Who are Psychopaths and Sociopaths?
Psychopaths and sociopaths are the psychological terms used for mentally disturbed people who have lost their ability to behave in a manner that society accepts. These people generally lack empathy and a moral compass.
Psychologists group them both as Anti-social personality disorder (ASPD). Both types show behaviors of self-centredness and don’t recognize other’s feelings and emotions. They don’t even care about how their behavior can hurt other people.
Being devoid of emotional connection, ASPD patients do not feel remorse for their immoral acts. According to them, they are doing absolutely no wrong. What they are bothered about most of all is themselves. Their inability for compassion or kindness pushes them to abuse other people physically and mentally. And the worst part is that they feel good about it in the process.
But what distinguishes between them is their approach to dealing with people and things.
Sociopaths Vs Psychopaths
The main distinguisher between the two is their journey as ASPD patients. Sociopaths were born normal. But due to harsh environmental factors like childhood trauma, abuse or, PTSD, they transition as mentally disoriented people with twisted perceptions and reality of the world. Whereas, psychopaths were born with defects in their brain structure which resulted in their abnormal behavior. In short, sociopaths are born out of nurture and psychopaths out of nature.
Sociopaths are generally impulsive decision-makers. They can be nervous and anxious while executing tasks. On the other hand, psychopaths have a calmer and confident demeanor. They take decisions in a calculative and planned manner.
Sociopaths can show aggression if provoked. They are violent but volatile. Psychopaths, however, have a charming personality. Though they don’t like emotional relations with others, they can pretend to bond exceptionally well. This trait makes them cold-hearted emotional manipulators. And, they seem to care about their relationships which makes it even more confusing to fish them out.
Due to their erratic and violent behavior, psychologists can easily detect a sociopath. But, it is very hard to recognize a psychopath because of their calm attitude. Their narcissistic approach to life enables them to play with people like toys. So, they are more dangerous to society than sociopaths who are more victim-driven.
Though ASPD patients are not always involved in crime, psychopaths are more involved in crimes and are better criminals than their counterparts. This is because sociopaths execute a plan haphazardly and show unnecessary aggression and mismanagement. On the contrary, psychopaths commit their crimes confidently in an unfazed manner.