What Is Sociopathy?

Sociopathy is an informal term that refers to a pattern of antisocial behavior and attitudes. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), sociopathy is most closely represented by Antisocial Personality Disorder.

Although they are often used interchangeably, the terms “sociopath” and “psychopath” have been invoked to indicate different things. According to psychologist and neuroscientist Kent A. Kiehl, “sociopath” refers to a person with antisocial tendencies that are ascribed to social or environmental factors, whereas psychopathic traits are more innate, though a chaotic or violent upbringing may tip the scales for those already predisposed to behave psychopathically.

Recent posts on Sociopathy

Nebraska archives

The Old West’s Ted Bundy

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on January 18, 2018 in Shadow Boxing
An Old West serial killer had charm and a smooth-talking manner 100 years before Bundy.
George Hodan

How to Know If You're a Victim of Gaslighting

Gaslighting is a malicious form of mental and emotional abuse that causes self-doubt and alters your perception of reality. Learn the signs and symptoms—and how to recover.

Rating Scales Can Kill You

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on January 11, 2018 in The Power of Rest
The gaming of health care rating systems is a public health hazard.

Can You Tell a Psychopath from a Sociopath?

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on January 09, 2018 in Wicked Deeds
In addition to their many commonalities, sociopaths and psychopaths have their own unique, distinctive behavioral characteristics and origins.

How and Why to Diagnose Psychopathic Narcissism

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on January 08, 2018 in Evil Deeds
When are mental disorders defined and diagnosed by the suffering inflicted on others?

Combating Sexual Abuse in Youth Sports

Children of all races, ethnicities, cultures, and economic backgrounds are vulnerable to sexual abuse.
Yuriy Zhuravov/Shutterstock

How to Distinguish a Sociopath from a Narcissist

Sociopaths and narcissists can share similar traits, but knowing the difference is crucial to determine whether the relationship improve? Information is power.

Do Psychopaths Crave Dark Chocolate? Bittersweet New Study

Afraid your new love interest is whispering bittersweet nothings? Study reveals a preference for bitter foods might reveal a toxic personality.
M. Farrell

The Subtle Art of Poisoning

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on December 22, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
The who, what, how, and why of poisoning explained for those who must investigate these killers and bring them to trial.

Criminal Profiling: The Original Mind Hunters

By Scott A. Bonn Ph.D. on December 04, 2017 in Wicked Deeds
Practitioners of profiling analyzing evidence gathered at a crime scene and statements provided by victims and witnesses in order to develop a description of an unknown offender.

Why Profiling Serial Killers Can’t Work

By Michael Karson Ph.D., J.D. on November 30, 2017 in Feeling Our Way
All you know about a man is that he loves poetry and crossword puzzles. Is he more likely to be an English professor at Harvard or a truck driver?
K. Ramsland

Day Pass for a Psychopath?

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on November 20, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Trusting a known killer with a preference for children to be on his own might be a mistake.

Are Sexual Predators and Harassers Everywhere? Yes!

Tragically, those with power and control over others will often use their influence to exploit. We all must do our part to make sure they don’t ever get away with it. Are you in?

The Workplace Bully and The Office Sociopath

Individuals who are competent, successful, cooperative and unlikely to confront the bully, or take action when bullied, are particularly susceptible to workplace bullying.
pixabay at pexels

Humanity Goes Viral

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on November 09, 2017 in The Power of Rest
Viruses and sociopaths have lots in common.

Futile Attempts to Find the "Motive" Underlying Some Crimes

It is necessary to unearth the individual's overall psychological makeup
Wikimedia Commons

Do Therapists Project Onto Clients?

The therapist can often seem to the client all knowing and all accepting. What happens when the therapist is actually bored, repulsed, or in love with the client?

Machiavellians: Self-Made or Born that Way?

Are master manipulators genetically programmed that way, or do they become Machiavellians over time?

The Psychology of Mass Shootings: How to See Red Flags

By Wendy L. Patrick, Ph.D. on November 01, 2017 in Why Bad Looks Good
Strategically planned mass shootings like Stephen Paddock´s Vegas massacre always have a motive, which will inform future investigations geared to violence prevention.
J. Borowski

What Dahmer Actually Said

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on October 27, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Filmmaker John Borowski provides the entire arrest report for Jeffrey Dahmer, including his full confession.
Wikimedia Commons

6 Manipulations Used in Sexual Harassment

What manipulative tricks do sexual harassers use to get women to comply? A recently released tape of Harvey Weinstein talking to a model may hold some clues.
CCO Creative Commons

Keeping a Positive Attitude

By Diana Raab PhD on October 10, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the negative news and the apparent increase in mass murders in the U.S.? While disheartening, it's important to also be mindful of all the good.

On the Las Vegas Mass Killing and Motives

By Joe Navarro M.A. on October 08, 2017 in Spycatcher
After every horrific event we look for motives. Sometimes what we should be looking for are pathologies.
used with permission from iclipart

Mind Games

By Joni E Johnston Psy.D. on September 27, 2017 in The Human Equation
Most mental health professionals have the best interest of their clients at heart. But, when they don't, the "cure" can be worse than the "disease."

Why Is There Evil?

By Paul Thagard Ph.D. on September 21, 2017 in Hot Thought
People’s brains are equipped for caring and empathy, so why do people often hurt each other? Evil is like disease, resulting from malfunctions in mechanisms.
Darlene Lancer

How to Spot Narcissistic Abuse

By Darlene Lancer, JD, MFT on September 17, 2017 in Toxic Relationships
Narcissists don’t really love themselves, but are driven by shame. Their coping mechanisms are abusive and damage relationships and loved ones–hence the term, “narcissistic abuse.”

Embarrassment, Guilt, and Shame

Our possibilities for cooperating depend on respecting other people and courting their regard. Embarrassment, guilt, and shame keep us attentive to those concerns.

"Believe Me"

By Joe Navarro M.A. on August 31, 2017 in Spycatcher
The salesperson says, "Believe me." Should you? Some thoughts from the forensic files.

Hate at Home

Dehumanizing others makes it easier to intimidate and threaten violence on people who are not people.