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

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.

Confused About Successful Jerks? Get to Know the Dark Triad

By Noam Shpancer Ph.D. on August 18, 2017 in Insight Therapy
Most of us don’t wish success on selfish, nasty, and dishonest people, and yet many such people are successful. How come?

The Psychopathology of Shakespeare’s Most Evil Villains

And thus I clothe my naked villainy / With odd old ends stol'n forth of holy writ, / And seem a saint when most I play the devil. — Richard III

Who’s to Blame When a Child Dies in High-Conflict Divorce?

By Linda Esposito LCSW on August 11, 2017 in From Anxiety to Zen
Filicide is the most unimaginable crime perpetrated against children. The very act defies explanation, yet opening up the dialogue may be the only hope for the lives lost.
K. Ramsland

Serial Killers Linked to Jack the Ripper

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on August 10, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
Jack the Ripper is in the news, identified as "Devil in the White City" serial killer, H. H. Holmes. But Red Jack has been linked to other serial killers as well.

Does a Person "Break Bad"?

Let's examine the premise of a smash hit entertainment series.
K. Ramsland

Games Killers Play

A recent news report about coded letters from serial killer Ian Brady raises hope, but it might be just part of the games these offenders like to play.

Is It Narcissism or Sociopathy?

By Stephen A. Diamond Ph.D. on July 19, 2017 in Evil Deeds
What is the nexus between narcissistic and antisocial personality?

Beware of Narcissists Around Your Pet

Narcissists may neglect and abuse your pet. Your pet is seen by the narcissist as a distraction from putting your full attention on them. Watch for these signs.

Live-streamed Violent Criminal Acts

Should we discourage live-streaming of violence by punishing online witnesses who do nothing? If not, do we become the bystanders?
Laura Pettler Associates

Hometown Killer

A new webcast on a serial killer trucker offers a unique case for lovers of true crime.
goodluz/Shutterstock

9 Signs That You’re Dealing With a Psychopath

By William Hirstein Ph.D. on June 08, 2017 in Mindmelding
The neuroscience of psychopathy has made great strides in the past fifteen years in understanding how their brains differ from those of normal people.
"Violencia" by Concha García Hernández via Creative Commons

The Truth About Abusers, Abuse, and What to Do

Abusers seek control because they're insecure, despite any outer success. Learn to spot them and what to do.
Jackmac34/Pixaby

7 Signs That Someone's Lying to You

By Diana Raab PhD on June 06, 2017 in The Empowerment Diary
Did you ever suspect someone was lying to you, but you didn't have evidence? This article discusses why people lie and offers a checklist in identifying a liar.

The Criminal's Use of Everyday Words

You may believe you understand what an offender is saying, but think again!

Learning to Be Hostile

By William R. Klemm Ph.D. on June 05, 2017 in Memory Medic
Pray for a return of the regard and respect for others that we used to have.

How to Identify and Avoid Toxic People, via Trump's Tweets

By Ken Page L.C.S.W. on May 06, 2017 in Finding Love
First step to a happy life: Know how to recognize toxic people and situations and do your best to stay away. Here are four warning signs.

Games Master Manipulators Play: Sandbagging

The difficulty of spotting it makes it a reliable tactic.
Darlene Lancer

Are You Being Manipulated?

Manipulation is veiled influence or hostility that may seem benign, friendly, or flattering. It can be hard to detect and know how to respond, unless you can spot the signs.

The War is ON, and Nature Will Not Lose—People Will

By Kenneth Worthy Ph.D. on March 23, 2017 in The Green Mind
Who will be the losers of Trump’s war on nature? Humans.
K. Ramsland

The Predator's Advantage

By Katherine Ramsland Ph.D. on March 04, 2017 in Shadow Boxing
The predator's advantage involves a clear plan, with an escape route.

Divorcing and Coparenting With the Sociopath

By Susan J Elliott JD, M.Ed. on February 27, 2017 in Getting Back Out There
There are ways to keep you and your children safe when divorcing a sociopath. Here are 5 things you must do in the face of a personality disordered ex.

Get Out of My Country

By Sam Louie MA, LMHC on February 26, 2017 in Minority Report
"Get out of my country!" is a common fear and statement Asian, Arab, and Hispanic minorities confront time and time again in their lifetimes. And sometimes it can lead to tragedy.

The Psychological Roots of Our Current Hypocrisy Epidemic

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on February 21, 2017 in Ambigamy
We find it hard anxious work to seek the wisdom to know the difference between what to constrain and what to set free. Hypocrisy is the easy alternative to that hard work.

Why Gaslighters Accuse You of Gaslighting

Gaslighters frequently accuse their victims of manipulating, cheating, and being addicted. Why do gaslighters do this, and why does this tactic work so well?
pixabay.com/pexels.com

Why Do Americans Like Sociopaths?

By Matthew J. Edlund M.D. on February 09, 2017 in The Power of Rest
What makes sociopathy so alluring, so exciting? Nominations are open for the Madoff Prize.