31 thoughts on “Psychopath vs Sociopath: 16 Key Differences

  • September 5, 2018 at 7:15 am

    Very helpful. Thanks

  • September 5, 2018 at 7:35 am

    No one is going to comment on this article, are they? People used as ‘farm hands.’

  • September 5, 2018 at 8:25 am

    Very informative i was looking for the rest of the story. Perhaps that an other article. Like more examples of behavior. What to do when you figure something is amiss like this. All along i have thought my so was a social or narcissist. For the first time i can see psychopathic behavior after reading this.

    • September 5, 2018 at 12:57 pm

      Read The Psychopath Next Door, fast read.

  • September 5, 2018 at 9:11 am

    I work in psych and I found this article absolutely fascinating.

  • September 5, 2018 at 9:56 am

    So by this analysis in this part of his character disorder spectrum Trump is clearly sociopath. Oh no, he was never organised nor successful in business, has always functioned just as described in Woodward´s book. You have to be really dumb to bankrupt a casino that is successfully washing money.

    And somebody like Jeff Bezos and lots of CEO´s are more of the psychopath variety.

    • September 5, 2018 at 12:39 pm

      Really?!? You’re absolute hatred for Trump knows no bounds?!? You just HAD to drop it into a comment section on mental health? Pathetic. BTW, if you actually KNEW the circumstances, you’d realize that Trump ran the casino brilliantly and profitably UNTIL the 2 or 3 C-level execs that were the head of that part of your organization died in a helicopter crash. A bit difficult to suddenly run a huge organization by yourself…and yet, not one person during the bankruptcy got fired or let go.

      Stop letting your political bias cloud your actual judgment.

      • September 5, 2018 at 4:22 pm

        Trump is a sociopath of the malignant narcissist variety. Your poorly argued defense of him doesn’t change that.

      • September 5, 2018 at 6:25 pm

        How about the other casinos and other businesses #45 bankrupted. He bragged about using strategic bankruptcies for profit. And all those contractors he stiffed after they did the work and spent their own $ for supplies. Some of them went out of business as a result, and #45-to-be was utterly cold and self-righteous about that.
        #45 clearly fits the DSM V diagnostic criteria for all of narcissistic, antisocial, and histrionic personality disorders and hypomania. Comes close on the paranoid personality disorder.
        One indicator of the antisocial personality disorder is these people tend to leave a string of ruined lives behind them. How about all these people in #45’s orbit ending up in the slammer and/or with ruined careers.

      • September 6, 2018 at 12:19 am

        If the diagnosis fits………. and Trump wears it beautifully.

    • January 12, 2019 at 5:43 pm

      Zaph, disregarding all the very large amount of evidence that fully negates those partial, and really unproven claims about anyone, Trump included, reveals you as one without any substantial depth to you being responsible for what you repeat in blind faith of the proven phony sources. Yeah, hard to swallow – I should know! – yet all too true.

      Just be good to yourself, and dig far past the shallow rants made by those without more honesty than just anger.

  • September 5, 2018 at 11:46 am

    Interesting article, but these two lines confused me a bit: “Sociopaths are much more likely to blend in with society than psychopaths” and “Psychopaths can typically maintain normal social relationships”, soooo…..which is it?

    • September 5, 2018 at 11:53 am

      Hi Sophia,

      Psychopaths are typically superficially charming which allows them to “maintain” social relationships. They are typically able to maintain these relationships because of what they are getting out of the relationship. For the psychopath the relationship isn’t real they do not have genuine empathy or regard, therefore, they exhaust the relationship until they can milk all of its benefits. Once the benefits of the relationship ends so will the social relationship.

    • September 5, 2018 at 3:19 pm

      Yes, this also confused me.

  • September 5, 2018 at 12:33 pm

    What shall we make of those who tell others (especially on Quora) they are psychopaths? There’s so many, far more than could be attributable to chance, so what is going on with them? Are they simply narcissists looking for specialness (“terminal uniqueness”) and supply? I’d really like to know, thanks.

  • September 5, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    I’m a retired RN, who scored highly and was very interested in Psych, although I never worked in that area of nursing. I worked ER, Med-Surg, Peds, and finally Supervision so I did see many psych patients over 30 years. I would characterize many CEO’s as Sociopaths, who have no qualms about cheating people out of their retirement plans, criminal such as Ted Bundy, John Gacy and others who enjoy mental or physical torture as Psychopaths, and Donald Trump as a delusional Narcissist who is also one of the most immature people I have ever seen. Excellent article.

  • September 5, 2018 at 2:21 pm


    I would like to know the references you used in the article on the differences between a Psychopaths and a Sociopath. I would like to know what journal articles or books you used to find this information.

