Psychopath vs. Sociopath

Hannibal Lecter. Norman Bates. The Joker. These are characters we know from the silver screen that have terrified us as much as they thrill us. From Hollywood to TV series like Law and Order, Mindhunter, CSI, and Criminal Minds, the logic driving psychopaths and sociopaths have long fascinated the mainstream consciousness. Typically, these people are calculating, relentless, and charming at surface value, with little time or care for others’ human emotions, or are incapable of feeling themselves.


Do you recognise someone like this? Chances are, you know a sociopath or psychopath. According to the American Psychological Association, as much as 3.3% of the world’s population falls into those categories. Dr. Xanthé Mallett, Lecturer in Forensic Criminology at the University of Newcastle, talked with Drive to clarify the difference.

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