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Kiester
06-15-2010, 05:10 PM
Hi all,

Does anyone know the difference between these two terms?

From what I've seen, they both share a lot of attributes, and I know that they are now both grouped under one new term, but this is essential for my plot.

The only difference I can think of, between the two, is the fact that Psychopaths are more concerned with the self, and their disgust and lack of emotion of other people, whereas Sociopaths have the same attributed, but this is caused from their social situation.

An example of a sociopath would be someone like Tony Montana from Scarface, and for a Psychopath, Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs or Begbie in Trainspotting.

Does anyone agree or can they put some light on this in any way?

Cheers,
Kiester

Collectonian
06-15-2010, 05:19 PM
Seems like it is highly debatable these days. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-difference-between-a-psychopath-and-a-sociopath.htm might help some

JimmyB27
06-15-2010, 05:35 PM
It's a bit like the difference between a sociologist and a psychologist.

Nah, I kid. I have no idea.

underthecity
06-15-2010, 05:47 PM
I asked my sister this question a few months ago (she studied criminal psychology) and she said that today, both terms are interchangeable.

Not sure if it matters, but I always understood that a psychopath will kill without reason.

Conversely, a sociopath understands the difference between right and wrong, but just doesn't care. (I know it's wrong to kill, but I don't care; I'm doing it anyway.)

veinglory
06-15-2010, 05:57 PM
They are the old and new name for exactly the same condition

shadowwalker
06-15-2010, 05:57 PM
My understanding is that both are antisocial personality disorders, but here's another article that looks at it from a slightly different perspective.

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/sociopath-vs-psychopath.html

veinglory
06-15-2010, 06:04 PM
APD is the third and most recent name for it, the are trying to keep ahead of the stigma.

shadowwalker
06-15-2010, 07:30 PM
I've always thought that sociopaths just couldn't understand/care about social conventions, whereas psychopaths went a step further, placing their wants/urges ahead of everything else, disregarding social norms/laws in order to satisfy those wants/urges.

Personally, I think the DSM failed when they decided to treat the two as one. There are differences as well as similarities.

veinglory
06-15-2010, 09:47 PM
The only reason they seem different is because of the time period they cover, during which e cocept was evolving and diversifying

Lhun
06-15-2010, 11:11 PM
Does anyone know the difference between these two terms?Depends a little on what you actually want to know. If you want to know about the terms, it's pretty obvious that the answer to that is: no, there is no clear definition and distinction. Ask two psychologists about it, get three answers.
If your question is whether there are people who show different kinds of anti-social/psychopathological behaviour, or if those can be caused by different things, then yes to both.
On a side-note, psychopath does not mean "axe-crazy murderer" as it is usually used by Hollywood.

Cyia
06-15-2010, 11:14 PM
Sociopath is what you call someone with psychopathy.

However, in movies/TV/etc. there's usually a definite line between the two. Something along the lines of: A psychopath doesn't know the difference between right and wrong and can't control their actions. A sociopath knows the difference; he just doesn't care.

WildScribe
06-15-2010, 11:15 PM
On a side-note, psychopath does not mean "axe-crazy murderer" as it is usually used by Hollywood.

QFT. While they may be incapable of experiencing empathy for other people, they can and many DO lead relatively normal lives.

StephanieFox
06-15-2010, 11:46 PM
A psychopath is a sociopath 1980 are earlier.

Chasing the Horizon
06-16-2010, 12:05 AM
A psychopath is a sociopath 1980 are earlier.
Yeah, pretty much. I haven't seen the term psychopath used outside fiction for . . . well, ever, because I'm only 23 years old. :D Anti-social personality disorder and occasionally 'sociopath' are the terms used in every psychology book I've ever read.

But my area of study is trauma psychology, not criminal psychology, so it's entirely possible I've missed something.

Doug Johnson
06-16-2010, 12:22 AM
I researched the subject. Here's how I described it.

The term “sociopathy” became popular during the 60s when many researchers tried to prove social conditions like poverty and racism caused crime. Essentially, a sociopath is a psychopath who wasn’t born that way. Few experts use the term now - because Hare’s PCL-R is considered definitive – but the “nature versus nurture” debate isn’t over. The latest research indicates Hare’s first factor - histrionic, narcissistic personality - is inherited, but the second factor - antisocial behavior - is learned. Some researchers draw a distinction between “primary psychopathy” which is genetic and “secondary psychopathy” which isn’t.

