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Spotlight On: Psychopathy vs. Sociopathy

Last updated: 08/05/2015 | More Spotlight On content
The debate whether psychopaths and sociopaths constitute distinct antisocial personality disorders has been ongoing for some 200 years. The common denominator that seems to be agreed upon is a propensity for deviant behavior and a lack of empathy. Opinions diverge on if and how these constructs differ or overlap. One may ask, does the debate in fact bear any relevance, or is it the mere manifestation of academic quibbling over terminology.

On the one hand, enduring diagnostic confusion, best articulated in the constant changes in the DSM's "laundry list", attests to arbitrariness. On the other, the disputes over the causes and characterization of each clinical entity have clear implications both on the clinical prognosis that is planned for, and the legal entity that is defined. The works included in the following list situate the debate in diverse frameworks – philosophy (notions of evil & responsibility); psychology (nature vs. nurture); biology (congenital vs. acquired); criminology (behavioral profiling); evolution (adaptive strategies), discourse (social constructs); law (trial proceedings); and neuroscience (cerebral mechanisms).

  18 records in list

Arrigo, B. A. & Shipley, S. (2001) "The Confusion Over Psychopathy (i): Historical Considerations", International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 20 pages. doi: 10.1177/0306624X01453005. http://ijo.sagepub.com/conten... Abstract▼ 

Black, D. W. (1999) Bad Boys, Bad Men: Confronting Antisocial Personality Disorder, Oxford University Press, 256 pages. https://books.google.co.il/bo... Abstract▼ 

Edens, J. F. & Cox, J. (2012) "Examining the Prevalence, Role and Impact of Evidence Regarding Antisocial Personality, Sociopathy and Psychopathy in Capital Cases: A Survey of Defense Team Members", Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 17 pages. doi: 10.1002/bsl.2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bsl... Abstract▼ 

Federman, C., Holmes, D. & Jacob, J. D. (2009) "Deconstructing the Psychopath: A Critical Discursive Analysis", Cultural Critique, 30 pages. doi: 10./. https://muse.jhu.edu/journals...

Gurley, J. R. (2009) "A History of Changes to the Criminal Personality in the DSM", History of Psychology, 20 pages. doi: 10.1037/a0018101. Abstract▼ 

Hare, R. D. (1994) Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths among Us, (2nd ed.), Warner Books, 289 pages. https://books.google.co.il/bo... Abstract▼ 

James, R. & Blair, R. J. (2002) "Neuro-Cognitive Models of Acquired Sociopathy and Developmental Psychopathy", Neurobiology of Criminal Behavior, 30 pages. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4615-0943-1_7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978... Abstract▼ 

Litton, P. (2008) "Responsibility Status of the Psychopath: On Moral Reasoning and Rational Self-Governance", Rutgers Law Journal, 44 pages. http://lawjournal.rutgers.edu... Abstract▼ 

Lykken, D. T. (1957) "A Study of Anxiety in the Sociopathic Personality", Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 5 pages. doi: 10.1037/h0047232. Abstract▼ 

Lykken, D. (1996) "Psychopathy, Sociopathy, and Crime", Society, 10 pages. doi: 10.1007/BF02696999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF0...

Miric, D., Hallet-Mathieu, A. & Amar, G. (2005) "Etiology of Antisocial Personality Disorder: Benefits for Society from an Evolutionary Standpoint", Medical Hypotheses, 6 pages. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2005.05.027. http://www.sciencedirect.com/... Abstract▼ 

Partridge, G. E. (1930) "Current Conceptions of Psychopathic Personality", American Journal of Psychiatry, 47 pages. doi: 10.1176/ajp.87.1.53. http://dx.doi.org/10.1176/ajp...

Pemment, J. (2013) "Psychopathy Versus Sociopathy: Why the Distinction Has Become Crucial", Aggression and Violent Behavior, 4 pages. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2013.07.001. http://www.sciencedirect.com/... Abstract▼ 

Pickersgill, M. (2010) "From Psyche to Soma? Changing Accounts of Antisocial Personality Disorders in the American Journal of Psychiatry", History of Psychiatry, 18 pages. doi: 10.1177/0957154X09102800. http://hpy.sagepub.com/conten... Abstract▼ 

Schlesinger, L. B. (1980) "Distinctions Between Psychopathic, Sociopathic and Anti-Social Personality Disorders", Psychological Reports, 7 pages. doi: 10.2466/pr0.1980.47.1.15. http://dx.doi.org/10.2466/pr0...

Vaillant, G. E. (1975) "Sociopathy as a Human Process: A Viewpoint", Archives of General Psychiatry, 6 pages. doi: 10.1001/archpsyc.1975.01760200042003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/arc... Abstract▼ 

Walsh, A. & Wu, H. (2008) "Differentiating Antisocial Personality Disorder, Psychopathy, and Sociopathy: Evolutionary, Genetic, Neurological, and Sociological Considerations", Criminal Justice Studies, 18 pages. doi: 10.1080/14786010802159814. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/147... Abstract▼ 

Yildirim, B. O. & Derksen, J. J. (2013) "Systematic Review, Structural Analysis, and New Theoretical Perspectives on the Role of Serotonin and Associated Genes in the Etiology of Psychopathy and Sociopathy", Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 43 pages. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2013.04.009. http://www.sciencedirect.com/... Abstract▼ 

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