How do you tell the difference between a psychopath and sociopath?

Mudassir Ali
Jan 24, 2020 03:38 PM 0 Answers
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Mudassir Ali
- Jan 24, 2020 03:38 PM

First, it should be understood that under the current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, psychopathy and sociopathy fall under the umbrella of Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD), meaning no one gets diagnosed as a psychopath or sociopath, and those terms aren’t very useful in a clinical sense. They are not well defined and not completely agreed upon among psychologists.

However, researchers who do find value in distinguishing between the two tend to believe that psychopaths are born while sociopaths are made—meaning psychopathy is a genetic predisposition and sociopathy is more closely linked with childhood trauma, including emotional or physical abuse.

Psychopaths have actual physiological brain differences relating to emotional regulation and impulse control. They can struggle to form real attachments, and they tend to manipulate people to achieve their own goals. They rarely feel any guilt in doing so, primarily because they have no conscience. However, they also have a self-preservation instinct that helps minimize any risk to themselves while engaging in criminal behavior. They can seem outwardly normal, even charming, and they can usually hold down steady jobs and even have families.

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