Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

I actually never thought that I will write on this topic. I came up with this topic after researching. This idea was triggered by Mr. David Elliott from The single dad’s guide to life when on my post “How to deal with a broken heart” he commented this…
Mr. Elliott is a great person with lovely ideas and I have been a great fan of his earlier works as well.

The names psychopath and sociopath may sound similar because both of them have similar qualities but yet they are different from each other. A psychopath is a person experiencing an endless mental issue with unusual or vicious social conduct and a sociopath is a person with an identity issue showing itself in extraordinary standoffish states of mind and conduct.

Psychopathy can be thought of as a more extreme type of sociopathy with more manifestations. In this manner, all psychopaths are sociopaths yet sociopaths are not really psychopaths. According to the introduction of one with psychopathy or sociopathy varies. As per Kelly McAleer, Psy.D,

“The psychopath is callous, yet charming. He or she will con and manipulate others with charisma and intimidation and can effectively mimic feelings to present as “normal” to society. The psychopath is organized in their criminal thinking and behavior, and can maintain good emotional and physical control, displaying little to no emotional or autonomic arousal, even under situations that most would find threatening or horrifying. The psychopath is keenly aware that what he or she is doing is wrong, but does not care.

“Conversely, the sociopath is less organized in his or her demeanor; he or she might be nervous, easily agitated, and quick to display anger. A sociopath is more likely to spontaneously act out in inappropriate ways without thinking through the consequences. Compared to the psychopath, the sociopath will not be able to move through society committing callous crimes as easily, as they can form attachments and often have ‘normal temperaments.’ . . .”

As per the Society for the Study of Psychopathy, psychopath characteristics includes:

Absence of regret

Absence of compassion

Absence of profound enthusiastic connections


Shallow appeal



Heedless hazard taking

However, a sociopath is diagnosed at the age of 18 and their traits include:

Rehashed infringement of the law

Inescapable lying and double dealing

Physical forcefulness

Heedless negligence for security of self or others

Steady flightiness in work and family conditions

Absence of regret

Over Protective towards the one they care for

At last, I would just say that Psychopaths and Sociopaths both are harmful to society. Despite the fact that psychopaths and sociopaths both are fit for carrying out terrible wrongdoings, however, sociopaths are caring about them with whom they have a bond. They will harm themselves but not the person they love or care about. Sociopaths befriend very fewer people and the one they trust they protect them with all their life even if it means by hurting own self.

Well, that was one heck of an information isn’t it?

Though I am ending it here but there is more to know, learn and study on this topic. And I would love to thank Mr. Elliott again for this great idea. Check out The Single Dad’s Guide to Life if you are already bored with my mental health studies.

I will see you again soon. Till then, Take Care and Stay safe.

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45 thoughts on “Difference between Psychopath and Sociopath

  1. Avatar
    David Elliott says:

    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.

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    Dr. K. Lee Banks says:

    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.

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    Nina Nichols says:

    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!

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    Tracy C. says:

    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.

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    blair villanueva says:

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

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    Elizabeth O says:

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

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    Ellen | Zyrakuma says:

    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).

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    Vaishali says:

    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

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    Kemi says:

    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*

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    Emily Fata says:

    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!!

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    Brie says:

    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.

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    Kristine Nicole Alessandra says:

    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.

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    Kenneth Clutario Agudo says:

    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.

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    Nina says:

    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.

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    Kansas Bonanno says:

    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.

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    Christa says:

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

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    Alexandar Cook says:

    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.

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    Angie says:

    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.

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    Gena says:

    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

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    Clare Minall says:

    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.

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    Lyosha says:

    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

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