How to Tell a Psychopath from a Sociopath
Psychopathy and sociopathy are mental disorders that refer to people with antisocial individual personality characteristics. Both disorders have many characteristics in common, so it can be hard to see the difference between psychopaths and sociopaths in a psychology sense. Both sociopaths and psychopaths ignore the rights of other people and do not feel remorse. They also ignore laws and social customs. They often show sudden displays of emotion or violent behavior.
Not all psychologists agree on the exact differences between these two disorders but you can make a list of behavior differences that are definite.
Sociopaths are anxious and they are likely to be nervous. They usually have no education and it is hard for them to keep a job since they usually move a lot. Some of them make connections to a group or a person, but generally, they do not pay attention to society. Other people think of them as clearly disturbed. When sociopaths commit a crime, it is normally instinctive and disorganized. They are often pathological liars and their behavior is deceitful and conniving, although it might look they are trustworthy and sincere individuals.
On the other hand, psychopaths have attractive personalities and they easily manipulate and gain trust of other people. They know how to imitate and simulate emotions. This is the reason they look normal to others. They are often educated and have good, regular jobs. Some of them perfect their mimicry to that extent that they can have wives and children without those around them ever become doubtful concerning their real nature. In terms of committing crimes, psychopaths are scrupulous and very careful. They always plan their next step. Committing crimes in cold blood is their specialty. They have a predatory instinct, and they will not wait for you to attack them as they will always act first.
What Do Experts Say?
Some professionals believe that these disorders are different in relation to the etiology. They believe that a physiological brain defect causes psychopathy, and it leads to insufficient development of the part of the brain that controls emotions. Sociopathy can be a result of an abuse or a childhood trauma. According to this belief, sociopaths can express empathy in specific situations. On the other hand, psychopaths are unable to feel empathy and they can even hurt members of their family.
There are many distinctions between sociopaths and psychopaths. When taking all their characteristics in consideration however, a main difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is that psychopaths can be explained as an extreme form of sociopaths. Moreover, psychopaths are fearless, and sociopaths are not. Sociopaths have a sense of right and wrong, but psychopaths do not: when it comes to destroying relationships and ruining other people’s lives, they just don’t care.