You met at your favorite bar and were immediately dazzled by his charm and confidence—not to mention how fun he is. According to psychologist Martha Stout , sociopaths an Antisocial Personality Disorder characterized by a lack of moral responsibility or social conscience make up 4 percent of the U. Visions of American Psycho coming to mind? While psychopaths and sociopaths do share some similarities and are often used interchangeably , there are a few notable differences—chiefly that a psychopath has no conscience whereas a sociopath has a weak one, says psychologist L.
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But sociopaths can be charismatic and some symptoms of their condition, like being impulsive and persuasive and shunning social norms, can be attractive in some situations. A quick primer: A sociopath is someone who has antisocial personality disorder—a condition that causes them to lack empathy, be exploitative in close relationships, indifferent to the needs of others , entitled, and lack remorse for the bad things they do and say—according to clinical psychologist Ramani Durvasula , PhD, author of Should I Stay or Should I Go? For the record, being a sociopath isn't something you can fix on your own. Antisocial personality disorder is often hard to treat, and sociopaths usually don't think they need help.