PeterL
06-16-2010, 12:31 AM
There is no difference anymore "Neither psychopathy, nor the similar concept of sociopathy, are nowadays defined in international diagnostic manuals, which instead describe a category of antisocial/dissocial personality disorder." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy.
I think that it is valid to use either term.

Drachen Jager
06-16-2010, 01:24 AM
Lots of people beat me to it. But I'll add something. The nature of APD or whatever you want to call it is that the person with the disorder is incapable of properly empathizing with others. This means that they don't feel sorry for you when you're hurt, in extreme cases they see other people as you or I might see an animatronic creation at Disneyland and so they can kill without it bothering them in the slightest.

1 in 10 men suffer from some degree of APD (there is a range). It is very uncommon in women. 1 in 2 men in executive positions suffer from some degree of APD. (which I think goes a long ways to explaining why BP's CEO is incapable of saying anything remotely empathetic, "I can't wait to get MY life back.")

Lhun
06-16-2010, 02:37 AM
1 in 10 men suffer from some degree of APD (there is a range). It is very uncommon in women. 1 in 2 men in executive positions suffer from some degree of APD. (which I think goes a long ways to explaining why BP's CEO is incapable of saying anything remotely empathetic, "I can't wait to get MY life back.")It is a serious competitive advantage when you have the cut-throat environment that is common in upper management in todays corporate culture.

As another fun fact, it is interesting to read "On Killing" by Grossman. To my regret i have only read excerpts so far. But anyway, the book examines how in wars, most of the killing was actually done by a very small minority of soldiers. Most soldiers still consciously or unconsciously tried to avoid killing other humans, even in combat situations. So earlier wars could be described as the ritual mass-slaughter of the non-psychopathic by the psychopathic.
In recent times (Korea/Vietnam and onward), this changed dramatically, since modern brainwashing techniques allow to root out this instinctual behaviour during the normal training of soldiers, which is one of the things which explain the massively changing loss-ratios in wars where modern armies are engaged.

shadowwalker
06-16-2010, 03:33 AM
In recent times (Korea/Vietnam and onward), this changed dramatically, since modern brainwashing techniques allow to root out this instinctual behaviour during the normal training of soldiers, which is one of the things which explain the massively changing loss-ratios in wars where modern armies are engaged.

Actually check the site mentioned here:

http://absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=182982&highlight=myths

I've read those statistics elsewhere, as well. Even in the Korean War and Vietnam, this attempt at brainwashing didn't work that well.

Lhun
06-16-2010, 03:47 AM
Um... Is that the link you wanted to post?

Addendum: If you were referring to the huge number of wasted bullets, that's of course also due to battlefield conditions. Even given perfect willingness to kill a target, not every bullet is going to be used killing someone. But there is a distinct change noticeable when comparing those wars to WW1&2.

shadowwalker
06-16-2010, 04:43 AM
Um... Is that the link you wanted to post?

Yeah - in the article referred to, it states "Full-auto is only really used for suppression, that is, to make the bad guys duck their heads and hunker down while your people maneuver into position. In fact, virtually all bullets are used for this." (bold is mine)


Addendum: If you were referring to the huge number of wasted bullets, that's of course also due to battlefield conditions. Even given perfect willingness to kill a target, not every bullet is going to be used killing someone. But there is a distinct change noticeable when comparing those wars to WW1&2.

Approximately 15000 rounds per kill in WWII (http://www.comebackalive.com/df/guns.htm ) compared to 50000 per kill (Vietnam) and the 250000 Iraq/Afghanistan.

Now, if you're talking about firing rate (soldiers that actually fire their weapon), that has been improved via training - from about 20% in WWII to 95% in Vietnam. But the willingness to kill? Possibly in specialized training (snipers, special forces) but overall...

backslashbaby
06-16-2010, 04:44 AM
If y'all've ever seen me say 'psychopath,' it's because I think people register better what I mean than APD. I shouldn't do that ;)

I never do it with schizophrenia, though. The layperson's version of that one drives me nuts, it's so different from the technical term!

Lhun
06-16-2010, 04:15 PM
Approximately 15000 rounds per kill in WWII (http://www.comebackalive.com/df/guns.htm ) compared to 50000 per kill (Vietnam) and the 250000 Iraq/Afghanistan.Yes. But again, the bullets spent vs. bullets that kill is not a useful statistic here. There are many other, more important factors, than the willingness to kill. More relevant is for example to compare the number of soldiers in an engagement vs. the number of losses, but even that requires a lot of additional work given the advancements of weapon technology during that time.

