so he will turn to God and begin to be the man God wants him to be. My friends have prayed, my pastor has prayed, prayer groups have prayed. We will all continue to pray for my husband, but I am going to remove myself from the situation by leaving. Our relationship is completely toxic and it’s certainly not pleasing to God. I need a healthy, safe environment and the only way I can get that is to leave and do it through the legal system; ironically, the legal process could create an even more unstable and unsafe environment than I’m currently in.

    I wish I knew how to avoid becoming emotionally attached to someone with these behavioral disorders. It seems that so many of these people are charming and very likable. In those cases, when coupled with the fact that most people are on their best behavior when dating, and that most people don’t know or think about behavioral disorders, I don’t know how to avoid being lured in. I don’t know what advice to give someone, other than “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

  13. I don’t mean to seem cold, however many rational people such as myself do not believe in a higher entity. Attempting to “save” a psychopath is absolutely pointless. They aren’t “possessed”, “of the devil”, or “lost”. Unless scientists are successfully able to alter the activity in the amygdala or orbital frontal cortex, people like this cannot be helped. The only thing that might be effective is a method of coping, such as a strict observance of laws instilled into them from a young age. This probably wouldn’t be effective for sociopaths. I was engaged in a relationship with textbook psychopath for a long while. I didn’t actually realize his condition until AFTER the relationship ended and I had ample time to reflect. His undeniable sense of grandiose, high intelligence, remorselessness, impulsiveness and charm challenged my inner idealist to change him. I was young and dumb, frankly. Although not physically threatening in the least, he was notorious for making poor decisions such as infidelity. Again, bringing God, Buddah, Allah, or the flying spaghetti monster won’t fix them. Religion may work for some, but not for biologically handicapped individuals . Might as well claim reversing homosexuality through prayer as a legitimate technique. It’s ridiculous. I’m afraid we’ll have to wait on science on this one.

  14. I’m sorry, not a native speaker, but I’ve always pictured the word “Psychopath” as a word to describe people who really have serious mental issues, can not control their own behaviour/desire and in some way, show no respect to human life (as most serial killers were titled as psychopath) , when “Sociopath” is someone who show no interest in social connection, they may also have mental issues, but are very good as concealing them. In a word, “sociopath” have a slightly more “sanity” than “psychopath” and is harder to detect, too. Your article implied just the opposite, which kinda make me in a lost :(.
    I mean, Rorschash (Watchmen) – an anti-hero – is implied as Sociopath. He’s a loner, too extreme, but not crazy, and he chases down the Psychopaths who butchered and raped people. Even Sherlock said he was a high functional “sociopath” :). But according to your article, our beloved, greatest detective have more characteristic of a “psychopath” – the very thing that he tried to wipe out his entire life – more. Is it suppose to be sarcarsm or is there something wrong with the comparison? I mean, it’s not something serious, just need to change “Sociopath” behaviours into “Psychopath” behaviours and vice versa, then it make senses to me.
    Just my opinion. I love things about psychology, but my knowledge was (sadly) plain simple. I’ll hold on to that and searching some more information concerned this. Your article is very clear and easy to follow (except everything seem to went completely opposite for me). Thank you for that.

  15. You clearly have mixed up psychopath and sociopath in your article. It is the later being unaffected by moral yet capable of rational thinking. Please do some real research besides watching Criminal Minds before posting. Thank you very much.

  16. I was just reading on another site (and I want to know, because I think it a huge distinction between to two and it would be unfortunate to get them mixed up) but two of the other articles I read said that sociopaths can actually feign charm. and in this way become very capable of manipulation. Further saying they make sure to act quite normal, so they are able to keep strong connections with people for their own selfish benefit. But on here it makes it sound as if it’s the other way around. I’m just curious where the lines got crossed.

  17. I live my own life, I hide in the shadows, I have perfected the means of hiding my true nature. I have educated myself for the sole purpose of concealment. I have managed, no small feat, to channel my behavior into what you would call “positive” energy, though I do have violent outbursts and there are moments when the mask is lifted. I am the only one of my kind, and it shall remain that way.

