Psychopath v. Sociopath

People who stay up late at night have more psychopathic tendencies than those who sleep early.

We tend to use the terms Psychopath and Sociopath interchangeably, but there is a difference to them. They are both considered anti-social personality disorders and are long term mental health conditions. And being classified as a psychopath, a sociopath or other distinction does not mean you will become a serial killer, or commit crimes in any way. And the reverse is true as well, not all serial killers or other criminals are psychopaths or sociopaths.

The two types do share similar characteristics such as a lack of empathy, a lack of guilt or taking responsibility for their actions, a disregard for laws, and an inclination to violence.

Sociopaths are normally less emotionally stable and highly impulsive—their behavior tends to be more erratic than psychopaths. They will lack patience, giving in much more easily to impulsiveness.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, will plan their crimes down to the smallest detail, taking calculated risks to avoid detection. Psychopaths don’t get carried away in the moment and make fewer mistakes as a result.

Psychopaths are born, and sociopaths are made.

But since I like to focus on true crime here, I wanted to find out who is classified as a psychopath, sociopath, or not classified. Here is what I could find:

  • Sociopaths:
    • John Wayne Gacy
    • Jeffrey MacDonald
    • Diane Downs
    • Diedre Hunt
    • Richard Kuklinski
  • Psychopaths:
    • Ted Bundy
    • Charles Manson
    • Richard Ramirez
    • Jeffrey Dahmer
    • Albert Fish
    • David Berkowitz
    • Aileen Wuornos
    • Dennis Rader

In the end, does the distinction between a psychopath and sociopath matter? They can both be dangerous and even deadly, the worst destroying people’s lives. Or they can spend their life among people who are none the wiser for it.

What input or thoughts do you have regarding this debate? Do you agree or disagree? Do you feel there are more than just two classifications, should there be more and if so what? I would love to hear more from you all and would be interested in your thoughts.

You are your own best investment

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