JJ Cooper
06-16-2010, 04:33 PM
If you are writing fiction - it doesn't really matter if you refer to someone as a Sociopath and a Psychopath. Your publisher will adjust if necessary.

And, it really isn't relevant to the discussion when mentioning soldiers and why they do what they do to what 'drives' a Sociopath and/or a Psychopath to do what they do.

Cheers,

JJ

Kiester
06-16-2010, 05:22 PM
Some very interesting responses, but I have no idea why the conversation drifted into talking about soldiers and stuff O_o.

But anyway, I've done some additional research, and I have found a simpler answer to this, which can be better to my uses, in a sense.

Psychopath: He or she thinks that 2+2=5 rather than 2+2=4.
Sociopath: He or she knows that 2+2=4, but doesn't want to admit it.

Woud you guys say that this is accurate?

PeterL
06-16-2010, 05:48 PM
Some very interesting responses, but I have no idea why the conversation drifted into talking about soldiers and stuff O_o.

But anyway, I've done some additional research, and I have found a simpler answer to this, which can be better to my uses, in a sense.

Psychopath: He or she thinks that 2+2=5 rather than 2+2=4.
Sociopath: He or she knows that 2+2=4, but doesn't want to admit it.

Woud you guys say that this is accurate?

That's a joke, rather than a definition of a problem.
Psychopathy is a personality disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personality_disorder) characterized by an abnormal lack of empathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empathy) combined with strongly amoral conduct, masked by an ability to appear outwardly normal. Neither psychopathy, nor the similar concept of sociopathy (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociopathy), are nowadays defined in international diagnostic manuals, which instead describe a category of antisocial/dissocial personality disorder (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder).

If you want to make a joke that would reflect that actuality of the situation, then How about: Both the pshyopath and the sociopath know that 2+2=4, but the they want to convince you that you should give them 5. If you want to show a difference between the two terms, then abandon all hope, because there is no difference.

Cyia
06-16-2010, 07:46 PM
Woud you guys say that this is accurate?

No. It's neither accurate nor funny.

Wiskel
06-16-2010, 11:48 PM
Psychopath: He or she thinks that 2+2=5 rather than 2+2=4.
Sociopath: He or she knows that 2+2=4, but doesn't want to admit it.

Woud you guys say that this is accurate?


I think the idea you can understand APD in terms of understanding right from wrong is causing you problems. You need to think in terms of empathy. If you really want to use the "understanding right from wrong" concept then you need a much more complex example.


Almost everyone knows that speeding in your car is against the law, but an awful lot of people speed.
Almost everyone knows that stealing is wrong, but if their family is hungry, then a fair amount of people would think it's ok to shoplift some food.
Almost everyone knows stealing is wrong, but if their family is hungry, then some people would think it's ok to mug someone at knifepoint.
Almost everyone knows stealing is wrong, but if they are hungry, then a few people would think it's ok to mug someone at knifepoint and stab them if they resist.
Almost everyone knows that sexual assault and rape are crimes, but a small number of people would think it's ok to ignore a woman saying no if they want sex.
Almost everyone knows rape and violence are crimes, but a tiny number of people would think it's ok to ignore a woman saying no if they want sex, then do whatever they need to do to to stop her if she threatens to go to the police afterwards.



Hopefully the examples start to make you feel less comfortable as you go down the list. If they did, then your sense of empathy was kicking in.
APD is not about intelligence. There is no impairment to understanding that something is against the law. There's a problem with the way people with APD make their decisions. You and I might choose to ignore the law about speeding and feel ok about doing so. An awful lot of people understand that it's a law, but don't think that it's wrong to speed. A psychpath might feel much the same about any obstacle that stops them getting what they want.

Empathy and conscience usually determine where we draw our lines. You draw them differently if you can't put yourself in someone else's shoes and feel that your own wants and desires outweigh anything else.


Craig

PGaritas
06-17-2010, 01:23 AM
I researched the subject. Here's how I described it.

