Sociopath vs Psychopath Definition

April 26, 2010 in Topics | Comment?

Sociopath vs Psychopath Definition:

The difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is somewhat blurred, at least according to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM-IV lists both definitions together under the heading of Antisocial Personalities because they share some common traits. Many use the terms sociopathy, psychopathy and antisocial personality disorder (APD) interchangeably. Professionals not only dispute whether there is a difference between a sociopath and a psychopath, but among those that believe there is a difference, there is dispute over what those differences are.

When someone hears the words psychopath or sociopath they automatically start thinking of some awful, derange, serial killer. That might have been true years ago, however the difference in the two have finally been
revealed. Before understanding the two personality disorders, you first must understand what exactly each disorder consists of.

A sociopath is one who is affected with a personality disorder marked by antisocial behavior. A psychopath is a person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse. The two might sound the same to some, however the differences between sociopaths and psychopaths are very real.

Antisocial Behavior Personality - Sociopath and Psychopath

Many think sociopaths and psychopaths are people with no emotional feelings towards others and no regard towards the laws of the society. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition (DSM-IV), is a manual that is referred by mental health professionals when diagnosing mental illnesses. It is seen that the DSM-IV has labeled both the conditions, sociopath and psychopath under the section of antisocial personality disorders. It states that there is a pervasive pattern of disregard for violation of the rights of others that occur since the age of 15 years. The following factors are indicative towards antisocial personality:

* The person fails to conform to the social norms and lawful behavior that is shown by the repeated occurrences of arrests by the police.
* The person is deceitful and is used to lying repeatedly, uses aliases and cons people for personal gain and pleasure.
* They are impulsive and do not plan for the future.
* They are easily irritated and become aggressive, which is indicated by their involvement in physical fights and assault cases.
* They have little or no regard for the safety of others and even their own self.
* They are irresponsible people, who cannot sustain themselves with consistent work behavior and cannot honor financial obligations.

Hence, while similar psychological traits might fall under the antisocial personality heading, from a social and criminalist point of view, the differences between a psychopath and a sociopath may be significant. According to experts, persons with a non-criminal history can also display lesser or varying degrees of either personality type.

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Added: April 26th, 2010 at 6:57 pm

Category: Topics