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The Four Basic Pillars Of What Makes A Psychopath or Sociopath The Way They Are

Updated on March 4, 2017

Psychopath and Sociopath - The Difference

Psychopaths and Sociopaths are quite similar. They both fall under the category of Antisocial Personality Disorder but they have a difference in their respective origins. Psychologists generally agree that psychopaths are a result of deformities in the brain caused by genetic factors influencing such persons to be more aggressive, impulsive, prideful, fearlessness and lacking in empathy. Contrary to popular belief, persons with Antisocial Personality Disorder do not lack the ability to feel, they simply don't have the same range and intensity of feelings the average person does. Sociopaths, however, form from environmental conditions such as neglecting parents or abuse. While both generally show the same symptoms, the intensity of the symptoms and the demeanour of psychopaths and sociopaths tend to differ. Psychopaths tend to be level-headed, patient and calculating while sociopaths are more erratic and impulsive, carrying out actions with little thought.

Differences Between the Psychopath and the Sociopath

Empathy Level
varied(less than average)
Typically High
Ability To Easily Socialize

What Makes These People Tick

So persons with Antisocial Personality Disorder do feel empathy, however little. The sociopath and the psychopath generally function on four basic emotions. These emotions are what make them do what they do. A psychopath or sociopath may possibly have more than these four emotions but these four are what drives the basic functioning of anyone with Antisocial Personality Disorder.

1. Pride

First and foremost a psychopath or sociopath thinks highly of themselves. They believe they are better than everyone else and they hold the right for others to treat others as such.

A word of advice: never cross a psychopath or a sociopath. It does not matter if they must wait one day, a week or ten years. If you do something to seriously upset them, they will get you back, one way or another. As previously stated these persons demand respect and if they don't get it, then you will get it.

These persons are perfectionists and if they think they can't perform an action well they simply won't do it. They always believe them self to be right, don't respond well to punishment and don't like being told how or what to do. As far as they know, they can do everything themselves. You won't find such persons asking for help unless they desperately need it. They may be conceited, but they're not downright foolish.They don't think much of rules of institutions or the values and norms of society as it limits their behaviours and they dislike being controlled.

2. Anger

The sociopath and the psychopath can be quite spiteful beings. Because of the nature of the sociopath, he/she may end up hating many things in life.This is less so in the psychopath. However, both possess very low tolerance levels. This causes very sudden and explosive displays of aggression and/or violence. This is less evident in the psychopath. Given the proper circumstances, these persons can find a reason to hate almost anything. They can blow their top for things the average person would find normal or just slightly upsetting.


The psychopath and the sociopath are pretty much sex addicts. They both have high levels of testosterone that also increase their aggressiveness. These persons tend to seek meaningless sexual experiences that can vary from kissing to sexual intercourse. The experience is not really satisfying to the psychopath/sociopath but they feel powerful urges to engage in the sexual experiences anyway. These persons may engage in relationships with attachments but really only value the sexual aspects of the relationship. They would be extremely hard-pressed to enter relationships with little to no intimacy.

4. Insensitivity

The psychopath/sociopath cares pretty much only for himself/herself, or (pretend to) for another only if there is some kind of benefit to such an action. They are self-absorbed,self-absorbed, selfish and self-centered. Persons with this disorder don't care about a lot of things, either because they do not believe it applies of them or will affect their life or because they simply lack the emotional capacity to empathize with the situation. They may even go as far as to forgo any sense of preserving their own well-being to accomplish a goal. Persons with the disorder are constantly bored by everyday life and look for ways to be stimulated. They are risk-takers and excitement-seekers. These persons can lack a care for the needs of others as well as the needs for themselves. If they really want to persons with the disorder can ignore any stimulus be it internal(in their head) or external(environmental), to live life the way they would like to.

The Prevalence of Each Emotions in the Psychopath and Sociopath

Very High
Very High
Very High
Very High
Very High
High to Very High

Final Notes

The four emotions are what make the psychopath/sociopath tick. There is a wide range of persons with Antisocial Personality Disorder who may vary by the expression of little more than deviant or delinquent behaviour to criminal behaviour, but all share these common characteristics.


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