The term “sociopathy” became popular during the 60s when many researchers tried to prove social conditions like poverty and racism caused crime. Essentially, a sociopath is a psychopath who wasn’t born that way. Few experts use the term now - because Hare’s PCL-R is considered definitive – but the “nature versus nurture” debate isn’t over. The latest research indicates Hare’s first factor - histrionic, narcissistic personality - is inherited, but the second factor - antisocial behavior - is learned. Some researchers draw a distinction between “primary psychopathy” which is genetic and “secondary psychopathy” which isn’t.


QFT.

veinglory
06-17-2010, 01:32 AM
If you want to show a difference between the two terms, then abandon all hope, because there is no difference.

Quoted for actual truth.

Ruv Draba
06-18-2010, 07:35 AM
All people can show a deliberate disregard for the suffering of others, and some do it to the point of being systematic. Psychiatry has been trying to make sense of this for ages, but until it's clear what the causes are the science won't be clear on how to classify it.

Psychopathy has sometimes been distinguished from sociopathy in the way that 'predator' is distinguished from 'rule-breaker'. But the diagnoses are based on behaviours and the behaviours either overlap or are indistinguishable. The use of ASPD endeavours to collect the spectrum of psychopathic/sociopathic behaviours under one lump -- perhaps on the principle that if you can't clearly separate them you should look at them together.

The diagnoses for ASPD are much like previous disgnoses for psychopathy or sociopathy. DSMIV-TR (http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/disorders/antisocialpd.htm) describes ASPD as a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years. The key criteria are three or more of:

(1) failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest
(2) deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure
(3) impulsivity or failure to plan ahead
(4) irritability (http://www.behavenet.com/capsules/path/irritable.htm) and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults
(5) reckless disregard for safety of self or others
(6) consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations
(7) lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another
There are some qualifying criteria too -- the individual has to be 18 years old, for instance.

There are some problems with these criteria though. In some groups some of the acts above are encouraged -- which means that a person acting normatively for their group may be considered to suffer a mental disorder outside the group. (Bear in mind that 'rights' may vary between groups.)

Also, some groups may adopt these behaviours under stress (e.g. consider the behaviour of people in wartime, or under an oppressive regime). So is it always a psychiatric disorder or could it sometimes be a social strategy and if it is, need that strategy always be a disorder?

veinglory
06-18-2010, 07:40 AM
People who are saying psychopathy and sociopathy are different, what is that based on? Because in terms of the DSM it was just a name change, nothing more, not a different thing. It was changed because 'psycho' had become a derogatory name in movies and popular media. This obscures that fact that most sociopaths are not violent, let alone murderers.

Cyia
06-18-2010, 07:45 AM
People who are saying psychopathy and sociopathy are different, what is that based on? Because in terms of the DSM it was just a name change, nothing more, not a different thing. It was changed because 'psycho' had become a derogatory name in movies and popular media. This obscures that fact that most sociopaths are not violent, let alone murderers.


Most likely, it's based on movies where the two are usually shown as polar opposites.

Movie psychopath - uncontrolled rage. No concept of right and wrong. Kills, kills, kills, and doesn't really know what they've done. No premeditation.

Movie sociopath - exceptionally controlled to the point of little or no emotion. Is driven by curiosity or cruelty, but knows what they're doing the whole time. carefully plans everything.

veinglory
06-18-2010, 08:01 AM
Weird. But authors need to realise the difference between tropes and facts IMHO. It is getting to a point where more people know and believe fictional psychology than the real thing...

Ruv Draba
06-18-2010, 11:27 AM
People who are saying psychopathy and sociopathy are different, what is that based on? Because in terms of the DSM it was just a name change, nothing more, not a different thing.The DSM is not the only diagnostic standard, and that's part of the problem. For instance, there's the Hare Psychopathy Checklist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy#PCL-R_items) (PCL-R). To add to the confusion there's more than one version of the DSM, and researchers have been arguing for getting on two decades that psychopaths shouldn't be classified with sociopaths. Here (http://www.psych.utoronto.ca/users/peterson/psy430s2001/Hare%20RD%20Psychopathy%20JAP%201991.pdf) are some researchers making the case in a 1991 issue of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

As you probably know, taxonomic squabbles can take generations to resolve, and the resolution usually awaits some functional insight. Such an insight may be emerging: there has been some rumbling from geneticists recently (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1013712/sociopath_vs_psychopath_there_is_a.html?cat=72) that psychopathy is principally genetic, where as sociopathy is not (and see the interesting behavioural distinctions on p2 of this article).

