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LittleSwallow
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29 Sep 2012, 4:30 am

Just curious to know, though sometimes I do think a relative of mine tends to lack empathy and lies a lot (That means not caring about hurting other's feeling and being happy about it, right?)



Raziel
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29 Sep 2012, 5:35 am

Nothing really and not all scientists devide between those two.
Some say a sociopath is a socially "sucsessfull" psychopath. One who has a job, lives a "normal" life and so on.
But most say, those are the same thing.

Also the term psychopathy was used different in the past. More like "personality disorder". That's why you can also find the term "autistic psychopath" sometimes, but that meant something different back then.


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Last edited by Raziel on 29 Sep 2012, 6:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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29 Sep 2012, 6:03 am

People probably used to assume that every "psychopath" was an extremely violent criminal, so the term "sociopath" was invented which has a more moderate sounding tone to it.

Many of them aren't criminals and lead relatively normal successful lives, and everyone assumes they're NT too.



Shlomo
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30 Sep 2012, 10:04 pm

Sociopath = Malevolent person who violates the rights of others. (steals/assaults/murders etc)

Psychopathy/psychopath = Personality trait that can be used for good or evil. Some graduate schools want doctoral candidates with high psychopathy because they tend to do better; I bet you the fictional doctor from House M.D. scores very high psychopathy.



Feralucce
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01 Oct 2012, 3:43 am

citation: http://blogs.psychcentral.com/forensic- ... ychopathy/http://blogs.psychcentral.com/forensic-focus/2010/07/sociopathy-vs-psychopathy/

"main difference between psychopathy and sociopathy is in the presentation. 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.” The sociopath will lie, manipulate and hurt others, just as the psychopath would, but will often avoid doing so to the select few people they care about, and will likely feel guilty should they end up hurting someone they care about."


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01 Oct 2012, 10:41 am

I believe the term Psychopath is short for Psychopathology. Hence, it's historical use meaning "The disordered mind"" and Psychopathology being the study of mental illness.


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muntanmion
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02 Oct 2012, 1:38 am

In their book "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work" (2006) by Drs. Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, the authors make an interesting distinction between psychopathy and sociopathy, which I thought would be worth quoting here (p.19, in the paperback I have):

"Psychopathy is a personality disorder described by the personality traits and behaviors that form the basis of this book. Psychopaths are without conscience and incapable of empathy, guilt, or loyalty to anyone but themselves.

Sociopathy is not a formal psychiatric condition, It refers to patterns of attitudes and behaviors that are considered antisocial and criminal by society at large, but are seen as normal or necessary by the subculture or social environment in which they developed. Sociopaths may have a well-developed conscience and a normal capacity for empathy, guilt, and loyalty, but their sense of right and wrong is based on the norms and expectations of their subculture or group. Many criminals might be described as sociopaths."

They then go on to describe anti-social personality disorder as it is defined in the DSM-IV, which is again different but related.


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02 Oct 2012, 1:50 am

I think sociopaths usually don't know how to view things from another persons perspective, only their perspective. That partially explains the lack of empathy. They're unable to visualize a situation from their victim's point of view.



Schizpergers
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02 Oct 2012, 6:18 am

Like any diagnosis it depends on the description.

Primary Psychopathy is inborn and mainly genetic.
Secendary Psychopathy (Called Sociopathy by Sociologists) is mainly caused by upbringing and enviorment.
It is common to have traits of both.
Anti-Social or Dysocial PDs are lables for criminal behaviour which frequently overlap.
Conduct Disorder, Narcissism, ODD, and ADHD traits have some overlap as well.


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phyrehawke
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02 Oct 2012, 4:20 pm

Muntanmion, I like your icon...but what is the black figurine? It reminds me of a dog I had once, she wasn't black but she inspired people to keep their distance.

