Friday, February 3, 2017

Psychopathy & Sociopathy Differences & Likenesses.

A Reader asked me what I think about the video about Psychopathy vs. Sociopathy by David Franklin, the maker of the video and the one who uploaded it to his Youtube channel here, so I decided to describe my own views on the the subjects put forth here.

David Frankling is pretty much correct about everything that he says in this video, but I do disagree with his assessment of some of the movie personalities...

The Joker - from movie 'The Dark Knight' (2008), here and here.

In this particular movie The Joker is a portrayal of a Classic Psychopath, there is nothing Sociopathic about him. But I understand it's easy to make mistakes, and as I say above, I think Franklin is right about other things he say in the video, also with regard to The Joker.

Dexter - from the TC series 'Dexter' (2006-2013), here and here.

Dexter is a little more difficult to put into a fixed category (which is often the case with psychopathic personalities in general but in some cases with movie characters in particular because they've been invented with the goal of making a certain impact on the audience, and that impact comes before the correct portrayal of personality types which means this latter aspect often gets sacrificed in favor of making good, sustainable entertainment).

I would still classify him as a psychopath who doesn't score highly in certain areas of lack of emotion and callousness.

Bateman - from movie 'American Psycho (2000), here and here [1*].

Yes, Bateman is a psychopath, there's no two ways about that. But he is also psychotic (mentally ill; he can't distinguish between reality and hallucination/fantasy). In real life a man like Bateman would be caught before it came to the point that we see in the movie, it's not possible to have corpses lying around in a small apartment within a densely populated apartment complex without others realizing that something is seriously wrong. Even more to the point, Bateman is clearly on fast track downward spiral, intellectually disintegrating, in real life he wouldn't be able to maintain the appearance of being an effective asset for very long while working and entertaining a superior position for a very high efficiency and highly competitive business company.

We know that antisocial and violently criminal psychopaths are the result of a combination of genetics and environmental aspects. But sociopathy is a result of environmental factors, generally upbringing and unfortunate circumstances in life at large. While their behavior often appears much the same way that psychopathic behavior does, sociopaths do not lack emotions, in fact part of their reason - sometimes all of their reason - for being anti-social has it's basis in emotional factors such as sense of belonging, loyalty, pride, and more. Sociopaths, unlike psychopaths, bond very effectively with other people, with their family, neighborhood, gang, ideological subculture, etc.

Sociopaths also typically thrive in tight nit groups such as crime syndicates or local street gangs where cooperation, group-work and even the willingness to sacrifice own safety for the survival of the group is a matter of personal pride and sense of honor. Sociopaths often form very deep bonds and friendships within their brotherhood of choice.

On the opposite end of the spectrum we have the psychopaths who do very badly in areas such as what I have just described....unless they're the leader of such a group or fill a function that doesn't require them to work together with others. A lot of psychopaths do very well in jobs like being a hitman and other jobs that provides a lot of space to find own ways of executing the mission, never become too repetitive and generally provides basis for lots of excitement. - When such basic conditions are met psychopaths can be uniquely beneficial also to employers working within legal boundaries (f.ex. government affiliated organizations) and will - unlike pretty much every other group or minority of people - be able to carry out their jobs under pressure that would break another person.

 You don't find many people who will withhold confidential and secret information even under torture (I happen to know this from hand experience, but I'm not alone about this, within the group of a certain minority of psychopaths I'm not even that special. I have met and heard about others).


NB. -- If you are seriously interested in the topic of psychopathy you might find it interesting to do a little research on some of the very recent findings which strongly suggests and supports the notion that psychopathy as a genetic condition does not always necessarily result in - nor does it have to result in - antisocial behavior or life style. Neuro-scientist James Fallon is among the very social non-criminal scientists who found out by accident that his brain pattern is indistinguishable from that of a psychopath. A British scientist found the same to be true about himself (he studies the brain patterns of mass murderers and found that his own brain pattern layout is identical to that of mass murderers; yet, he has never committed a murder in his life and nor does he ever had any inclination to do so).

I could add more, but it goes beyond the topic of your video and I just wanted to mention it in case you would like to learn more about it for yourself.        


[1*] You can watch the whole movie 'American Psycho' here.  


Anonymous said...

Interesting and informative! The words psychopath and sociopath are so often used interchangeably, but it looks like there are in fact very big differences between them.

This also totally coincides with the definition used in Monsters, the interactive novel in-progress I've recently become addicted to. (In an interactive novel, you or a character you create are the protagonist and make decisions about what to do next as the story unfolds rather than being told "the main character does xyz".) One major character (Sean) is a psychopath and another (April) is a sociopath...and then there are the emotionally disturbed but empathetic characters who are also members of the cult trying to forcibly recruit you.

I was interested to know whether the author did his research.

So thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

Good to see you dropping in again. Thanks for the article - one thing we can depend on is never being bored by your writings.

Anonymous said...

Moving to real life serial killers, I would consider Ted Bundy most likely psychopathic, but not necessarily Gary Ridgeway. Mainly because his killing urge reduced significantly once with his 3rd wife, and he seemed to murder out of hate or rage. There were other married killers but their marriages did not lessen the amount of victims.

It would be interesting if you could name a couple who were psychopaths or if you see any as sociopaths.

Another thing, they often submit to pressure for a plea bargain to confess and locate bodies in order to avoid the death penalty. I thought psychopaths weren’t afraid of death?

Anonymous said...

