Because everyone is different, psychologists have long debated how to characterise personality.
Both genetic and environmental factors determine someone's personality. Genes account for between 30-50% of the determination and unique environmental experiences making up the rest.
Television serial killer Dexter may be more of a psychopath than a sociopath due to his methodically delivered kills.
Psychopaths and sociopaths have similar characteristics, lacking remorse or empathy for others. And they can both be violent, deceitful and manipulative. But what are the differences between the two?
Narcissism is a key trait in the subset of ‘dramatic, emotional and erratic’ personality disorders.
Personality disorders have been richly illustrated by filmmakers. Think of attention-seeking Scarlett in Gone with the Wind. Or the villains in Silence of the Lambs and The Talented Mr. Ripley.
Compared to other antisocial people, psychopaths lack empathy and are less able to understand punishment.
The psychologist David Lykken once wrote that most violent crime could be prevented by cryogenically freezing all males aged 12 to 28. Although this option might be appealing at times for high school teachers…