What are the emotional differences between a psychopath and a sociopath?
As far as emotional differences, psychopaths have the inability to feel emotions, they lack remorse, and any kind of guilt. It is almost as if they have no conscious. They can mimick human emotions. Conversely, sociopaths on the other hand, actually have the ability to feel some emotions (although these feelings are very shallow).
Additionally, one of the main differences between psychopaths and sociopaths is rooted in the contributing factors that makes one more prone to fitting into either category (and also explains the emotional differences). Ever heard of the saying "psychopaths are born, sociopaths are made?" Research has shown that those who are psychopaths have a genetic predisposition, while sociopaths develop this mental state from their social environment. Hint the word social in the word sociopath. Therefore, a huge contributing factor for a psychopath is neurological components that alter their brain chemistry. Research demonstrates that psychopaths have reduced connections in the part of the brain that is responsible for empathy and guilt, as well as a reduction in fear and anxiety. Sociopaths on the other hand, develop this mental state from their environment (an important contributing factor). For example, someone who comes from a dangerous, toxic, unhealthy, and unstable environment is more prone to developing a mental illness/ disorder. Bowlby's attachment disorder is an example of how one's environment plays a significant part in their mental state. When children grow up in unhealthy environments, they form unstable attachments to their caregiver. As they grow older and transition into adulthood, this same unhealthy attachment that was formed in their childhood, transitions into their adult life, and makes them more susceptible to an unstable mental state. It will also create unstable bonds with the people in their life. Our environments will either help our mental states develop and progress in a healthy way, or for some, it can be the cause of disturbances later on.
These contributing factors may explain the emotional differences between the two. Because there is an alteration rooted in the brain chemistry for psychopaths, this explains why they lack a conscious or guilt and are emotionless. When there is a reduction in the vital part of the brain for functioning, it is much harder to display feelings. Whereas for a sociopath, their cognitive state isn't rooted in an alteration of brain chemistry. Rather they have just been subjected to destructive environments, which is why they can still from stable relationships with others. I would like to think that perhaps a change of environment (along with the right treatment) they will react to treatment more faster and easily than a psychopath whose genetic predisposition can't be modified.
Sociopaths are mostly impulsive and emotionally not stable, while psychopaths are very calculated and lack emotions.
It is important to know Psychopath and sociopath is a obsolete term. Now, psychologists use term Antisocial personality disorder. It is a spectrum.
By what I've read online some of the main differences appear to be:
~ Sociopaths tend to act more impulsively and erratically compared to psychopaths who are often called cold-blooded.
~While psychopaths generally struggle to form attachments, sociopaths may be able to do so with a like-minded individual.
~ Psychopaths may be better able to disassociate from their actions and experience less guilt than sociopaths.