Psychopathy vs Sociopathy (A General Overview).
- The term “psychopath” is usually used to describe a person that has crossed the line of moral behavior in a society. They’re the murderers, the school shooters, the manipulative cult leaders. They’re the ones mutilating animals just to see what happens. They’re also the ones that society views as a danger to others.
- On the other hand, a person is deemed a sociopath when they have the lack of emotion and ability to relate to others, but aren’t a threat to society. While they’re not as dangerous, they can still be destructive in a smaller, personal setting such as in friendships, romantic relationships, or in a family. But they’re generally not going to go on a killing spree.
The two have quite a lot in common:
- Both psychopaths and sociopaths lack a moral compass.
- They are generally incapable of sympathizing with the feelings of others, and lack the set of ethics that tend to keep society from dissolving into a chaotic mess where everyone only looks out for themselves.
- They also have a non-existent or impaired sense of disgust, meaning they are able to look at things that would make another person turn away.
However, they also share differences:
- A big difference between the two is how they’re created. Recently, psychologists have begun to differentiate these processes. A psychopath is always a psychopath; genetic traits or chemical makeup causes the person to lack the ethics and empathy most of us have. Signs that something is not quite right with the person are generally visible from a very young age. A sociopath, however, often becomes one as a product of his or her upbringing. Environmental factors such as abuse or a cold, difficult childhood can cause a person to emotionally shut down and gradually devolve into sociopathy.
- Typically, the psychopath is the one that you’ll have no idea is hiding behind the face he shows to people every day. The psychopath is well-spoken and charismatic, and even though he can have a cold-hearted and callous edge, he makes up for it in the next sentence. The sociopath lets a little more of his inner self come through; often he is disorganized, abrupt in his speech, easily annoyed, and quick to show his temper. He’s the one less likely to kill you, and the one you’re also less likely to want to invite to a party.