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What is sociopathy?

  1. Jul 24, 2017 #1
    I've heard some people say that a sociopath has no empathy for other people.

    I've heard & read other people say and write that what defines a sociopath is that they don't have consciences.

    I know that a person can have a powerful conscience, but not feel empathy for other people aside from his conscience. For instance, there is a person I know like this who has a strong conscience but very little empathy aside from his conscience. I will call the person person X. Person X would feel enormous empathy (and guilt) for a person that he or she accidentally hurt in a car wreck. However, if the same car accident victim was hurt in a car wreck, and person X did not cause the wreck, person X would have almost no empathy for the victim. The outcome for the victim would be the same in each scenario.

    If a person has a strong conscience, but the person has almost no empathy for other people apart from his conscience, is the person a sociopath?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 24, 2017 #2


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    according to https://www.theravive.com/therapedia/antisocial-personality-disorder-dsm--5-301.7-(f60.2)

    A. Disregard for and violation of others rights since age 15, as indicated by one of the seven sub features:

    1. Failure to obey laws and norms by engaging in behavior which results in criminal arrest, or would warrant criminal arrest
    2. Lying, deception, and manipulation, for profit tor self-amusement,
    3. Impulsive behavior
    4. Irritability and aggression, manifested as frequently assaults others, or engages in fighting
    5. Blatantly disregards safety of self and others,
    6. A pattern of irresponsibility and
    7. Lack of remorse for actions (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)
    The other diagnostic Criterion are:

    B. The person is at least age 18,

    C. Conduct disorder was present by history before age 15

    D. and the antisocial behavior does not occur in the context of schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)
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