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What Is the Difference Between Psychopath and Sociopath?

What Is the Difference Between Psychopath and Sociopath?

Psychopaths and sociopaths suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder (TPAS) and the main difference between the two are in the way they developed the disease.

What Is the Difference Between Psychopath and Sociopath?

What Is the Difference Between Psychopath and Sociopath?

Psychopathy is considered an innate condition of the individual, that is, the person is born a psychopath. On the other hand, sociopathy is developed during life, through education, social relationships, or trauma.

Although psychopaths and sociopaths have several characteristics in common, the origin of this disorder generates some differences in their personalities.

Psycho Sociopath
Origin of the disease  

Psychopathy is usually associated with an individual’s innate condition, and some studies suggest that it may be hereditary.

However, some branches of psychology consider that the disorder can be acquired through trauma, especially in childhood.

In sociopathy, Antisocial Personality Disorder is developed during the person’s life, being associated with education and contact with society.
Social relationships Psychopaths tend to be superficially normal in social relationships. They are usually polite, have a good career and relate well with people.

However, this is about appearances, as psychopaths are unable to bond, even with family members.

They have no empathy, attachment or guilt feelings, which is why they are often social predators and highly manipulative.

Because sociopathy is acquired during life, sociopaths can bond with other individuals, and even feel guilty about hurting people close to them.

However, they tend to be explosive and violent, so their relationship with people is more complicated. Sociopaths hardly keep a job.

Impulsivity It has a controlled and calculated behavior. They are usually impulsive and spontaneous.
Empathy and guilt Since they don’t feel empathy or guilt, psychopaths don’t care about hurting or taking advantage of others. Because they can empathize with family members or close friends, sociopaths may feel guilty about hurting close people.
Criminal behavior Psychopaths take calculated risks, such as a fraud scheme and other premeditated crimes.

It tends to minimize the evidence.

Usually their crimes are spontaneous in nature, so they end up leaving evidence.
% of the population 1% of the general population. 4% of the general population.

Origin of psychopathy

Psychopathy is believed to be an innate condition. It would originate from a genetic flaw that hampers the development of parts of the brain related to emotions, impulse control, empathy, and morality.

This hypothesis is based on several brain scans conducted in different parts of the world. In addition, a Minnesota study looking at separately raised twins found that psychopathy is 60% hereditary.

However, some psychologists believe that psychopathy can be acquired through trauma, especially during childhood.

Origin of sociopathy

Sociopathy is related to the environment and education, showing how external factors played a role in the development of Antisocial Personality Disorder. In other words, unlike psychopathy, sociopathy is acquired during life.

Similarities between psychopaths and sociopaths

Psychopaths and sociopaths share several characteristics in common. Among them are:

  • Both suffer from Antisocial Personality Disorder;
  • They show contempt for social rules and standard behavior;
  • They do not feel remorse or guilt.

Differences in the personality of a psychopath and a sociopath

The origin of psychopathy and sociopathy generate certain differences in the personality of those who suffer from these disorders.

Psychopaths are cooler and more calculating, while sociopaths tend to act in a more impulsive and irresponsible way.

Psychopaths tend to be born manipulators and liars. Therefore, they appear to have a normal life and healthy social relationships. However, they are unable to feel empathy and guilt, and to create emotional bonds with anyone.

As sociopathy is acquired during life, sociopaths tend to have remnants of empathy and are able to create emotional bonds with some people. However, their explosive temperament makes them have more troubled social relationships.

Criminal behavior and violent tendencies

Although one of the characteristics of Antisocial Personality Disorder is impulsivity, psychopaths tend to be more cautious and avoid risks. It is more common for them to engage in fraud, or for their crimes to be premeditated. In most cases, they take advantage of the people around them without doing anything illegal.

On the other hand, sociopaths are more impulsive and their outbreaks of violence tend to be unplanned, leaving clues.