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Sociopath vs. Psychopath

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posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 10:28 AM
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Have you ever known a sociopath? How about a psychopath? Some of the most well known serial killers in history are either sociopaths or psychopaths. Do you think that you could tell who belonged to which category? Let's start off by defining what each are. A sociopath is an individual who is not limited to or societal norms by feelings of guilt. Actually, the typical sociopath doesn't have any feelings. The majority of sociopaths come across as charming and have a grandiose demeanor. They are more often than not liked by their peers because of these attributes they exude. From the onset of their sociopathic nature they adapt to their disability by carefully watching and mimicking others in an attempt to hide the fact that they are not like normal people in society. They are impulsive, self serving and manipulative; always at the cost of the people they target.

Psychopaths are the same in regard to sociopaths in their demeanor also mimicking others to keep up the facade that they are"normal". They also appear at first to be charming and intelligent - even attentive to others around them. The internal mechanism of a true psychopath is different in comparison to a sociopath. Many have a limited range of emotion but lack any sort of empathy for their fellow man. They are callous and cruel on the inside and enjoy inflicting pain (be it emotional or otherwise) on others. Psychopaths can sometimes, rarely feel small shades of emotion, be it happiness or even sadness.



Ted Bundy

Theodore "Ted" Bundy was born November 24,1946 In Burlington, Vermont. His mother, Eleanor Cowell was 22 years old when she had Ted to the shame of her parents, out of wedlock. To hide the fact that he was an illegitimate child, he was adopted by his grandparents and told that his mother was his sister. In 1951, Eleanor married Johnnie Bundy and had several children together.



Ted Bundy's final words.


Richard Kuklinski "The Iceman"

Richard Leonard "The Iceman" Kuklinski was born April 11, 1935 in Jersey City, New Jersey. He came from an abusive family, as his father Stanley Kuklinski was an alcoholic who frequently beat his wife, Anna as well as Richard and his brother Joseph. Throughout his tumultuous childhood, he often fantasized about killing his father. It was something he carried with him the rest of his life. By the mid 1950's, Richard's reputation had grown as him being an explosive pool shark, who silenced anyone who annoyed him.




**Warning - videos contain descriptions of a graphic nature**


Jeffrey Dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer was born in Milwaukee on May 21, 1960. He committed his first murder when he killed Steven Hicks with a blow to the head. Dahmer killed 17 males, molesting some of them, between 1978 to 1991. He had subsequently dismembered many of them and even consumed their flesh, as well as keeping body parts in his fridge. When asked why he had eaten parts of some of the bodies, he had stated that he wanted to "keep their essence with him". Once caught, he was sentenced to fifteen consecutive life terms in 1992. On November 28, 1994, Dahmer was murdered by fellow prisoner Christopher Scarver.



Jeffrey Dahmer interview with Stone Philips.

Of the 3 Aforementioned killers, would you label any of them sociopaths or all of them psychopaths? And are sociopaths born or made? Or both? According to newer technology over the past few years, scientists have learned that each of the two have discernably different brain damage patterns. It is still believed largely that psychopaths are made, usually through some form of physical or emotional abuse, and in most cases, the damage is onset from an early age. Sociopaths, scientists are learning, may not be the same. Children from normal families with no history of abuse have been found to have this form of damage at very early ages as shown by MRI brain scan images. Some conditioned to be sociopaths and others inherited.

www.buzzle.com...

phys.org...

Imagine all the things we take for granted. The emotions of joy when your child has been born. The pride that you feel when your son or daughter has graduated high school or college. The emotions you felt the day you got married. Imagine anything that makes you feel strongly for any reason - and then when you have that emotion in your mind, shut it off like a switch. Shut all of your emotions off for that matter. I couldn't even imagine going through life from birth and most possibly until death with out feeling anything. No sense of conscience or morals. And it's being proven that people have lived this way and are being born this way. True sociopaths who have inherited this curse cannot understand emotions because they have never felt one. Talk about feeling like an alien in a strange world. Everyone else is enjoying life and you do not even know what enjoyment feels like. Believe me, I did not post this to garner any sympathy for the killers mentioned above whatsoever. But it does bring a broader understanding as to why some of these people have become what they have. Sociopaths can be anyone. They blend in to society because their survival depends on them acting the way normal people do. Have you known a manipulator of people around you who seem emotionally cold and uncaring and only seem concerned with their own gain? If you have, chances are, you have dealt with a sociopath. Unfortunately for them, there is no known cure or affective treatment for this disorder. It makes me thankful for what I have.




edit on 20-8-2012 by Rubicant13 because: (no reason given)

edit on 8-20-2012 by Springer because: (no reason given)




posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 10:35 AM
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Lykken studies revealed that psychopaths are born with temperamental differences that lead them to being risk seekers, impulsive, fearless as well as not being able to socialize normally. Sociopaths have normal temperaments, and their personality disorder tends to effect their lives regarding parenting, peers, and their intelligence.


yahoo

Actually, I heard once that one is socially created, and one is genetic.

