Difference between psychopath and sociopath - we tell you

Both psychopathy and sociopathy are antisocial personality disorders . However, the line that separates psychopathy from sociopathy is so fine that it is sometimes difficult to differentiate both mental illnesses. While the psychopath carries out his crimes in a calculated way, the sociopath does it out of pure impulse.

If you want to know what is the difference between psychopath and sociopath, do not miss this article where we explain it in detail. Attentive!

What is a psychopath and its characteristics

The main characteristics of a psychopath are:

  • Genetic predisposition : according to experts, psychopaths are born with this characteristic, that is, they have a genetic predisposition.
  • Difficulty to establish emotional bonds : another of the main characteristics of psychopaths is that they have problems to establish real emotional bonds.
  • It calculates in detail its crimes : a psychopath usually plans in detail the crimes, tries that what they are going to do does not harm them and they have planned actions against possible reprisals. That is to say, a psychopath coldly calculates everything he is going to commit.
  • He does not feel remorse : having problems establishing emotional bonds, they do not have enough empathy to feel remorse for their actions.

However, some experts suggest that not all psychopaths are born with this characteristic, but some develop this disorder due to childhood problems and abuse.

What is a sociopath and what is its profile

On the other hand, sociopaths usually present the following characteristics:

  • They are not born, they are made : unlike psychopaths, sociopaths become like this because of their environment. In general, it is said that sociopathy is the result of serious childhood traumas, abuse in childhood and other harmful environments in the child and / or adolescent.
  • They are impulsive : those who suffer from this disorder think less acts, and these are more aggressive.
  • Outbursts of violence : since they commit their actions more impulsively, they often commit a large number of errors, which makes it easier for the authorities to deal with them.
  • Small emotional links : unlike psychopaths, sociopaths can have some emotional ties, but only with groups or people with similar characteristics.

What the specialists say

For years, many specialists entered into a dispute regarding the differences between psychopathy and sociopathy. That is why it is very difficult to find definitions and exact borders on these two pathologies, which leads to labeling frequently and wrongly some criminal events in history.

However, we have done an exhaustive search of both terms to offer you the most accurate information possible.

Main differences between a psychopath and a sociopath

After reading the previous section, we could say broadly that the main differences between a psychopath and a sociopath are the following:

  • The psychopath is born, the sociopath is made.
  • The psychopath is calculating, the sociopath is impulsive.
  • The psychopath does not have personal relationships, the sociopath only some.
  • The psychopath does not feel remorse, the sociopath has outbursts of violence.

Real cases

Here we present a sample of real cases of both psychopaths and sociopaths.

Real cases of psychopaths

  • Beth, the psychopathic girl : Beth is a girl who lost her mother when she was one year old. For a time, her father sexually abused her and her brother, until the authorities intervened. Both were adopted by a Christian couple, and soon after Beth began to have strange nightmares. It was not long before Beth started trying to kill her brother and her parents, claiming that she felt no remorse for it. To this day, Beth is a nurse and leads a totally normal life.
  • Jordan Brown : Jordan was an 11-year-old boy who killed his father's partner in 2009, when she was still pregnant. While she was lying on the bed, Jordan shot her in the back. When the body was found, the child was at school as usual. Apparently, Jordan had warned the victim that he was going to kill her. The boy felt no remorse for what he did.

Real cases of sociopaths

  • Charles Manson : Charles was mistreated by his mother and aunt throughout his childhood, in addition to being abandoned by his father. When he turned 14, he committed his first crime, although it was a misdemeanor. Several years later he created "La Familia", where a group of people committed crimes for him. The best known of all was the murder of Sharon Tate, actress and wife of Roman Polanski, a famous film director.

Now that you know what the difference between psychopath and sociopath is, you may also be interested in this other article on What is the difference between homicide and murder.