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Sociopaths Versus Psychopaths

Updated on March 9, 2021
Support neurodiversity in a psychopathic world? - NOT!
Support neurodiversity in a psychopathic world? - NOT!

What's the difference between a sociopath and psychopath? According to the Diagnostic Criteria (DSM-IV) there is no difference as long as the person is not suffering from schizophrenia or having a manic episode. The DSM term is called Antisocial Personality Disorder (APD)

Both sociopaths and psychopaths have no regard for human rights, no guilt, disregard for laws and social mores and can be violent. According to 'The Psychopathic Influence', "They have a sixth sense for detecting and exploiting any weakness you may have. At a very early age they learn that they can inflict mental and emotional harm on others with ease."

The difference is that the sociopath is a low level psychopath, someone who uses more direct action and is less manipulative than the high functioning psychopath. It is easier to recognize a sociopath because they are not as good at camouflaging themselves - not as successful in being the wolf in sheep's clothing.

Low level sociopaths appear to be more nervous, easily angered, not as educated, living on the fringes of society and therefore they are unable to hold a job and stay in one place. Low level sociopaths tend to be more disorganized, committing spontaneous crimes. Probably abused as a child, they may be capable of some empathy towards animals and not hurt as much those closest to them.

High functioning psychopaths appear normal because they hold steady jobs, have long-term relationships and families by manipulating others through charm. They blend in by mimicking emotions they do not feel in order to gain trust. They carefully plan out crimes with great detail and have a 'plan b' in case anything goes wrong. Psychopaths are meaner - they will hurt their own family and friends as if they were strangers. Psychopaths are more dangerous because they are "better at it" and respected because they are successful in business and relationships.

In the U.K.’s Guardian as reported by Maia Szalavitz : Babiak said, "The survey suggests psychopaths are actually poor managerial performers but are adept at climbing the corporate ladder because they can cover up their weaknesses by subtly charming superiors and subordinates. This makes it almost impossible to distinguish between a genuinely talented team leader and a psychopath."

What's the difference between a sociopath and a psychopath? - the latter is successful at 'it' and there is a higher percentage of them in leadership roles than the average population. "Politicians share personality traits with serial killers" - Andrew Malcom

Although INTJs (Myers-Briggs personality Type profile) share some of the same characteristics as the psychopath - "... they are not normally psychopaths. Whereas, psychopaths have very sallow emotions, INTJs appear to be unemotional." - Dr. Dorothy McCoy

The INTJ personality traits are:

  • Bad at expressing emotions
  • Good listeners
  • They believe that they are always right.
  • They are usually very self confident about their work
  • They hate to accept blame more than any other type.

Some famous INTJ's are

* Arnold Schwarzenegger - actor, Governor of California
* Donald Rumsfeld - former U.S. Secretary of Defense
* Rudy Giuliani - former New York City mayor
* Stephen Hawking – astrophysicist
* Ayn Rand – philosopher, author
* John F. Nash Jr. – mathematician, game theorist
* Theodore Kaczynski – infamous “Unabomber”

"Psychopaths have no conscience or empathy and when placed in key senior positions are able to influence the moral climate of the whole organization" - Clive R. Boddy

In Jon Ronson's widely acclaimed book The Psychopath Test, Professor Robert Hare was quoted "I should have spent some time inside the Stock Exchange as well. Serial killer psychopaths ruin families. Corporate and political and religious psychopaths ruin economies. They ruin societies. Capitalism at its most ruthless is a manifestation of psychopathy."

Have you ever met a sociopath?

See results

Mitt Romney's Family Dog, Seamus

The Dog Story: 12 hours strapped on top of a car, defacates after hours confined, Mitt hoses dog down without even taking the dog out of the crate. Continues driving a now shivering wet dog. What may even be worse is that the original story from Swidey was that Romney went through a car wash without taking the dog down.

What really is revealing is the way is how Mitt Romney responded.

DIANE SAWYER: Would you do it again?
MITT ROMNEY: Certainly not with the attention it's received

It appears that "Romney would do these things again if he didn't have to face the repercussions." - Paul Constant

What does the 'Dog Story' reflect on Mitt Romney?

Is Mitt Romney a psychopath because he still doesn't 'get it ' that it was inhumane and cruel to treat his dog like luggage?

See results

Mental Health Psychological Abuse


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