Sociopaths are people with personality disorders who cause harm to others without remorse. In movies, they have scared us with characters like Norman Bates from Psycho and Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs. While these are extremes, it is not easy to spot a sociopath by looks alone. There are definitive traits that characterize a sociopath, and they are included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders labeled as a personality disorder. These traits can be traced as far back as a person’s childhood.
Many people confuse sociopaths with psychopaths; both are antisocial personalities, but one can be a sociopath without being a psychopath. Psychopaths are charming and manipulative while sociopaths are impulsive and aggressive without care to consequences. Psychopaths have a genetic disposition to psychopathy while sociopaths are a result of their environment and genetics.
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