  18. How can you escape their interest or play them at their own game? Is there a way to protect your self once they have control of your life. I am married to a sociopath and have lost everything. Jobs, friends , family , my sanity. The sanctuary of home is a fiery ball of hell.

    • I’m so sorry you are going through a rough time. There are ways to protect yourself, and those ways are individualistic in nature. The best advice I can give is to protect what is most important, most detrimental, and most dear to you: your sanity. As long as your have a sound mind, you can conquer most any and everything. Best wishes to you :)

    • In response to “Sad and confused”, I know the hell you’re in. I suspect you probably cannot have a rational discussion with your husband to discuss and work through the issues because he won’t allow it – if he did that, he would make himself vulnerable and accountable and the reality he lives in won’t allow that. My guess is that your husband wants/needs to have control of you, your marriage, and all of your relationships. Your world must revolve around him. He has consumed you. He makes the rules and you are expected to follow them – if you don’t, you must suffer some consequence to punish you for your disobedience.

      Am I close? If I am, then my non-professional advice is don’t waste your time by trying to play him at his own game because that’s probably going to be futile and, frankly, pointless. Stooping to his level and acting like him will likely only serve to entertain him and may very possibly make the hell you’re in much worse. You are in a very warped and twisted relationship, it is not normal and you are not dealing with a normal person. The good news is you apparently recognize that and you want your situation to change. You cannot force your husband to change his attitudes and behaviors, they are ingrained. So focus on yourself and what’s best for you.

      If you remain living under the same roof with him, it’s probable that nothing will change for the better, you will not be able to have a normal marriage where both of you are equals in your relationship. My advice is that you emotionally disconnect from the relationship and move out. But be smart about that – think things through and make a plan before you act because you need to stay safe. Talk to a lawyer to find out what your legal rights are and what you can do to keep yourself safe. Talk to a counselor who can give you an objective perspective and help you work through this situation.

  19. Your article is clearly biased towards psychopaths. As you stated, both are almost the same, but you depicted one in better light than the other with information that seemed insufficiently supported.

    Say, I think both are equally intelligent. Sociopaths do not repeat actions that prove inefficient. They just don’t have interest in being creative. Same works with psychopaths, although some might enjoy a certain level of creativity. Still, their intelligence aren’t so different.

    On the other hand, both do not feel any remorse for different reasons. Sociopath, as you said, has limited emotional scale. That’s true, and thus, they cannot process remorse well. They possibly do not recognize it. Psychopaths, though, do not acknowledge that what they do is wrong. They have no sense of guilt despite the slightly better range of emotion. Different from sociopaths, they ignore remorse (or probably laugh it off).

    Also, sociopaths have lesser desire to mingle with the society or follow the social norms. They do mingle somehow, but they do not care so much about laws and authorities. However, they are more consistent of their apathetic behavior and has the tendency to shrug things off if they aren’t required to care. Psychopaths, on the other hand, try to charm people to hide their disorder. They succeed most of the time but they are impulsive. They have the tendency to show random bouts of anger and aggressiveness, something less common in sociopaths, especially when something annoys them.

    On the other hand, boredom has nothing to do with why they do what they do. It’s mostly grounded on their motives and the perspective they come from. Psychopaths, as we all know, have a very high sense of self-worth and grandiose. They do what they want and believe that can get away with anything, even in harming other people. Sociopaths, though, are constructed based on their damaged relationship with the society. They have not internalized the existence of social norms and ethics, and therefore act only based on what they want without acknowledging whether it’s right or wrong. So as one thinks that society cannot touch them, the other does not consider himself a part of the society.

    If you’re watching BBC’s Sherlock, you’d know that Moriarty would be a very good depiction of a psychopath. Sherlock, on the other hand, is definitely not a sociopath. Hannibal is. See the movies, the books, and even the latest series from NBC. Sherlock is only a self-proclaimed sociopath, and not even a psychopath. But he might have a certain kind of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I think they did mention it to be Asperger’s Syndrome.

