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sociopath vs. psychopath

sociopath vs. psychopath: What's the difference?

The terms sociopath and psychopath are not commonly used in clinical diagnoses, and their casual use is often considered offensive. The characteristics historically associated with both terms now fall under what’s officially known as antisocial personality disorder and include impulsive and sometimes violent behavior, a lack of empathy and remorse, and a complete disregard for other people, rules, and laws. Some professionals consider the behaviors and characteristics associated with both terms to be largely the same, while others believe there are clear distinctions (though opinions about such distinctions also vary). Those fitting the characteristics associated with the term psychopath are sometimes considered more likely to be manipulative and therefore less identifiable.

[ soh-see-uh-path, soh-shee- ]
  1. a person with a psychopathic personality whose behavior is antisocial, often criminal, and who lacks a sense of moral responsibility or social conscience.
[ sahy-kuh-path ]
  1. a person with a psychopathic personality, which manifests as amoral and antisocial behavior, lack of ability to love or establish meaningful personal relationships, extreme egocentricity, failure to learn from experience, etc.

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