Wicked Deeds

Examining criminal motives and behavior

How to Tell a Sociopath from a Psychopath

Sociopathic and psychopathic criminals think and behave very differently. The causes of the two underlying disorders are also separate and distinct. Learn about these important differences. Read More

Emotional Outbursts

There is something wrong with this article. First you said that sociopaths and psychopaths both have "A tendency to display violent behavior and emotional outbursts."

After that you said that that psychopaths "Unlike their sociopathic counterparts, psychopathic criminals are cool, calm, and meticulous."

So which one is it? are psychopaths calm? Can they control their emotions or do they get emotional outbursts?

Emotional Outbursts

Excellent question. Both sociopaths and psychopaths can exhibit emotional outbursts but the underlying cause is different for each. Psychopaths do so out of mimicry (believing it to be appropriate) while sociopaths do so from a lack of control. Hope that helps.

Emotional Outbursts

So basically psychopaths deceive people and show them a side of their personality that does not actually exist, right?

Therefore, they are like actors who play a role, and they play it so well and make it look so genuine that people believe them. So that makes psychopathy the most dangerous of all antisocial personality disorders. Did I get that right?

Emotional Outbursts

Yes, you are essentially correct. Psychopaths excel in the art of deception and their lack of pity and remorse, and tendency toward violence, makes them particularly dangerous! Thank you for asking.

Sociopaths have true

Sociopaths have true emotional outburts because they can actually feel. psychopaths have the outbursts in order to manipulate and control others. Its actually sad that the one that actually has some feeling left in them is the one that fails harder at life.

True feelings

That is an interesting observation. Ironic indeed.

and not true, we dont fail-

and not true, we dont fail- not if we find you lot confusing the whole business by mixing us up.
if we set you straight on what you may have missed how is that failing?
If tyou listen and we teach you how these craetures play their games then the whole planet wins.
psychopaths cause sociopaths- where you find sociopaths you will find psychopathic influence- its really that simple.

from all the psychology

from all the psychology documents i've read, the psychopath and sociopath in this are swapped. sociopaths are the ones that blend in, are meticulous, plan, and all that whereas psychopaths are the opposite. i would know.... i'm a sociopath afterall.


Thanks for sharing

I noticed too...

I know that I've read the opposite definitions elsewhere too. I consider both words interchangeable, at least now when I describe myself.

I also noticed how you were brushed off after admitting your sociopathy, Anon. Further proof we're all still very uncharted territory no one truly wants to explore.

I too find this article's

I too find this article's presentation backwards. From my studies, I've learned that Sociopaths as commonly defined are more intelligent, more in control of their actions whereas psychopaths are generally less intelligent and more unwieldy/prone to rage.

From: http://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/112693/psychopathy-vers...

"Hare and Babiek (2006) acknowledge a clear difference between
psychopathy and sociopathy. Psychopathy, which is the condition Hare
successfully captured with the PCL-R, means the individual will have
no empathy or sense of morality among a number of other traits
(Hare, 1991). Sociopathy, on the other hand, is indicative of having a
sense of morality and a well-developed conscience, but the sense of
right and wrong is not that of the parent culture. As this difference is
reflected in the brain, the distinction again shows its use."


What is the difference between alexithymia and psychopathy?


That is a question better directed to a psychotherapist, although I can say that the two disorders are correlated in some ways.

Can a person be BOTH a

Can a person be BOTH a sociopath AND a psychopath?

Can a person be BOTH a sociopath AND a psychopath?

Sociopathy and psychopathy are separate disorders but there is significant overlap between them in terms of traits, which leads to the confusion. Generally speaking, a person will be categorized as one or the other. Thanks for asking.

How to Tell a Sociopath(Antisocial) from a Psychopath?

Sociopath (Antisocial Pd) is prone to Affective Violence
Psychopath (Psychopathic Pd) is prone to Predatory Violence

Can a person be BOTH a sociopath AND a psychopath?

Co-morbid behaviour is possible.

Psychopathic person with Antisocial co-morbidity (For example Heriberto Lazcano)
Antisocial person with Psychopathic co-morbidity (For example Miguel Angel Trevino Morales)

Police officers

You don't mention that psychopaths also have a need for power and control over others. Do you not agree with this or did you simply forget to mention it? Also, is there any known correlation between psychopaths and those who would commit child sex crimes or sex crimes in general?

Police Officers

Although some psychopaths do have a need for power, domination and control of others, it is not a general characteristic of the disorder. And, yes, there is a correlation between psychopathy and sexual sadism and assault. Thank you for asking.

Do you agree that sex crimes

Do you agree that sex crimes aren't about sex at all but rather having power and control over others? So if there is a proven correlation between psychopathy and sexual assault, doesn't that also prove that there exists a need for power and control in the psychopath's mental make-up? Thank you.

Correlation not causality

Actually, no, you are confusing correlation with causality. It is true that some psychopaths crave power and control and it is also true that some (a small minority) become sexual deviants. This does not mean that either phenomenon is a common trait of psychopaths, however, as is lack of empathy, for example.

power and control

The need for power and control is not a characteristic of all psychopaths

Are you sure? from my

Are you sure? from my experience the purpose of the deceit is just this...a need for a familiar unchanging emotional response from their interactions that justifies a selfish end. however subtle that need for control is there...
Although they do appear to have ranking systems based on aggressiveness where psychopathic groups will ddefer to a consistent unchanging leader so i suppose you have a point- but their need to control their victims? nthis is not in doubt is it?
it confirms their source of adulation and supply.

Our research

Feel free to peruse our documented cases. They may provide further insight into the correlation between psychopaths and sexual deviance. We believe that all psychopaths will indulge in this behavior if given an opportunity and they feel that the odds of getting caught are acceptable: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tribute-to-survivors-of-child-sexual-assa...


As a sociopath navigating the empathsphere is difficult, lacking empathy is a form of blindness-human emotions are alien to me and mean nothing-it is hard to care about something which is nothing but a fiction. The distinction between psychopath and sociopath seems moot-if it added to a means whereby society could channel and focus such individuals it would strike me as a valid debate.

That distinction...

I've always found it hard to understand that distinction too. I think it's because I consider myself having traits from both disorders. I mean, I understand the two different definitions given to them, but I don't know if I could ever be categorized as either or.

do you feel remorse? in that

do you feel remorse?
in that question lies your answer if its no- then kindly just top yourself:)

Early presentation of sociopathy

My son presented with sociopathic behavior at age 3 in my opinion but was diagnosed adhd i refused meds until age 8 caved because he was going to be expelled from school otherwise. He's been on Concerta ever since, he is now 15. He has been charged with assault 3 times in the last year one on myself his mom. Would the writer of this blog please email me for further dicussion on this subject

'etiology or cause'

"The etiology or cause of psychopathy is different than the cause of sociopathy."

Etiology is the study of causation; it is not a synonym for 'cause.' This sentence makes no sense.

Please hire proofreaders and editors.

Actually, in this instance,

Actually, in this instance, you are mistaken. When utilized in relation to a medical/clinical term 'etiology' simply refers to the cause of a disease, or perhaps (as in this case) a condition (psychiatric disorders qualify as medical conditions). This definition is perfectly in-line with the usage in this post.

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Scott Bonn, Ph.D., a professor of criminology at Drew University, is an expert on criminal behavior and motivations.


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