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

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.

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.