That has big implications for diagnosis and treatment, and also ethical and judicial implications. The sentence you get for chopping grandma up and putting her bits in coffee-tins might depend on how you are diganosed.

whimsical rabbit
08-15-2010, 05:56 PM
A few years ago, I've read Without Conscience, by Dr Rober D. Hare, who is considered one of the world's most acclaimed experts in psychopathy. I'd definitely recommend you made this book part of your research.

According to the book, if I remember correctly, the difference between the sociopath and the psychopath is that the former is usually better educated and smart, and commits social crimes, such as big financial frauds etc, while the psychopath is a killer. The main characteristic in both cases is complete lack of remorse, as well as lack of the emotion of fear. This is why you'll read about psychopaths that murdered people that jumped the queue, and then went on to justify it by presenting themselves as victims (ie, he disrespected me, he had it coming etc).

The book also summarises some of the most common things in their behaviour, speech manners et al.

RJK
08-16-2010, 12:34 AM
It's been a while since I studied psychology, but what I learned was:
A sociopath has no empathy for others. When scanning a sociopath's brain with an MRI, while the person is exposed to someone being hurt or in some jeopardy, the sections of the sociopath's brain that should be firing, the sections that, in others indicate compassion and empathy for the other person, don't fire. The sociopath could care less about other people, including how any actions they take will affect others.

A psychopath is a person who has lost touch with reality. They don't necessarily have to be violent, but could be. Often, they hear voices, and/or have visions. These voices or visions are as real to the psychopath as the computer screen in front of you. They can see it and feel it, but to the rest of the world, it isn't there.
Psychopaths become dangerous when these voices or visions convince them to do dangerous things, or drive them to do desperate things. What would you do if you were convinced hundreds of tarantula spiders, or rats were climbing over your body?

veinglory
08-16-2010, 12:40 AM
Some actual references might go a long whay, to authorititave sources. The DSM may not be the sum total of psychiatric thought but it is the most authoratative single source and most professionals use terms as standardised and defined by the DSMIV. And it treats psychopathy as an archiac term, replaced with sociopathic and then replaced by anti-social personality--distinct only by historical period.

http://allpsych.com/disorders/dsm.html

backslashbaby
08-16-2010, 12:48 AM
It's been a while since I studied psychology, but what I learned was:
A sociopath has no empathy for others. When scanning a sociopath's brain with an MRI, while the person is exposed to someone being hurt or in some jeopardy, the sections of the sociopath's brain that should be firing, the sections that, in others indicate compassion and empathy for the other person, don't fire. The sociopath could care less about other people, including how any actions they take will affect others.

A psychopath is a person who has lost touch with reality. They don't necessarily have to be violent, but could be. Often, they hear voices, and/or have visions. These voices or visions are as real to the psychopath as the computer screen in front of you. They can see it and feel it, but to the rest of the world, it isn't there.
Psychopaths become dangerous when these voices or visions convince them to do dangerous things, or drive them to do desperate things. What would you do if you were convinced hundreds of tarantula spiders, or rats were climbing over your body?

I believe you are confusing psychopath with psychotic, or psychosis, because your definition fits those. I never liked the term psychopath for exactly that reason!

whimsical rabbit
08-16-2010, 01:05 PM
It's been a while since I studied psychology, but what I learned was:
A sociopath has no empathy for others. When scanning a sociopath's brain with an MRI, while the person is exposed to someone being hurt or in some jeopardy, the sections of the sociopath's brain that should be firing, the sections that, in others indicate compassion and empathy for the other person, don't fire. The sociopath could care less about other people, including how any actions they take will affect others.

A psychopath is a person who has lost touch with reality. They don't necessarily have to be violent, but could be. Often, they hear voices, and/or have visions. These voices or visions are as real to the psychopath as the computer screen in front of you. They can see it and feel it, but to the rest of the world, it isn't there.
Psychopaths become dangerous when these voices or visions convince them to do dangerous things, or drive them to do desperate things. What would you do if you were convinced hundreds of tarantula spiders, or rats were climbing over your body?


I believe you are confusing psychopath with psychotic, or psychosis, because your definition fits those. I never liked the term psychopath for exactly that reason!

I actually think what you're describing is schizophrenia. It fits RJK's description perfectly. A psychopath's main characteristic is indeed lack of empathy, and it's the way they're born unfortunately.