I am not sure that Jeff falls into those categories. He actually expressed regret in an interview. He said that the impulse was so intense that he couldn't ignore it, though despite wanting too.

This was long after he was sentenced so this wan't a trial copout.

Either of the 'paths don't carry regret nor do they recongize that they have no control over an impulse, it usually just happens.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 10:37 AM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 


Apparently, being a psychopath helps people get promoted.

One study found that managers are 4 times more likely to be a psychopath than an employee.


A 2010 study Hare co-authored that found about 4% of senior managers displayed psychopathic tendencies, up from the 1% that researchers say could normally be found in society.

CNN


So 1 in 100 people are psychopaths while 1 in 25 managers are?

I suspect, from personal experience, that more than 1 in 25 managers are psychopaths.




edit on 20-8-2012 by ollncasino because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 10:43 AM
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reply to post by Rubicant13
 





Have you known a manipulator of people around you who seem emotionally cold and uncaring and only seem concerned with their own gain? If you have, chances are, you have dealt with a sociopath. Unfortunately for them, there is no known cure or affective treatment for this disorder. It makes me thankful for what I have.


Yes, I'm sure I've met a few sociopaths, and maybe even a psychopath.

It boggles my mind how selfish some are at the emotional and psychological expense of others.

I still have to wonder if they weren't subjected to some sort of severe trauma in very early childhood, that lead to them cutting off their emotions of real empathy and caring.

Whatever the case on how they got to be how they are , I too, am grateful for the family and friends I have.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:00 AM
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My dad is a psychopath. I havent talked to him since 09, i have no plans to ever speak to him again. If i ever see him again......ahh nevermind. He actually got his girlfriend to punch him in the face and called the cops and said i did it. I won in court because he had moved to vegas.

Lived with a psychopath chick for two days. Shes in jail for domestic violence now.

Theres a # ton of em



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:02 AM
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The terms psychopath and sociopath are both antiquated. The earlier term is psychopath. It is essentially someone who lacks empathy for others. They simply can't conceive of others having emotions. With psychopathy it was assumed that the flaw was due to the person. With rise of social psychology in the mid-20th century psychopathy was replaced with sociopathy. These same behaviors were now believed to be due to external influences. Today the term that is applied to this behavior is antisocial personality disorder. It makes no assumptions as to the cause of the behavior.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:04 AM
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Sociopath and Psychopath are the same thing. The word psychopath is just the modern equivalent of sociopath.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:09 AM
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Studies show that the people labeled sociopath, or psychopath have different brains:

www.sciencedaily.com...


879 See Also: Health & Medicine •Controlled Substances •Medical Imaging •Nervous System Mind & Brain •Illegal Drugs •Borderline Personality Disorder •Psychology Reference •Antisocial personality disorder •Personality disorder •Psychopathology •Attribution theory "This study underscores the importance of neurological research as it relates to behavior," Dr. Francis S. Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, said. "The findings may help us find new ways to intervene before a personality trait becomes antisocial behavior."


Who's to blame for something that possibly happened in the womb?

People whine and moan about people doing things like mass killings, yet, if parents put their "different," kids on drugs, or sought therapy much sooner, would we be seeing so much of this?

Exploring the mind is like studying the deepest sea, or the furthest outreaches of space.

I don't think we will ever have an exact answer. I picture peoples minds to be unknown territory.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:22 AM
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Good thread. I study these things, not directly sociopath vs psychopath, but rather the relationship between environment and genetics, and how that plays out in a person's life. Genetics almost always play a factor in pathology's but what is now being found out more and more is that there are environmental factors that can determine which gene's get expressed and which don't. So theoretically you and Ted Bundy or The Ice Man could have very similar gene sets, yet your life experiences, both prenatal and postnatal on through the present moment, can play a role in determining how these genes are expressed. It's called epigenetics.

