Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

The terms “psychopath” and “sociopath” might seem similar, but they describe different things. A psychopath has a serious mental condition that causes unusual or harmful social behavior. A sociopath has a personality issue that leads to extreme distant attitudes and behaviors.

Psychopathy is like a more severe form of sociopathy, with more symptoms. So, all psychopaths are sociopaths, but not all sociopaths are psychopaths. How they act and present themselves can vary. Psychopaths can be charming but lack empathy. Sociopaths can be nervous, angry, and act without thinking.

Psychopaths show traits like:

– No guilt or remorse
– Lack of empathy
– Superficial emotions
– Narcissism
– Shallow charm
– Lying and manipulation
– Risky behavior

Sociopaths are diagnosed around age 18 and have traits like:

– Repeated lawbreaking
– Frequent lying
– Physical aggression
– Disregard for safety
– Unstable work and family life
– No guilt
– Overprotectiveness toward loved ones

In the end, both psychopaths and sociopaths are harmful to society. While they can do bad things, sociopaths care about those they have a bond with and won’t hurt them. Sociopaths trust very few people and will go to great lengths to protect them.

This is quite a bit of information, right? There’s more to learn about this topic if you’re interested. And thanks again to Mr. Elliott for the great idea. If you’re looking for something different, check out The Single Dad’s Guide to Life.

That’s it for now. Take care!

54 thoughts on “Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath”

  1. Wow… I always thought those traits that you have here for the psychopath were actually those of the sociopath. I thought the sociopaths didn’t form attachments at all. Not real ones anyway. But it would appear that they do. Both of them can be dangerous although the sociopath appears to present more danger to themselves and less to others. And the psychopath is more pre-planned and always presents a danger to others in that they can affect feeling, even if they don’t truly have it.

  2. Very interesting topic and information here. It should be helpful to those who might be in relationships with one or the other type of personality – or they may be one of these themselves and not realize it. You often hear these terms brought up when someone is convicted of some crime, and then there may or may not be a discussion of mental illness. I know there has been more in news recently about the need for acknowledgement of and treatment for those suffering from various forms of mental illness.

  3. This topic brings to mind, Ted Bundy. I think he’s both a psychopath and a sociopath. It’s so hard to tell sometimes though what’s the difference when people look so normal BUT they’re not!

  4. We really need more mental health care for people who exhibit these symptoms. Thank you for explaining the differences in such an easy to understand way.

  5. blair villanueva

    Great post about its difference. I don’t want to get in-touch either of the two, coz its always creates problems.

    1. I knew they are different but didn’t know these details. I didn’t know the diagnosis of sociopath happens at 18

  6. Thanks for sharing this informative post. I wasn’t aware of these facts and you spread a very knowledgeable post.

  7. Thanks for this post! I kind of got the jiss of both the differences between a psychopath and a sociopath. This was very helpful as I am applying to study a bachelors in psychology studies in April. Also the 2nd pic gave me a jump scare (I’m reading in the dark btw).

  8. Hmm…this topic is heavy but very informative. As parents, we live in conscious world about our kids dealing with people like these in their future..:( and keep them protected

  9. Most serial killers are psychopaths and that’s why people never knew who or what they were about till they get caught. It’s scary that we are around people we think are “normal” when in fact, they may harbour violent feelings. *shudder*

  10. It’s so great to see someone talking about the difference! As a psychology major, this is something that often irks me when overheard in conversation. Just because two disorders share antisocial personality disorder, does not mean that they can be labelled interchangeably.

    Thanks for sharing!!

  11. I have been seeing a lot more posts highlighting the differences lately. It’s really enlightening because I honestly always thought they were the same thing. Nice descriptions.

  12. Kristine Nicole Alessandra

    Thank you for writing this. I would say that I learned a lot from reading it. I really thought they meant the same thing but now I know that there is a huge difference between them.

  13. That’s interesting! This explains everything to me “more extreme type of sociopathy” for a psychopath. You have good knowledge and teaching skills for this for differentiating well those two. Well, for me psychopath is way scarier because they act as normal.

  14. I would hate to associate myself with a sociopath or a psychopath. I noticed a lot in documentaries how some criminals don’t show any remorse at all which explains their state of mind.

  15. I love this post, I’ve been reading alot lately of the differences between the two. I love reading about how the brain works so differently and how the two will carry themselves in everyday life. It’s very important to know the differences between psychopath and sociopaths.

  16. So often these terms seem to be used interchangeably. This was such an informative list and taught me so much about the differences.

  17. Alexandar Cook

    This is such an interesting topic. Honestly, I didn’t know what are the differences are but glad you show us and I have learned a lot.

  18. I knew there was a difference between Psychopaths and Sociopaths but I actually thought it was the other way around. By your description I had them confused! Glad I know which one is which now.

  19. Geraline Batarra

    Oh I never really knew about the difference of this two. That’s an additional knowledge for me.

  20. This is one of the scariest posts I have ever read hahaha I didn’t know the difference and as I was reading, I was getting goosebumps lol

  21. I didn’t know what is the difference nor what it feels like to be both psycho and socio. But I know how hard it is. Thanks for sharing this.

  22. very interesting and important post! It is very important to know more about various deviations not to be afraid when you hear it. The more you know the easier it is

  23. There is such a thin line between the two to the point that I hadn’t thought of any difference. But above all, it’s important to realize that it is a mental issue hence both of these need psychological help.

  24. interesting post. we should know one thing.. sociopaths can be manufactured. so by taking care of people we can prevent it from happening. Psychopaths..we dont have a say in that. we all have a little of those in us.

  25. Brittany Vantrease

    Unfortunately, psycho and sociopaths have that charismatic ability that attracts others to them. It’s one reason why so many women AND men get stuck in relationships with mental/physical abuse because their partner makes them feel like it’s normal or like the other person is overreacting.

  26. Enriqueta Lemoine

    Didnt even know there was a difference between psychopaths and sociopaths. Very interesting how noone explained this yet. Thanks!

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