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What constitutes a psychopath/sociopath?

Asked by Aethelflaed (13717 points ) July 31st, 2012

When you say “so-and-so’s a psychopath/sociopath”, what does that mean? Is there a set definition you’re using? Specific diagnostic criteria? Does it simply mean “someone I think isn’t empathetic enough”, or “someone I think is a monster”?

Is a psychopath the same as a sociopath? If not, what’s the difference between the two? Is psychopath and/or sociopath synonymous with any other terms?

Are there famous (real or fictional) psychopaths/sociopaths you model your judgments off of?

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