The psychopathy and sociopathy are two conditions that bear many similarities to each other. But these are different concepts. Although we often use them interchangeably to refer to people who have committed heinous crimes or to insult someone we don’t hold in high regard, the reality is that there are some differences.
Both psychopathy and sociopathy They are classified as antisocial personality disorders according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association. In this sense, they have certain traits in common such as a lack of empathy, a lack of feelings of guilt and a certain predisposition to erratic and unlawful behavior.
To emphasize their respective differences, it is convenient to focus on the characteristics that define each of these disorders. Well, in this case, there are very few nuances that draw the line between one and the other, but they are the key to distinguishing them.
Characteristics of a psychopathic person
They are cold and calculating.
They commit crimes and crimes without any remorse.
They lack empathy and do not care about the feelings of others.
Nor do they care about the consequences of their actions.
They are self-centered, selfish, liars, and manipulative.
They are cruel, but also charming and polite when it is their purpose.
They can maintain social relationships normally, although the bond is feigned, since they do not feel emotional connections.
They can be successful in the workplace.
Characteristics of a sociopathic person
They are impulsive and irresponsible.
They have no remorse or regret for their actions.
They are liars and manipulative.
They are violent and nervous.
They are rude.
They have a hard time keeping jobs.
It is difficult for them to maintain social relationships, although they can establish links with a specific person or group.
Differences between a psychopath and a sociopath
Although both are perfectly aware of their actions, distinguish what is right from what is wrong, are manipulative, and have an inclination to commit crimes and violent acts, there are some signs in which they differ.
The most notable is that a psychopathic person moves by highly calculated and planned acts to the millimeter, while sociopaths are more impulsive. This is especially apparent when they commit a crime, since psychopaths rarely leave loose ends and proceed premeditated, while sociopaths act more spontaneously.
Finally, the origin of both disorders also differs. Psychopathy has its origin in a genetic and neurological component. That is, it is a birth trait that can even be hereditary. For its part, sociopathy arises as a result of childhood trauma, from having suffered some type of emotional abuse or from growing up in a certain environment with a poor education.