When you hear the words Psychopath and Sociopath, what do you think of? Most people will think of there favorite fictional serial killer, And yes while Hannibal, Dexter and Patrick Bateman are all psychopaths (for the most part) not all psychopaths and sociopaths are like them.

Some people use Psychopath and Sociopaths to describe someone they believe is weird and most people use the terms interchangeably not knowing there is even a difference. So i decided to make a list talking about some of the key differences in these two conditions.

Nature vs Nurture.  The biggest difference between psychopaths and sociopaths is how they are made. This subject is somewhat debated but it is widely believed that a psychopath is born the way they are, and a sociopath is born like with normal emotions but the childhood (sometimes even adulthood) environments shaped them into sociopaths. Put short, a psychopath is born, a sociopath is created.

  • Psychopath – Nature
  • Sociopath – Nurture

Overemotional vs Unemotional. Psychopaths simply cant experience empathy or create real emotional attachments with people. They experience very little emotion and it is reported that the most prominent emotion they do feel is anger. Sociopaths on the other hand are prone to anxiety and emotional outbursts which can make them dangerous.

  • Psychopath – Unemotional
  • Sociopath – Overemotional

Impulsive and reckless vs Controlled and aware. A lot of psychopaths manage to find the way to power, they gravitate to careers in fields like surgery (power over someones life), Police force (power of the law) and CEO’s (Power over employees). Sociopaths on the other hand usually struggle to even keep a job, this can be by being rude to co-workers or customers, or not showing up with no regard for the consequences of what will happen.

  • Psychopath – Controlled and aware
  • Sociopath – Impulsive and reckless

The statistics. Psychopaths and Sociopaths are something of a rarity, its unlikely that you know one (personally anyway). They only make up a small percentage of the earths total population with psychopaths being slightly rarer than sociopaths.

  • Psychopath – 1 in 100
  • Sociopath –  3 in 100