• Isabella Romero

Sociopaths vs Psychopaths

Updated: Oct 30, 2021

Being a fan of crime/mystery tv shows I have always found it interesting to try and figure out who is the killer before the episode ends. Most of the time I am successful in deciphering who is the killer, other times I have not been successful because of the complexity of the killers' psychological profile. Although both are under the antisocial personality disorder umbrella, sociopaths and psychopaths do carry their differences, as well as their similarities. However, through several studies, it has been pointed out that psychopaths may exhibit more severe negative behaviors than sociopaths. This blog will answer five questions about them: do they have a conscience, are they violent, which one is more likely to be born than made, are they impulsive, and how can I tell if someone is a sociopath or a psychopath.


Do sociopaths and psychopaths have a conscience? How can they not feel remorse/guilt for inflicting pain on another human being? Sociopaths are more likely to know that what they are doing is wrong. However, due to their weak moral compass, it is unlikely for them to stop their negative behavior. Now psychopaths, and this is the scary part, have been found to not have a conscience at all. By not having a conscience it is hard to discern what is wrong, what is right, and feel bad for the other person.


Are sociopaths and psychopaths violent? The answer to that question is yes, however, there is a difference in the degree and involvement of violence. Sociopaths may not always get physically violent with their intended victim, but psychopaths, on the other hand, have a much greater tendency to get aggressive and commit horrible crimes that are punishable by law.


Which one is more likely to be born than made? If one is born does that mean that it may be harder to change versus if they are made? It is the nature versus nurture situation. Psychology researchers believe that psychopaths tend to be born. This means that there is a genetic predisposition to their antisocial personality disorder, to their behavior, to the way they think. Also, that there may be physiological brain differences, like having the amygdala smaller, which is essential for recognizing other people's fear. Sociopaths, on the other hand, are most commonly made by their environment.

The next question will get us closer to what we really want to know. How can we tell if someone is a sociopath or a psychopath? But first, we need to understand if sociopaths and psychopaths are impulsive. Being impulsive will tell us plenty about a person's behavior. Like for sociopaths, it tells us that their behavior is more erratic, for example, they have difficulty holding down long-term jobs and struggle to have a normal family life. So when a sociopath commits a crime, it is indicative that he/she is impulsive and that most likely their killings are unplanned. Like most things that are done with little thought, they don’t think ahead of any risks or consequences that may come from their actions. Unlike their counterpart, which for most of the crimes they commit are planned and have a pattern. This is one of the reasons in real life and in crime/mystery tv shows they label serial killers psychopaths. Planning everything to the smallest detail is a very calculating behavior, indicative of their characteristic of being cold-hearted killers.

Finally, we get to the most important part, how can we identify if someone is a sociopath or a psychopath? Personally, I have always thought that having the information to identify who can be a sociopath and who can be a psychopath is the greatest of tools because it can save you from potential harm. So pay really close attention to what I'm going to tell you next. The DSM 5, which stands for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, tells us that sociopaths and psychopaths share all symptoms under the Anti-Social Personality Disorder Diagnosis. However, some symptoms are more prominent in psychopaths. This next part is imported and you may want to write it down.


For someone to be diagnosed with Anti- Social Personality Disorder (ASPD), at least three of the following traits need to be present: 1. they have no respect for normal practices or laws and they have an inclination to overstep laws, 2. they continually lie, trick, and control others or utilize false identities or monikers for personal gain, 3. do not make any long-term plans and they act without considering its ramifications, 4. Display forceful or aggravated conduct inflicting mental or physical damage to others, 5. Not worried about their wellbeing or the wellbeing of others, 6. They do not keep their promises or follow through on personal or work responsibilities, 7. Absence of guilt, remorse, empathy, or sympathy in the wake of harming or abusing others


To get a diagnosis of ASPD the patient should be more than 18 years old, have at least 3 of the attributes referenced for an all-inclusive period, and that doesn't change in view of discipline or because of life changes.

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Hello fellow reader, if you are new here welcome to The Bella Edit, we are a lifestyle and travel brand whose purpose is to normalize talking about mental health. If you are someone that follows The B

Hello fellow reader; if you are new here, welcome to The Bella Edit, we are a lifestyle and travel brand whose purpose is to normalize talking about mental health. If you are someone that follows my w