The distinction given from the "Snakes in Suits" book is probably the best working definition I've seen yet, and I think I have been needing one just like that.
I have an uncle who meets that definition, who has hurt me. I would like to not get hurt by anybody like that again. So if you think you might have a sociopath or two in your life, what is the best thing to do about it? They aren't normal people following normal rules of social conduct.


muntanmion wrote:
In their book "Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work" (2006) by Drs. Paul Babiak and Robert Hare, the authors make an interesting distinction between psychopathy and sociopathy, which I thought would be worth quoting here (p.19, in the paperback I have):

"Psychopathy is a personality disorder described by the personality traits and behaviors that form the basis of this book. Psychopaths are without conscience and incapable of empathy, guilt, or loyalty to anyone but themselves.

Sociopathy is not a formal psychiatric condition, It refers to patterns of attitudes and behaviors that are considered antisocial and criminal by society at large, but are seen as normal or necessary by the subculture or social environment in which they developed. Sociopaths may have a well-developed conscience and a normal capacity for empathy, guilt, and loyalty, but their sense of right and wrong is based on the norms and expectations of their subculture or group. Many criminals might be described as sociopaths."

They then go on to describe anti-social personality disorder as it is defined in the DSM-IV, which is again different but related.



muntanmion
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02 Oct 2012, 5:15 pm

phyrehawke wrote:
Muntanmion, I like your icon...but what is the black figurine? It reminds me of a dog I had once, she wasn't black but she inspired people to keep their distance.

The distinction given from the "Snakes in Suits" book is probably the best working definition I've seen yet, and I think I have been needing one just like that.
I have an uncle who meets that definition, who has hurt me. I would like to not get hurt by anybody like that again. So if you think you might have a sociopath or two in your life, what is the best thing to do about it? They aren't normal people following normal rules of social conduct.


I'm glad you like my little toy. It's an action figure called "Squire" by an artist, Jermaine Rogers. It's next to another action figure, Little Enid, by Dan Clowes. Enid is the main character in his comic book, "Ghost World", which was made into a movie years ago. They make a nice pari, don't you think? ;-)

I've been fascinated by sociopathy since the mid-1980s. I was a member of a cult for several years during my 20s, and, after I left this group in 1983, I attempted to understand what had happened to me and what kind of man my old cult leader was-- he was an unlicensed psychotherapist who essentially claimed to have reached spiritual enlightenment, a very charismatic, perceptive, brilliant guy who was adept at getting people to submit to him and become followers. He had many sociopathic qualities, as well as traits that match what I've read about narcissistic personality disorder. Coupled with my naive, trusting, literal-minded and attention-starved Aspie-nature back then, I was a perfect sucker for this masterful manipulator, and I got royally f*cked.

There are many books and websites devoted to understanding sociopathic and manipulative personalities in general, as well as getting a grip on how to protect yourself from them. If you'd like, I can post links to my favorites after I get home from work, but you'll find most of them by just googling "deal with a sociopath".


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phyrehawke
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03 Oct 2012, 12:08 am

Thanks for that extra note about the narcissism, Muntanmion. I didn't realize that narcissism and sociopathy could intertwine but it makes perfect sense. Your google search phrase did a good job. ;) I got concise information on both subjects that way and I'll be reading more. I found my coping mechanism there too, which was rather amuzing.

Thanks for introducing me to that artist's work too. I looked Jermaine Rogers up and his work is odd but interesting, and his drawing is very nicely detailed.



muntanmion
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03 Oct 2012, 3:18 pm

phyrehawke wrote:
Thanks for that extra note about the narcissism, Muntanmion. I didn't realize that narcissism and sociopathy could intertwine but it makes perfect sense. Your google search phrase did a good job. ;) I got concise information on both subjects that way and I'll be reading more. I found my coping mechanism there too, which was rather amuzing.

Thanks for introducing me to that artist's work too. I looked Jermaine Rogers up and his work is odd but interesting, and his drawing is very nicely detailed.


You're welcome. :)

I have a couple of Jermaine Rogers' "action figures" at home. A guy needs his toys, after all. :twisted:


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