RJK
08-16-2010, 10:08 PM
As I said, My learning is dated, but I thought schizophrenia related to multiple and distinct personalities.

backslashbaby
08-16-2010, 10:51 PM
Nope -- schizophrenia is considered a psychotic disorder (a break from reality), and the split personality one is considered a dissociative disorder :) Schizophrenia used to be described as something like 'a split mind' -- split from reality.

There are all kinds of details, so that's just a general statement there.

Giant Baby
08-16-2010, 10:58 PM
As I said, My learning is dated, but I thought schizophrenia related to multiple and distinct personalities.

If I understand what you're referring two (the 'distinct' tag is not one I've heard referenced, but I am not a mental health perfessional), the condition is Multiple Personality Disorder, or Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I believe the confusion between MPD and Schizophrenia began with the book and movie Sybil. Sybil was diagnosed and treated as schizophrenic (at least for much of her treatment) and I know growing up during the craze for that book, the two disorders seemed to be synonymous, but they're quite different.

ETA: Or, what backslashbaby said.

whimsical rabbit
08-17-2010, 12:36 AM
As I said, My learning is dated, but I thought schizophrenia related to multiple and distinct personalities.


Nope -- schizophrenia is considered a psychotic disorder (a break from reality), and the split personality one is considered a dissociative disorder :) Schizophrenia used to be described as something like 'a split mind' -- split from reality.

There are all kinds of details, so that's just a general statement there.

Well I'm certainly not in any way related professionally to psychiatry, and so I cannot object or agree. Perhaps I shouldn't have created confusion, apologies guys.

I do know some things on psychopathy as my husband who's a screenwriter was researching the topic a few years ago, and got to read the book I mention above after him. It's a great source on psychopathy and sociopathy actually, from an acclaimed expert (hope this doesn't sound like spam?), and I'd recommend it to anybody interested in the subject.

archetypewriting
08-30-2010, 12:03 AM
Wow, lively discussion!

I see some people include their credentials, so here are mine. I'm a former psychotherapist and a current psych prof; I have a book coming out that's essentially a manual to help writers get the psychology correct in their stories. Pretty excited about that last one! I did quite a bit of research the topic at hand for the book. Wanted to be sure I got it right!

We've got three terms here. Antisocial (Personality Disorder), Sociopathy, and Psychopathy.

Antisocial is the clinical, diagnostic term in the Diagnostic & Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth (current) ed. The most important criterion for someone with APD is that they consistently violate the rights of others. Your (stero)typical person with APD doesn't really experience empathy, because they don't have much in the way of a conscience. This is a result of a failure to attach, an insecure attachment, a brain abnormality, or a combination of the above, depending on a) who you ask and b) the individual who has the disorder.

As other people have noted, sociopathy and psychopathy are often interchangeable as terms. However, there are corners of psychology that recognize a difference. Of course, not all of those corners agree with one another.

According to David Lykken (U. of Minnesota) and Robert Hare (one of the most visible researchers on psychopathy), psychopaths are extreme versions of people with APD. They are dangerous, aggressive, flamboyant, and criminal, and they have absolutely no remorse. They are your serial killers rather than your white-collar manipulators. Sociopaths, according to folks like Lykken and Hare, are more everyday, hidden APD. They are capable of remorse, and they have a code of ethics. So while their behaviors may occasionally resemble psychopathy, they're not as extreme.

Hare also argues that psychopathy is a genetic/biological condition, whereas sociopathy is shaped by environmental factors.

This fits with the research that demonstrates that people with a dysfunctional medial and lateral orbitalfrontal cortex from birth (or a very, very young age) are far more creative, cruel, and even "evil" than those who sustain damage later in life.

Interestingly, the writer of the film "Saw" implies that the OFC is what was damaged by the tumor Jigsaw developed. Problem with the film is that later-in-life OFC damage does NOT lead to the outrageous level of psychopathy you see in the films. If you're familiar with Phineas Gage and the tamping iron-through-the-skull story, you know that after the accident he became a very difficult man. Because his OFC was damaged. But he didn't become a serial killer.

If you want to do more reading on psychopathy vs. sociopathy, I do recommend Robert Hare, as he's a leading (THE leading?) expert on psychopathy today.

His website is: http://www.hare.org/

Or try one of his books for the general public: http://tinyurl.com/2czzj6b

Hope that's helpful!