Psychopaths Vs. Sociopaths

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Every person behaves differently, the way they were affected by their environment or the way they think it’s best. People judge others by their behavior and often call them psychopaths or sociopaths without knowing what those two words truly mean. Psychopathy and sociopathy are both dissocial personality disorders.

Psychopaths are people characterized by emotional dysfunction, lack of empathy and guilt, people who have a tendency to lie and cheat a lot, and abandoning relationships. (1 Tassy, Sebastien) Signs and symptoms of psychopathy are mostly callousness, manipulation, poor control over behavior, superficial charm and glibness, impulsiveness, and lying pathologically. (2 Psychopathy: Definition, Symptoms, Signs and Causes)

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Sociopaths, on the other hand, are people characterized by a lack of conscience and empathy and exhibit antisocial behavior & attitudes. Signs and symptoms of sociopathy are lack of morals, emotions and as mentioned before, lack of empathy and mostly antisocial behavior leads to criminal acts, exploit others for personal gain and disregard for the rights and feeling of others. (3 Khan, Nadia)

Differences between psychopathy and sociopathy

People usually think that sociopathy and psychopathy are the same things and they usually use them incorrectly. They´re both dissocial personality disorders, but with different characteristics. Sociopaths have lack of empathy and lack of guilt as psychopaths, but they’re able to form deep bonds with people close to their hearts as a family, while psychopaths are incapable to form deep bonds with their family or close people. (4 Tracy, Natasha) Sociopaths react impulsively, driven by emotions, by fear and anger, yet psychopaths plan actions and they´re mostly driven by thoughts and by a need to control something specific they’re interested in. (5 Changingminds.) These factors lead to a conclusion that sociopaths have a low level of self-control since their act drove by emotions mostly aggression, and that psychopaths have a high level of self-control since they’re more intelligent and don’t feel emotions as other people.

Similarities between psychopathy and sociopathy

Psychopathy and sociopathy are mostly different, but they still have a couple of similarities, that make them … One of the similarities is that both don’t feel guilty when they hurt someone strange or do something wrong. That shows lack of guilt they have. (5) Another similarity is that they both don´t follow the rules and social values like other people. (dokončiť!)


Psychopathy is usually caused by genetic factors, but it can be caused by environmental and interpersonal factors too. If it´s genetic, it appears around the age of 10-16. Psychopathy caused by environmental and interpersonal factors is less common, and there are only few cases when someone became a psychopath after living a normal peaceful life because someone rejected him/her or abusement.

Sociopathy isn´t caused by genetic factors, but biological and environmental factors. Biological factor is that damaged brain. (prepísať) Scientists think that early brain damage could lead to this disorder. Environmental factor is trauma from abuse or rejection from the past. By the studies, scientists found out that people who became a sociopaths because of environmental factor is much more violent than the sociopath from a stable background. (6 Peterson, Tanya J.)

Types of psychopaths and sociopaths

Psychopathy is divided into three types: low psychopathy, moderate psychopathy, and high psychopathy. (dopísať)

Sociopaths are divided into 7 groups: the common one, alienated, disaffiliated, hostile, disempathetic type, cheated & aggressive and dyssocial sociopath. (7McGee, Faith) The common sociopath is the one that doesn´t care about how his actions will affect others, generally, he only cares about his life and tries to avoid any responsibility for his actions.

The alienated type of sociopath is one that has a problem empathizing with other people and it more likely that they show more feelings toward a pet or a thing than a human being. This type of sociopathy is caused mostly because of the environment during youth. (7)

The hostile type is a constantly angry, violent and aggressive person that feels like being completely abandoned by society. (7) Because of that feeling, they act so aggressively. It’s the way they think they can survive in this world.

The disempathetic type is the most emotional type. These kinds of sociopaths have their own small group of people, who they take care of. (7)

The cheated and aggressive sociopaths are ones that feel like they were cheated like rules they have to follow are trying to take away their good lives, and the aggressive ones use violence to get what they want, having control over their victims. (7) (prepísať)

The dyssocial psychopath is considered to be a normal human being, who just like to be part of a violent group of people. (7)

Every sociopath is different but they have the same characteristics, they´re all turning more to violence.

Problems they face in society

Everyone is afraid of something, that is not as human … They’re mostly scared of sociopaths and psychopaths because they don´t know what to expect from them and sometimes it’s hard to find out who is the sociopath or psychopath because they´re intelligent enough to hide.

Is it hard to find a job as a sociopath or a psychopath? The truth is that psychopaths are those at the top, like CEO or any kind of leaders as we one from history, where we had some psychopaths. The same goes for sociopaths, but they’re not at the top. It´s just easy for them to find a job, but their only problem is that they can’t do one job for too long.

Are they dangerous?

They´re seen as dangerous beings in the eyes of others. Sociopaths are seen like that because of their violent behavior and lack of empathy. But psychopaths are more dangerous and scarier than sociopaths. It´s harder to notice a psychopath than a sociopath, that´s because they can manipulate people, they´re very educated and think before they act, it´s easy for them to get anything they want, to get to power and control.

Percentage of psychopaths and sociopaths

Normally, when we step out of our houses, we don´t meet sociopaths and psychopaths that often, behind every corner.

Because psychopathy is a more genetic disorder, there aren´t many psychopaths in this world. The percentage of psychopaths is around 1% in the total population. It was the same for sociopaths before, but because sociopathy is caused by environmental and interpersonal factors the percentage of sociopaths is still growing. the actual percentage is 4% of the total population.

Famous psychopaths and sociopaths

We had many psychopaths and sociopaths who were trying to take over countries, control people, kill people for their own happiness and a lot more. History´s most famous psychopaths were for example King Leopold II, who was a king of Belgium. He controled the Congo Free State in central Africa and because he wanted the rubber and ivory from the Congo region, millions of people died. As a punishment for not doing as he said, he would amputate workers hands, and if the worker needed his hands, they would amputate his wife’s and children’s hands. (

Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge who committed mass of executions using hammers, axes or sharpened bamboo sticks. Around 2 million people died during his time. (

Elizabeth Bathory, a woman that killed hundreds of girls forcing to eat their own flesh, torture them for weeks and at the end, burn them or let them starve themselves to death. ( Or other psychopaths like Heinrich Himmler, Adolf Eichmann, Tomás de Torquemada, Josef Mengele, Vlad The Impaler or Jim Jones.


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