A sociopath is not a diagnosis. This is the term that is widely used in relation to a person with an antisocial personality disorder. It falls under a Cluster B personality disorder group that comprises the following four groups:
- antisocial personality disorder
- borderline personality disorder
- narcissistic personality disorder
- histrionic personality disorder
This cluster is generally characterized by dramatic and unpredictable thinking and behavior. There are some common patterns for two or more groups usually. Thus, lack of empathy and disregard for consequences are the main indicators of two disorders of this group.
Borderline Personality Disorder
This diagnosis is characterized by a fragile self-image, self-harm tendencies, a sense of unworthiness, etc.
A borderline personality disorder is often accompanied by substance abuse, depression, and eating disorders. Sadly, many patients with this diagnosis pass away because of suicide.
Histrionic Personality Disorder
This type of personality disorder is characterized by an increased need for attention and recognition. People with such a diagnosis are often believed to be simply dramatic by the surrounding people. This disorder is 4 times more likely to be diagnosed in women.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Many people know the intricacies of the term narcissist but usually use it superstitiously towards anyone self-serving. When, in fact, it can be a complex mental diagnosis of an exaggerated sense of self-importance, to the extent of manipulating others and struggling with empathy. This is a severe real-life diagnosis, not a Greek myth for entertainment. A narcissist can pose a threat to people nearby.
Antisocial Personality Disorder
The topic of this sociopath test. This is where the term sociopath can be used, alongside a similar term psychopath. Some people will use them interchangeably, but there is a distinct line between the two.
In general, antisocial personality disorder covers such patterns:
- lack of empathy
- lack of remorse and guilt
- disregard for social norms and laws
- the inability to form meaningful long-term relationships
- constant manipulation and lying
- extensive history of conduct problems by the age of 15
An American mental health expert Dr. Ramani distinguishes the two terms in the following way.
Born and Acquired
As a rule of thumb, patients that would be called psychopathic are born this way. Whether it’s a hereditary condition or not, the area of their brain responsible for arousal (fight or flight, increased heartbeat, exhilaration, goosebumps, etc.) is not working the way a healthy brain does. It can be turned on for a short time, but it does not act instinctively.
People who we’d call sociopaths are more likely to acquire the condition in response to the environmental influence and abuse. They may have instinctual arousal responses, but they are extremely weak.
Hot and Cold
Another essential distinction between the two types is in their reactivity.
Sociopaths are hot-headed and react instantly. They react impulsively, not even thinking about how it will affect others.
Psychopaths are more cold-minded and calculating. They will be your perfect charming neighbor or a boss “shark.” They are often charismatic and know to hide under a mask of “mentally healthy” by imitating the responses that society expects from them. Inside, they are lying, manipulating, calculating, and power-seeking. This is your perfect CEO.
So, if you are here, interested in this sociopathy test, there is a good chance that you are not a clinical case of antisocial disorder or are here for fun (and even may take pride in their “superiority”).