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  22. Your post is the exact opposite of the truth. Psychopaths are the ones whose condition is more natural and therefore are more likely to act out and be caught. Sociopaths obtain their condition through environmental factors, and therefore they understand society although they are different. The sociopath is the criminal genius who plans out how to commit crime without being caught. The psychopath is the impulsive criminal who is usually caught because he didn’t think things through. Sociopaths sometimes do have feelings toward specific people, although they do not care about people in general. Psychopaths are genetically flawed and therefore incapable of emotion.

    • Here is a good source to show the difference. ( http://www.diffen.com/difference/Psychopath_vs_Sociopath ) And for the record, I am a sociopath and I have no criminal record (not for lack of crimes). The ability to calculate risks is what often keeps sociopaths from committing crimes, or at least from getting caught. The psychopath cannot function in society. They WILL be caught over time because they cannot control it. Many “psychopaths” are actually sociopaths.

      • An except from the link above:

        “Differences in Outward Behavior of a Psychopath and a Sociopath
        Social Relationships

        Psychopaths often live at the fringes of society. They often tend to be extremely disorganized and are unable to maintain normal relationships with family, friends or co-workers. Unlike psychopaths, sociopaths can be almost obsessively organized and are normal in their social relationships, often forming symbiotic or parasitic relations. A sociopath would likely live an outwardly normal life and appear to blend in well with society; they may even be charming.”

        Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Both psychopaths and sociopaths are extremely disorganized. That’s why they end up getting caught. The problem with spciopaths is: they live in a world of their own, write their own script, and except society to follow along. That’s why the sociopath ends up getting caught.

        Thanks for visiting and sharing your link :)

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  28. Here is an example of what a Sociopath can do, in this case the lawyer Jeffrey Wilens, his Class action lawsuit execution is just like a Serial killer’s Sociopath behavior. Jeffrey Wilens is so obsessed that he has no conscious of the pain he is inflicting, He never knows when is enough and can never stop. These cases are completely driven by his own Sociopath selfish interest, and not the interest of the “victims” in his class action suits. Read more http://jeffreywilens.com/

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  32. I’m far from any kind of expert on the subject discussed here but it seems to me that most of what is said about the differences between a psychopath and a sociopath just highlights the fact that we don’t definitively know, that there is a clear lack of understanding of ALL the contributing factors and influences that affect us outside and in. All the recorded research and evidence of human behaviours may indicate to suggest what the differences are and although the societal expression of it would appear to strongly support it, it doesn’t as a matter of fact actually and absolutely PROVE it. Medical research on the brain adds scientific weight to all the theories, but even together they do not ABSOLUTELY PROVE anything. Just because all the evidence suggests it doesn’t mean that it’s actual fact. How many innocent people have went to jail on that intellectually assumed premise! I think that the question though is actually more revealing than the answer in that, it highlights a profound absence of knowledge regarding the psychology of the human being. We’re ‘expert’ in the knowledge of our superficial outer psychology and how and predictably why we behave in the ways that we do and correct me here if I’m wrong PLEASE, but we know nothing, spiritually unprovable theory and claims aside, about our inner and natural psychology and its undeniably beyond profound affect and influence on EVERYTHING, FIRST! That we are a duel dimensional being is a Universal fact. We have an outer and an inner psychology as distinctly different and set apart is it’s possible to be and we know nothing of one let alone the inextricably physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual dynamic between the two. We have two distinct ‘beings’ to our human being and we only know how one of them works.

