Sociopath Traits

Sociopathy or antisocial personality disorder is defined as psychological health condition in which a person has a long-term pattern of controlling, making use of, or breaching the rights of others. There are many particular Sociopath Traits and the defining requirements are noted here.

Sociopath Definition

Medically, sociopathy is called as antisocial character condition. It is specified as “a psychological health condition in which an individual has a long-lasting pattern of manipulating, exploiting, or breaking the rights of others.”

The specific reason for sociopathy is unknown. However, it is believed to result from intricate interaction of hereditary and ecological factors (e.g. child abuse, alcoholic parents). Sociopathy is a lot more typical in men as compared to women.

Sociopath Traits

Different hallmark sociopath characteristics are noted below. It is very important to note that not all qualities will be present in all the “sociopaths”.

According to ICD-10 criteria, presence of 3 or more of the following qualifies for the medical diagnosis of antisocial character condition (~ sociopathy):.=

  1. Callous unconcern for the sensations of others.
  2. Gross and relentless attitude of irresponsibility and neglect for social norms, and obligations.
  3. Incapacity to preserve long-lasting relationships, though having no trouble in developing them.
  4. Very low tolerance to disappointment, a low threshold for discharge of aggressiveness, consisting of violence.
  5. Inability to experience regret or to benefit from experience, particularly punishment.
  6. Noticeably prone to blame others or to provide plausible justification for the behavior that has brought the person into dispute with society.

High Functioning Sociopath

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM IV-TR) is another extensively used tool for the diagnosis and it specifies sociopath traits as:

A) Pervasive pattern of neglect for and violation of the rights of others occurring considering that age 15 years, as suggested by 3 or more of the following:.

  • Consistent irresponsibility, as suggested by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations.
  • Impulsiveness or failure to prepare ahead.
  • Negligent disregard for safety of self or others.
  • Deceptiveness, as indicated by consistently lying, use of aliases, or tricking others for personal earnings or pleasure.
  • Absence of regret as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having injured, maltreated, or stolen from another.
  • Failure to conform to social norms with regard to lawful habits as shown by repeatedly carrying out acts that are grounds for arrest.
  • Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by duplicated physical fights or assaults.

B) The individual is at least age 18 years.

C) There is proof of conduct disorder with start before age 15 years.

D) The incident of antisocial habits is not solely during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

Sociopathy vs. Psychopathy vs. Antisocial Personality Disorder

There is often confusion between these terms because of broad overlapping of the functions. Sociopathy is nearly associated with antisocial personality condition. Antisocial character disorder is a medical diagnosis which is commonly termed as sociopathy. Nevertheless, some people might have some functions of sociopathy which might not be suffice to meet the diagnostic criteria for antisocial character condition. They may also be called (albeit wrongly) sociopaths.

Some people consider psychopathy synonymous with sociopathy. Nevertheless, psychopathy is a more severe type of sociopathy. Psychopathy is not a defined medical diagnosis in the extensively used DSM-IV criteria for the medical diagnosis of mental illness. Most of psychopaths will satisfy the diagnostic requirements for antisocial character condition, however vice versa is not true and only 1/3rd of the sociopaths will meet the criteria for psychopathy.

High Functioning Sociopath

High working sociopath is term used to explain people with sociopath traits that also take place to have an extremely high intelligence quotient. They are most likely to be extremely effective in the field they venture (politics, business, and so on). They plan extremely carefully and the presence of sociopathic characteristics like lack of compassion, lack of regret, deceptiveness, shallow feelings, etc. makes it really challenging for “regular” people to compete with them.

Sociopath Traits in Children

Antisocial character disorder (~ Sociopathy) is only detected in grownups (age more than 18 years). In children and teenagers (age less than 18 years), the “sociopathy characteristics” are diagnosed as conduct condition. Conduct disorder diagnosis is altered to antisocial character disorder if the traits persist after obtaining the age of 18 years.

MacDonald Triad or the “triad of sociopathy” comprises of cruelty to animals, fascination with fire setting and bed wetting. These features might be present during the youth of sociopaths. Ruthlessness towards animals, fixation with fire setting, lying and stealing are a few of the most crucial features of conduct disorders in children and teenagers.

Last Update - September 23, 2017


The Author

Reyus Mammadli

As a healthy lifestyle advisor I try to guide individuals in becoming more aware of living well and healthy through a series of proactive and preventive measures, disease prevention steps, recovery after illness or medical procedures. Education: Bachelor Degree of Medical Equipment and Electronics.

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