So in short, most pathology's have a genetic predisposition but the environment can determine if these genes get expressed or suppressed. So you and another person could have the same genetic predisposition to, say alcoholism, but you could have had life experiences that suppressed these genes steering you clear of alcoholism while they could of had life experiences that encouraged the expression of these genes thus driving them head on towards alcoholism. Again, this goes for all pathology's.

Just a bit of insight from a epigenetics viewpoint.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:29 AM
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Well, apparently I'm a sociopath..



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:30 AM
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I suspect, from personal experience, that more than 1 in 25 managers are psychopaths.

My current boss is a malignant narcissist, which is very similar. The linked article describes the difference between the narcissist and psychopath as follows:


Psychopaths are unable to emotionally identify with others. In contrast, he believed narcissists to have the capacity to identify with and admire powerful people, “which permits at least some loyalty and good object relations to be internalized."


Otto Kernberg, MD, a thought leader in personality disorders, further differentiated psychopaths from individuals with Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) by the willingness of the psychopath to use physical violence whereas the NPD individual rarely commits crimes. Based on this differentiation, I would imagine that most of those 1 on 25 managers actually have NPD.

Dealing with narcissists is no picnic. The NPD individual with whom I'm working now has all of her managers completely fooled, and treats her "inferiors" horribly. The attrition rate for her team is 90%. I have never encountered a more Machiavellian, manipulative individual. She would stop at nothing (short of violence, although she does shout and pound on the desk) to maintain her self-image.

OP, I think true psychopaths and sociopaths are rare. At least, I hope so. What do you think?



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:31 AM
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seems there's a lot of variations of humans. not sure there's any objective "sociopath" or "psychopath" out there. always heard psycho was mostly born, but socio was mostly environment. always need some "bad" genes, thou. proly is more socio because that's all that trickles down. fun stacks up. hate crashes down. isn't it a bit bizarre the same chumps that berate us create us? silly, silly world.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 11:53 AM
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This is an interesting discussion that seems to permeate these conspiracy boards, but to be dead honest, the terms psychopath and sociopath are the result of pop psychology phenomenon.
Neither term is empirically driven nor used for clinical diagnoses.
It's more the product of television and movies, and ridiculous clowns who make the science of Psychology look bad, like Dr. Drew and Dr. Phil.
(Yes. If either are licensed, then they should have it yanked for publicly violating client confidentiality!)

Dr. Drew especially makes me want to scream at the television. Words cannot describe my disgust with the man.
But I digress from my rant.

This is what they told me when I obtained my degree in psychology.
So, I hope that someone finds it helpful.

These two terms, psychopath and sociopath, they are a bit like the idea of addiction.

Although they can be recognized, psychology is in the process of forming an empirically based foundation and the three previously mentioned terms are entirely too vague and nebulous to truly qualify.
They can be recognized, but not clinically validated.
Hare's psychopathy checklist is an inventory that is used, similar to the MMPI, to quantify a personality disorder diagnosis, but I will get to that in a second.

If any type of difference truly exists between the two ideas of psychopath and sociopath, then I would gander to say that the psychopath is much more organized than the sociopath, tending toward obsessive behavior more than compulsive behavior.

What both of these character traits actually symbolize are the realized version of anti-social personality disorder.

Here is the clinical description of the anti-social PD-


The World Health Organization's International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, tenth edition (ICD-10), defines a conceptually similar disorder to antisocial personality disorder called (F60.2) Dissocial personality disorder.

It is characterized by at least 3 of the following:

-Callous unconcern for the feelings of others.
-Gross and persistent attitude of irresponsibility and disregard for social norms, rules, and obligations.
-Incapacity to maintain enduring relationships, though having no difficulty in establishing them.
-Very low tolerance to frustration and a low threshold for discharge of aggression, including violence.
-Incapacity to experience guilt or to profit from experience, particularly punishment.
-Markedly prone to blame others or to offer plausible rationalizations for their behavior.

There may be persistent irritability as an associated feature.

The diagnosis includes what may be referred to as amoral, antisocial, psychopathic, and sociopathic personality (disorder).

The criteria specifically rule out conduct disorders. Dissocial personality disorder criteria differ from those for antisocial and sociopathic personality disorders.

It is a requirement of ICD-10 that a diagnosis of any specific personality disorder also satisfies a set of general personality disorder criteria.

link to source

A personality disorder lies on Axis 2 of the DSM.

Axis 2 disorders are believed to be the result of a kind of genetic abnormality that can, at best, be compartmentalized and controlled through medication.
Mental retardation, like the extra chromosome kind, is also found on axis 2.

Substance abuse disorders and violent outburst disorders are found on axis 1.