    Thank you,
    Vinny Y.

  • September 5, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    I found this to be an interesting and timely artical. Thank you

  • September 5, 2018 at 5:23 pm

    Excellent article. However I think the characteristic that you list for sociopaths having trouble with their careers may be wrong. I think, because they are so intelligent and work so hard on their public persona, sociopaths are very successful in the business world. I mean, you have to be pretty cold blooded sometimes in critical business decisions because, more likely than not, some people are hurt by critical decisions made by successful businessmen and women, as they are moving or changing large pieces of capital. What I have run across in my own career are “half sociopaths”, people who exhibit some of these characteristics but not all of them. I’d be curious to read more. about these borderline behaviors, as I think they are numerous than most people realize.

    • September 6, 2018 at 10:48 am

      Arthur, I agree with your comment that these borderline personality disorders, or variations of them, are more common than people think they are.
      I’ve especially noticed that, just in everyday life, I’m meeting people who are very callous toward others. It’s disturbing. Especially when I see people treating people they may see as defenseless (older people, children, etc.) as though they deserve no regard or common courtesy.
      I’m not sure that very many people even understand how to treat others with the amount of respect that every human deserves. Just common positive regard for other people who have not posed any threat at all. It’s as though “kindness” is looked down on.
      Such a truly dangerous situation. It leads to all sorts of offenses both minor and major.

  • September 5, 2018 at 9:27 pm

    This is easy to understand and very helpful information. I have an adult son who fits the description of the sociopath. I have looked for information regarding how to interact with sociopaths but have not found much.

  • September 5, 2018 at 11:43 pm

    “Persons with a personality disorder have a low moral compass or conscience, as well as a history that is more likely to include maladaptive behaviors such as crime, legal problems, or impulsive and aggressive behavior.”
    I feel this is way too generalistic a starement and perpetuates stigma against individuals diagnosed with a personality disorder

  • September 6, 2018 at 6:15 am

    There are so many people who don’t care about the feelings of others, don’t donate to causes, don’t ever volunteer for anything… perhaps then,
    in America, we live in a world or psychopaths and sociopaths, then…

    • September 9, 2018 at 11:59 am

      I think it’s a bit unfair to call those who don’t donate to causes or volunteer as sociopaths or psychopaths. I can’t donate to causes because I barely make enough to keep my head above water and I can’t volunteer because I don’t have time because of my employment. Oh I donate unused items to a battered women’s shelter and hand over a $5 to someone with a sign standing next to the street every now and then when I think I can. I think your statement is unempathetic toward the working stiffs who work to keep food in the house and a roof over the head. Reread the article with this thought in mind.

  • September 6, 2018 at 6:19 am

    Trump is not the only ‘mean’ American businessman.. I know one personally, he makes his wife chop wood to save on heating costs in the winter, and he has plenty of money to pay the bills. Owns more than one jewelry store. Also, what about all of those heiresses and heirs paying people only minimum wage who own national chain type department and fast food stores? Oprah Winfrey is a billionaire, does she pay anyone who works for her minimum wage?

  • September 6, 2018 at 6:28 am

    Anytime Oprah Winfrey caters a party, someone is probably getting paid minimum wage, somewhere. Also, all of those businessmen under Trump had the right to declare bankruptcy also, and have another chance. There are several stories about successful businessmen who failed in business a few times before they were able to make a success of one. Purdue chicken. That’s because most business “starts” fail, or the great majority of them… for everyone, not only Trump.

  • September 6, 2018 at 10:09 am

    And in the interest of clarity, as BPB (Borderline) is a borderline sociopath, as opposed to psychopath, correct? Agree with others, informative read. And, for what it’s worth, let’s leave the political comments to HuffPost, or whatever. Not because they are not valid, but discussing matters of science with those who ignore science is silly – if not ironic.

  • September 6, 2018 at 10:31 am

    This article was very helpful to me. It shows more clearly, than things I’ve read before, the differences in thinking and behavior between a psychopath and a sociopath. Many people do use the terms interchangeably. Thank you!

  • September 6, 2018 at 10:47 am

    That’s pretty scary. Psychopaths are these listless evil beings with a perfected human mask than never get better. What are we to do with them then? I guess just put them where they belong, in jobs normal people can’t do, due to having a conscience, anxiety and fear responses. I can’t think of a better job for psychopaths than the president of the united states of America. Can you?

  • September 6, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    The content of this article needs to connect the behaviors with the harm they can have on people and the intent involved because a number of these factors are completely possible for people with highly developed consciences as well.

  • September 8, 2018 at 3:51 am

    Wonderful article, very informative, interesting comments.


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *