PSYCHOPATH vs SOCIOPATH: Understanding these antisocial personality disorders


While the words Sociopath and Psychopath are usually used interchangeably, they differ. Psychopaths and Sociopaths are both severe types of Antisocial behaviour known as Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). People who are diagnosed with this disorder are capable of harmful habits and actions of disregard to the well-being of society. However, not all people with psychopath and sociopath qualities violate the law, and not all criminals fit the criteria of Antisocial Personality Disorder.


Signs to Look for in ASPD Patients

Brain scans have shown that ASPD patients exhibit two structural abnormalities in their brain; the two-part regulates emotions and social behaviour, and the other part activates empathy. These abnormalities include the regulation of empathy and activating empathy, resulting in a lack of guilt and remorse. Other symptoms include impulsivity, false superior complex, pathological lying, aggression, extreme risk-taking, and ignoring social norms. 


Zooming into Sociopathy 

Sociopaths are impulsive individuals who develop brain impairment from traumatic childhood experiences, often resulting from abuse or negligence. They differ from psychopaths in their nature vs nurture. They do not hide from the world that they don’t care about the rules of society; instead, they justify their behaviour. They cannot maintain strong real relationships, family and work life. They can form emotional attachments but in an unhealthy way.  Because of the impairment of the brain region that controls impulses, sociopaths can do extremely harmful and uncalculated things just out of mere impulse and emotions because they can’t self-regulate.


Zooming into Psychopathy 

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are found to be people who were born with brain impairment. However, some researchers argue that with good guidance and nurturing, a person born this way can grow up to be a together member of society. Psychopaths lack a conscience and fake relationships to cover their criminal habits. They maintain normal lives but are smart, calculating, and high-functioning individuals, unlike sociopaths who lack remorse. Psychopaths commit crimes without detection, despite believing they’re doing nothing wrong, lacking deep relationship connections and flinching in their actions.



Like any field of science, there are different schools of thought and different points of view on whether people living with antisocial personality disorders can be rehabilitated. We live, more research is conducted, and we learn.

Noscelo Duma


1 comment

  1. Bongeka Caluza 2 months ago July 20, 2023

    Wow I understand better now. Noscelo you are such a good write ✍️ keep it up


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