Axis 1 contains dysfunctional behaviors that can be modified, if not altogether replaced or extinguished, because they are learned rather than solely genetic.
A certain group buys into the diathesis stress model of certain axis 1 disorders, which attributes cause to genetics combined with environmental exposure, but this is not proven valid.
I personally, speaking in my professional opinion, do not believe the diathesis stress model to be valid.

I say this because someone previously mentioned that a sociopath is learned, where a psychopath is genetic.

This is very similar to the comment that I made on a psychopath being more organized and obsessive, rather than unorganized and impulsive.
See if you can figure out why I said this?

I hope that you found this information useful.

It's information that I went heavily into student loan debt to obtain, but yet now holds no bearing on my current employment.
Am I saying that it was waste of time?
Well... maybe I can help a few folks here at ATS.

edit on 20/8/2012 by kyviecaldges because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by phroziac
My dad is a psychopath. I havent talked to him since 09, i have no plans to ever speak to him again. If i ever see him again......ahh nevermind. He actually got his girlfriend to punch him in the face and called the cops and said i did it. I won in court because he had moved to vegas.

Lived with a psychopath chick for two days. Shes in jail for domestic violence now.

Theres a # ton of em


Sounds like youve had quite a share there lol
(hope no more psychopath chicks for you !)

I have come across a few of them myself but they're characteristics are pretty recognizable after a few interactions. It doesnt take long to figure out the crazy ones in society. AND yes, I believe the manager thing, I have one right here at work who needs to be in a nut house away from any type of responsibility.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:13 PM
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Originally posted by kyviecaldges

I say this because someone previously mentioned that a sociopath is learned, where a psychopath is genetic.

This is very similar to the comment that I made on a psychopath being more organized and obsessive, rather than unorganized and impulsive.
See if you can figure out why I said this?


because the moniesisfun. means society teaches chaos via trickle down hatred
psycho is simply animal. not human. what's left besides deep emotions? cold, raw calculation. divorce the two and troubles are bound to happen.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:30 PM
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reply to post by moniesisfun
 



because the moniesisfun. means society teaches chaos via trickle down hatred psycho is simply animal. not human. what's left besides deep emotions? cold, raw calculation. divorce the two and troubles are bound to happen.


You get a star for paying attention.

moniesisfun.... interesting meme on the idea of the American dream.

Emotion is not associated with animal behavior, and, speaking in pop culture psychology, this differentiates the born killer from the learned hater.

The learned hater is driven by emotion.
The learned hater is irrational, because emotion is irrational.

The born killer is driven by the need to kill, but it is not an overriding emotion leading to disorganization and impulsiveness.
Killing is an instinct, BUT it is an imperative compounded by a developed, although poorly, frontal lobe.

Individuals with antisocial personality disorder have been found to have both malformed amygdalas and frontal lobes.
They actually have shrunken amygdalas, which is the part of the brain responsible for emotion and memory.
This would equate them to the animal.

But unlike the animal, they possess the frontal lobe of the modern human.
This contains the executive decision making processes.
However, it too is malformed, which allows for the rational processing of irrational behavior.
Or as you put it quite eloquently-

cold, raw calculation.


Excellent post moniesisfun.
Your are probably much more intelligent than would be first expected.

I do kid.
Not really.
Does that bother you?

edit on 20/8/2012 by kyviecaldges because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:41 PM
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Gees, big names given to psychological problems needing definitions to understand the difference. Sounds like they are both just a little nuts with one being greedier and more powerhungry than the other. A good name for them is "peope you wish to avoid" Let them go mingle with the trees, the trees know when they are lying.



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:43 PM
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Originally posted by Sinny
Well, apparently I'm a sociopath..



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:52 PM
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Sociopath psychopath...
Once again what we have here is people over analyzing things.
They are the same thing but some like to point out the very small differences.
Try this on for size.
Ford F150 and Chevy 1500, they are trucks!
Both have different EVERYTHING!
Engine, frame, suspension, body style, Etc.
But they both do the same exact thing and are very different.
K.I.S.S.
Off topic, Dexter is coming back!!! I'm studying watching that!!



posted on Aug, 20 2012 @ 12:52 PM
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Im pretty sure a sociopath knows what they are doing is wrong, but does it anyway because they have no guilt. A psychopath does it because they are actually delusional and believe in their hearts that it is correct.

Manson would be a psychopath, and iceman would be a sociopath.


edit on 20-8-2012 by R3KR because: (no reason given)



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