Long time - Welcome back!

Will you do part 2 of: Control Lest YOU Be Controlled ?
1st part was so accurate IMHO.


Anonymous said...

Who is the British psychopath scientist?

MMS said...

I don't believe you will respond to comments. Anyone's guess if this is game-playing, boredom, indifference, contempt or a bit of each. Yet here I am commenting away!!!

Tom Arrow said...

I find myself wishing sometimes that I were a psychopath. And it's like ... a part of me is one. I'd say, although it's a slightly imprecise description, that it's the upper part of my body, culminating in the head. The cold intellect. And more or less split apart from that is my lower body, culminating ... in my ass, I guess. It's like this cold intellect wants to be radically free, completely detached, uncaring, indifferent. But this functionality gets "blocked" by the other part. It's like those two parts are at war with each other. The psychopathic mind against the two feet that "bring it down to the ground" of some weird kind of "reality".

Whether I identify with the psychopathic part or with the other one depends on the situation. I haven't found the exact pattern yet. Sometimes I feel and think like a psychopath, other times I am the other part that judges this coldness and feels a lot of pain.

Kinda weird.

Gotta watch The Dark Knight again, though...

Anonymous said...

Tom arrow - advice I can give is to realize that you can manipulate your body, composure , tone , voice, your presence in the environment basically . And you can manipulate how people can see you and think about you and what to think .and get them to do what you want , maybe. All you have to do is turn off your emotional part of your brain and turn on your rational Brainand be the best actor you can be. Just mock people, observe observe observe. . Practice with a trusted friend but don't tell them you are acting just try and see if you can do it. Let them be surprised .When you do it right you will feel a butterfly tingle through your spine and a huge grin . That my friend is what I called winning. Good luck to you

If you are debating between primary and secondary - look up the two in a google search. Secondary is common but it could be tough to make sure . Just know that it is all ok and to remember to meditate and have control over your Breathing as much as possible and when you find yourself getting out of sync with your brain and body to do a few tweaks to get it right and then start again

Zhawq AmaDraque said...

Hello guys,

I regret I haven't been active during the past week. I've been very ill and wasn't able to do much except post comments and quickly skim through emails.

I'm getting well quickly now and should be back within a few days at which time I will reply to your comments and questions and to the emails many of you have sent me.

I have an article in the works. It's an interview which will take place via email so I think it is perfect for this blog. I hope and think it will find my Readers' interest.

In the meantime I just want to thank you for all the support, it means a lot to me.


Anonymous said...

Do psychopaths in general and yourself in particular have a fixed identity behind the mask/s? If so is there a way to describe how this personality is experienced by the psychopath?

I find it difficult to grasp the lack of lonliness by those living a life as the sole occupant of their world.

Anonymous said...

I think your followers are starting to get annoyed by you. I mean not to sound offensive , but it's been 2 years since my email was sent to you (3 of them I think) and I never got a response back. Maybe because you weren't too fond of me , lord only knows. But can you make it clear next time of these so called promises to which special chosen readers get the lucky reply back , so that the unfortunate readers who have reached out to you can start the grieving process and just understand they weren't the lucky chosen ones and not have to waste any time in anticipation expecting a reply back ? Thanks

John nutt said...

The psychopath lacks a conscience because he has a neurological impairment. The sociopath has a conscience but one which is limited to family, gang, race, etc. Very much like how meat eaters have a normal conscience towards other human beings but not towards the animals who they eat and who had to suffer. And this is due to social norms/conditioning and not because their brain is unable to feel empathy.

Frith said...

From what I've come to understand about our (not so kind) host is that he has equal disdain and/or contempt for all his followers, although there have been times when something written by one of us attracts his interest sufficiently to respond. But the interest doesn't last very long. We should never take anything eminating from him personally, especially as psychopaths do not view others with an existance as a person. I stay around because I enjoy his articles and that superb intelligence of his.

That said, he has been rather offensive in his lack of any retort recently. In the past this was a much nicer place to hang around.

Frith said...

John nutt

You seemed to have hit the nail on the head with your comment. There is however growing compassion for suffering by animals resulting in a fairly large community of Vegans.

Do you have any thoughts on similarities and differences in the traits of NarcissisticPD and Psychopathy? Spent a bit of time on a site by someone who describes himself as a Malignant Narcissist and he seems to have a fair amount of psychopatic behaviour patterns.

Anonymous said...


"Do you have any thoughts on similarities and differences in the traits of NarcissisticPD and Psychopathy? Spent a bit of time on a site by someone who describes himself as a Malignant Narcissist and he seems to have a fair amount of psychopatic behaviour patterns." The difference is supposed to be that the psychopaths anti social and abusive behaviour is a means in itself while for the narcissist it is a means to an end - narcissistic supply. If they are starved of their drug of narcissistic supply or if someone humiliates them they mentally collapse.

Anonymous said...

I think Gary Ridgeway was Psychopath. He was able to kill people fuck their corpses and then have a dinner and play with his kids. I've seen a interview with him conducted by FBI I think where he was telling that on some of the killings he brought his kid. He didn't actually take the kid to see the murder but the kid was waiting in a car while he was killing the women and the FBI asked him if his own kid caught him in the act if he would kill him and he said he would. I think Gary had his family only as a cover but there was no true love.

Tom Arrow said...

Zhawq, do you think this one is a psychopath?

Frith said...

Thanks Anon for your comment on Narcs vs Psychopaths. It makes sense.