    I truly don’t mean to be disrespectful to anyone, especially psychologists and those that study human behaviours and who are in truth simply trying to understand how we work so that we don’t keep making the same mistakes all the time. But the simple truth is that for all their thousands of years of study and research and despite all of their efforts WE STILL ARE. The majority of the exact same mistakes EVERY generation made before us, WE, are still making the exact same ones now, World wars, country wars, civil wars, mass murder, serial murder, miscellaneous murder, rape, torture, slavery, poverty, starvation, discrimination, racism, sexism, greed, exploitation, need I write another page or three on all the rest. Every single generation, from the first to this here and present one now, made or are making the exact same mistakes. Think about the state this world is in and call me a liar. There is NO end to the mistakes unless or until we understand the outer AND inner psychology of how we work.

    I can say this because I’ve experienced both sides of my self now and understand implicitly my two distinctly different psychologies, my OUTER and INNER and of the two, I know which one that I, now, trust and believe in! When you understand your natural psychology you instantly understand your personal. The biggest problem for the human being is that they’ve become so personally locked into the ‘ego’ dimension of themselves that they’ve ‘forgot’ they even have another. We’ve become so superficially ‘one dimensional’ and without the other dimension to compare or contrast our ‘ego’ perception of self to, are near utterly convinced that ‘who’ we are is this ‘ego’ version of ourselves and yet, categorical proof of this other dimensions existence is emphatically manifest through our ego expressions. The two are so uniquely different and elementary poles apart. We have two sides to our story and we have two different ‘beings’ to tell it. One tells of the outside story the other tells of the inner, one gives a personal account the other a natural one, one is false the other true, one is wrong the other right, one is bad the other good, one is negative the other positive, one is made up and man-ufactured the other is REAL.

    However good or bad that a person is depends exactly on which psychology controls them the most. I WAS a psycho sociopath for most of my adult life and at my worst I was badness personified. When I learned to understand both sides of my self, however, I could perceive clearly then EVERYTHING that was personally wrong and bad in and about me and the reason that I could, was that I’d reconnected to my inner and natural ‘sense’ of self and could then ‘Feel’ EVERYTHING that was naturally right and good in me. I had instant polar contrast to compare one against the other and also additional ‘proof’ if needed that my other dimension was actually real and that I could consciously experience it. When you intuitively ‘reconnect’ and ‘Feel’ your natural self again the ‘righteousness’ of it is just simply and, naturally, undeniable. You absolutely know then what is right and what is wrong in you and even more profoundly significant than that, you intuitively know how to ‘fix’ it and make the wrong, right. I did exactly that and changed my personally bad and wrong side for my naturally good and positive one and I am NOW as far removed from that negative horror show that I used to be as is possible to imagine. I had to know both sides of my psychological story however BEFORE I could do that. The psychology of the human being is natural simplicity itself to figure out and when it’s understood there is NOTHING wrong, bad or unnatural that cannot be changed and made right in someone. I was a psycho sociopath in every sense but my far extreme. I seriously wanted to kill people and but for, I know now, an innate sense of self-preservation and getting locked up in jail for a long time, I would have done it. I satisfied myself though by just being as horrible, controlling, manipulative, sly and cunning, devious, physically, emotionally and psychologically violent to people as I could, but within societal rules. I was a bad man and if my life circumstance hadn’t altered my path I honestly believe that I would have ultimately expressed myself in my far negative extreme.

    Whatever is contrary to nature is unnatural.

    If it’s unnatural it’s unreal, if it’s unreal it’s fake, fabricated, false, disingenuous, untrue, a lie, bad, wrong, negative.

    If it’s natural it’s real, if it’s real it’s genuine, unique, original, honest, true, good, right, positive.

    Just about quite nicely sums up the human being and its elementary and contrary duality I’d say! When you understand your natural inner psychology you instantly know both and can begin to change the false psychology that controls you. We ARE after all natural beings, first and foremost, but that are overwhelmingly personally controlled. I reversed this and now my positively natural being overwhelmingly controls my personal ‘ego’ one, simple as.

    I proved this can be done on my self and if I can do it ANYONE can, no matter how bad or wrong that they ‘think’ they are.

    Respect to all,

    Jaii.

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