I am writing a report on the similarities and differences between sociopathy and psychopathy. I have looked up a bit of information on the topic, but I would still like to know some of the opinions of people on this site. I do know that both have to do with a lack of empathy. Also, how do these disorders work? Is there a certain part of the brain that doesn't function correctly, thus not allowing them to feel empathy, or something of that nature? Thanks in advance to anyone who might come across my question and decide to answer it!

  • $\begingroup$ In my experience they dont have a lack of empathy, they are simply too much of a narcissist to consider how there actions adversly impacts the people they come in contact with. $\endgroup$
    – Neil Meyer
    Mar 14 '17 at 18:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd suggest that you ask your second question (how do these disorders work?) separately (if it hasn't been asked already). But before you do that I'd suggest to read the wikipedia article before (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy), especially the part "mechanisms. The wiki article also has a section about the term "sociopathy" btw. $\endgroup$
    – awakenting
    Mar 15 '17 at 17:57

I believe there are some minor differences, for example, WebMD Article states:

A key difference between a psychopath and a sociopath is whether he has a conscience, the little voice inside that lets us know when we’re doing something wrong, says L. Michael Tompkins, EdD. He's a psychologist at the Sacramento County Mental Health Treatment Center.

A psychopath doesn’t have a conscience. If he lies to you so he can steal your money, he won’t feel any moral qualms, though he may pretend to. He may observe others and then act the way they do so he’s not “found out,” Tompkins says.

A sociopath typically has a conscience, but it’s weak. He may know that taking your money is wrong, and he might feel some guilt or remorse, but that won’t stop his behavior.

Also, I've read somewhere (I believe it was Theodore Millon's book) that psychopathy is more about nature and sociopathy is more about nurture. In other words, psychopaths are born the way they are, while sociopaths acquire severe trauma that makes them the way they are.

This also goes along nicely with psychopaths being more calm and able to manipulate, while sociopaths are more impulsive and irritable.


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