Being a sociopath is described as a condition involving anti-social personality disorder. Individuals considered as sociopaths are usually associated with aggressiveness, impulsivity and likelihood to commit criminal behaviors. Although no treatments are available for sociopaths, ways such as keeping a safe distance and obtaining restraining orders against the can help handle those considered to be sociopaths. Various characteristics can help in profiling sociopaths in the contemporary times.
The behaviors of sociopaths are linked to the random and chaotic manner in which their brains store information. For this reason, they tend to exhibit random and chaotic behaviors (Adams, 2012). Sociopaths can be either passive or active. The passive sociopath behaves civilly in most cases while the active sociopath only behaves civilly in the presence of those they fear. Characteristics such as superficial charm, selfishness, manipulative/ conning behaviors, emotional and physical shallowness and pathological lying are all essential characteristics of sociopaths. Due to the shallow emotions, sociopaths often exhibit behaviors such as hasty anger. They are however not affected by emotional aspects as normal human beings are. They also tend to exhibit intelligence, which they use for manipulative purposes (Stout, 2015).
Because of the intelligence of sociopaths, they also appear to be poetic and capable of producing excellent speeches. In addition to this, sociopaths are also delusional and deceptive as they influence others to engage in negative behaviors. Moreover, sociopaths like focusing on factors that increase their vulnerability such as religion. They are entrepreneurial and prone to criminal activity.
The causes of sociopathic tendencies are still unclear. However, it has been reported that some of the factors include the environment and genetic factors. The environment of upbringing such as deprivation by the mothers during early childhood leads to the development of sociopathic behaviors. Children whose parents are sociopaths are also likely to adopt sociopathic behaviors from their parents.
In addition to this, abnormal brain function also results in sociopathic tendencies. This is because the chaotic nature in which information is stored in the sociopaths’ brains makes it difficult and slow to process information, w factor which affects the ability to socialize. Charles Manson, a musician and a criminal, is one of the most famous sociopaths in history. The man was imprisoned for murder committed by the Manson family under his directions.
Although it is unclear why he became a sociopath, he clearly exhibits behaviors such as aggressiveness when his integrity is brought to question through constant denial of his criminal involvements (Bugliosi & Gentry, 1994). Other sociopaths such as Marshall Apple White and Jim Jones managed to convince people to commit suicide through consumption of poisonous substances while Adolf Hitler convinced followers to commit murder. In each of the cases, the sociopaths invoked spiritual beliefs as justification for their negative behaviors.
The process of profiling sociopaths involves collection of information relating to their past and present behaviors with the objective of understanding the motives behind their criminal activities. Sociopaths are profiled through psychologists profiling procedures as well as through criminal profiling procedures. While the psychologists focus on the possible causes of behavior, the criminal profilers focus on the behaviors and the need for punitive measures to be taken.
The psychologists however recommend a confirmation of the genuineness of the sociopathic character prior to punishing the offenders. Although there is no cure for sociopaths, keeping a safe distance from them and using psychotherapy can help avert the sociopathic tendencies (Mariotte, 2010). The only hope for the treatment of sociopathy lies in the application of neuroscience. This is however dangerous as sociopaths are also vulnerable to seizures and subjecting them to the process of awakening the cerebral cortex may result in more harm.
Adams, M. (2012). “How to spot a sociopath – 10 red flags that could save you from being
Swept under the influence of a charismatic nut job.” NaturalNews.com. Retrieved
Bugliosi, V., and Gentry, C. (1994). Helter Skelter—The True Story of the Manson Murders
25th Anniversary Edition. WW. Norton & Company.
Mariotte, J. (2010). Criminal minds: Sociopaths, serial killers, and other deviants. Hoboken,
N.J: John Wiley & Sons.
Stout, M. (2005). The Sociopath Next Door. Broadway Books: New York.
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