Basic Psychology 1
Psychopath vs. Sociopath
We all have heard the term psychopath or sociopath at least once in our lives; whether it's in movies, books, or even being called one, these terms aren't unusual. They are both big factors in any psychology career. First, let me explain what psychology is. Psychology is the study of the human mind and its functions. What does psychology have to do with this? Without psychology, we would not study this type of stuff, therefore we would not fully understand how the human mind functions and why some people are the way they are. But, do we even know there is a difference? Yes, a psychopath and a sociopath are not the same thing, even though some would consider them to be synonyms. A psychopath and a sociopath are two different categories of dangerous people. "How are they different?" You may ask. Allow me to explain...
Psychopaths make up 1% of the general population while Sociopaths make up 4%. Now, they do have some things in common, such as:
- They both have Antisocial Personality Disorder. Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) is a mental health disorder categorized by the disregard for other people. Traits of ASPD include lying, purposely breaking the law, impulsive actions, and lack of regard for themselves or other people's safety. ASPD cannot be cured but it can be treated. ASPD can also be linked to narcissism, which is not a good trait.
- They both lack empathy.
- They both disregard social norms and behavior standards.
- They both do not feel remorse or grief.
- They are both extremely violent.
Now that we know the similarities between these two terms, it is time for the differences:
- Psychopaths are just "that way." They were born crazy. That's how their mind functions. Sociopaths experienced trauma in his/her environment and upbringing. Maybe they were sexual assaulted or abused as a child, which triggered their ASPD.
- Psychopaths have controlled behavior. Sociopaths have erratic behavior.
- Psychopaths are manipulative while Sociopaths are impulsive and spontaneous.
- Psychopaths don't get close to anyone but Sociopaths are able to get attached to people. However, don't think psychopaths will avoid you. They will approach people and get to know them, but it is usually for self-profit purposes only. Sociopaths will make friends because they try to fit in.
- Psychopaths take calculated risk. They think before they do, unlike Sociopaths who are messy and irrational.
Here are some examples of “famous” psychopaths:
- Josef Mengele, a notorious Nazi who tortured jews in Auschwitz.
- Adolf Hitler, killed millions of people during the war and the Holocaust.
- Zodiac Killer, who was never caught, but committed gruesome murders.
- Vlad the Impaler, killed people by impaling them on giant stakes in Romania.
- Jeffrey Dahmer, infamous for killing and cannibalizing people.
- Ted Bundy, lured women with his charm. Murdered people with his bare hands.
- John Gacy, dressed up as a clown. Kids loved him, parents trusted him. He murdered 32 young boys.
- Jeffrey MacDonald, brutally murdered his pregnant wife and two daughters.
- Diane Downs, killed her kids to be with some guy who didn’t want children.
- Deidre Hunt, videotaped herself murdering a young man for her own pleasure. Tape was not leaked because of the trauma the judges had after having to watch it.
However, not all psychopaths and sociopaths are murderers. Some are actually very successful people and go to therapy for their ASPD. Unfortunately, the people listed above never went to get medical help or help in general, therefore plunging themselves into a deep, dark world full of torture, blood and murder.
Well that's all people. I hope I explained this clearly, maybe it even helped you fully understand this topic. Hopefully everyone enjoys.