Difference between sociopath and psychopath

Main difference

The psychopath and the sociopath are people with mental disorders. A psychopath is a person with a severe mental disorder with violent social behavior. Whereas the sociopath is an antisocial personality disorder caused by social and environmental factors from early life.

Comparative chart

Psychopath Sociopath
Definition Incapable of empathy, sense of morality and development of friendly relationships. Antisocial disorder due to brain injury or social factors.
Impulsiveness Under Tall
Causes of illness Genetic Environmental
Behavior reviewed Erratic
Criminal behavior Participate in an organized crime scheme and leave no evidence. React on impulse and leave crime clues
Doctor Psychiatrists and Criminologists Psychiatrists
Treatment Psychotherapy / medication Psychotherapy / medication
Diagnosis time Fifteen years old At the age of 18 years or older
Dangerous More dangerous for people Less dangerous for people
Traits Lack of guilt, empathy, intense emotional ties, narcissism, superficial charm, dishonesty, manipulation, and reckless risk-taking. Repeated violations of laws, widespread cheating, physical aggression, reckless disregard for the safety of self or others, irresponsibility in work and family relationships, and lack of remorse.

What is psychopath?

It is not easy to detect a psychopathic person because these people are mostly intelligent and charming in personalities. They pretend to be interested in other people and show affiliation, but in reality, they are not interested in creating an emotional bond. The psychopath does not feel guilty after hurting people because they have no conscience or moral compass. This is the reason why most psychopaths are involved in criminal activities. According to one report, approximately 93% of psychopaths participate in illegal activities. They make their illegal plans very meticulously and cannot be easily detected. Instead of committing violent crimes, they gain advantages from other people without engaging in illegal activities. Psychopaths understand human nature and make people like and trust them for successful careers. Although there are psychopathic women, psychopathy is less common in women and women show less severe signs and symptoms of psychopathy. Treatment of psychopaths begins with the diagnosis of the disease, which is possible only in adulthood and is a very expensive treatment. The treatment of juvenile psychopaths is called decompression treatment. In history, some famous psychopaths who used to kill and sexually assault children and adults have died. John Wayne Gacy in 1972 to 1978 sexually assaulted and murdered 33 boys and men. Joel Rifkin convicted of 17 murders and dismembered the corpses for easy disposal. Gary Ridgway, Richard Ramirez and Albert Desalvo were other famous psychopaths who committed criminal activities. No Country for Old Men (2007), M (1931), Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer (1991) are some famous Hollywood movies based on psychopathy.

What is the sociopath?

Doctors and neuroscientists refer to sociopathy as acquired sociopathy because it is acquired in brain injury and frontal lobe dementia. Sociopathic people do not play with other people’s emotions because of their beliefs in the social world. They show a clear attitude towards others that they are not interested in them and love to live alone. But sometimes they bond with some people and groups. So it is easy to identify sociopaths. The sociopath generally does not play with other people’s emotions and feels guilt and empathy if this happens unintentionally. A sociopath is generally erratic and impulsive in nature, thus displaying violent behavior. All of these characteristics make it difficult for a sociopath to maintain a stable job and home. John Gacy, Ted Bundy, Jeffrey MacDonald and Jeffrey Dahmer were some famous sociopaths in history. Ho was a serial killer, while Jack Henry Abbott and Joey Buttafuoco were not a serial killer sociopath. Sociopathy is usually rare in women. Diane Downs and DeidreHunt were famous sociopaths. Sweeney Todd, Buffalo bill-Silence of the Lambs, The joker-the dark knight, Alex-A clockwork orange are some famous movies based on sociopathy.

Sociopath versus psychopath
  • Usually used psychopath and sociopath
  • All psychopaths can be sociopaths, but sociopaths are not necessarily psychopaths.
  • Sometimes doctors can’t tell the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath. They determine the case based on the cause of the disease.
  • Although psychopathy results from genetic predisposition and sociopathy arise from environmental factors, but sometimes both are the result of a combination of genetic and ecological factors.
  • Psychopaths lack empathy and a sense of morality.
  • Sociopaths are indicative of having a sense of morality.
  • Both the psychopath and the sociopath can be treated if they are diagnosed correctly.
  • Both the psychopath and the sociopath are capable of forming
  • The treatment for both antisocial behaviors is psychotherapy and sometimes medication.

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