Get PJ Media on your Apple

Dr. Helen

Is 1 in 25 people really a sociopath?

August 26th, 2013 - 5:56 am

Doug Giles has a post up (from the Huffington Post) entitled “DATE FROM HELL: 11 Signs You May be Dating a Sociopath:”

Could that amazing new person you or a loved one is dating actually be a sociopath? It’s not as far-fetched as you might imagine. Roughly one in 25 Americans is a sociopath, according to Harvard psychologist Dr. Martha Stout, author of The Sociopath Next Door. Of course, not all sociopaths are dangerous criminals. But they certainly can make life difficult, given that the defining characteristic of sociopathy is antisocial behavior.

Stout is saying that 1 in 25 people or 4% are sociopaths. Are there really that many sociopaths these days? In the older DSM-IV, the prevalence of Antisocial Personality Disorder in a community sample is about 3% for males and about 1% for females, and just because one has APD does not mean he or she is a sociopath. A sociopath is even more extreme than someone with APD. Are sociopaths growing among Americans or are we renaming many people as sociopaths? It’s a tough question to answer.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (15)
All Comments   (15)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
Perhaps people are just low on empathy for one another, to fit the criteria of some of these disorders you need to tick a few more boxes .... One in twenty five is very concerning, but sociopathy I thought was realitively rarer than this? We are living in the age of the individual, our society seldom looks at community that cares for one another, the individual is supreme, it's just selfishness gone wild!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I started to read her book. When I get to her talking about the thing that worried her most about 9/11 would be if 'we would start being mean to Muslims' I put it down.

I don't read books by moral imbeciles.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
where does borderline personality disorder, and other personality disorders, such as histrionic personality disorder, fit in? I know they're different from the bipolar spectrum (one can be 'fixed' through medication, and the other can't), but dealing with one of these people AND family court at the same time is a nightmare that is beyond explanation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
wiki excerpt:
While people with BPD also feel joy intensely, they are especially prone to dysphoria, or feelings of mental and emotional distress. Zanarini et al. recognize four categories of dysphoria that are typical of this condition: extreme emotions; destructiveness or self-destructiveness; feeling fragmented or lacking identity; and feelings of victimization.[17] Within these categories, a BPD diagnosis is strongly associated with a combination of three specific states: 1) feeling betrayed, 2) "feeling like hurting myself", and 3) feeling completely out of control.[17] Since there is great variety in the types of dysphoria experienced by people with BPD, the amplitude of the distress is a helpful indicator of borderline personality disorder."
Since these feelings of being VICTIM is powerful one must become saint to help this victim 24/7. But her good lawyer know how to play saint to extract on the money from you and if he still learning the ropes of being good psychopath your wife fall in love with her risk- taking lawyer and you may have another baby to support if she not offer baby to the god Molech .
This is how it was with 7 demon Mary Magdeline and SAINT Jesus casting out the 7 demons but she still had keen eye to see the flaws of Peter , James and Paul and it took 2000 years for her to heal and be ruler of the Sun in 2013 as sign healing from borderline personality symptoms can take place over time
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I notice the human walking city street have taste of psychopath on tongue, that bug in ear , psychopath fly buzzing their head sometimes landing near their eye and makes their body parts go wacko no wonder why the they looking for order and control everything that moves putting them in "proper" place
Whereas I yes I with 7 wives do not have these problems any more and the other 6 protect me from my 5th wife the harlot of Babylon give me method to endure her as she improves chained in my dungeon figure of speech
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
footnote
There is great emotion in some psychopaths say if they get away with murder and called a hero for murdering a teenager then why not visit the factory that made the gun and smile
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgjuGE-muxo&feature=player_embedded

Someone should write book
The Happy Hero Psychopath
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You're black, aren't you? So sad that you're such a racist.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've read Stout and Hare (who is more substantive), and I also recommend Evil, by Roy Baumeister. Also, a friend/Ph.D who runs a hospital for the criminally insane gave me The Lucifer Effect, by Philip Zimbardo, which he recommends highly but which I haven't read yet.

I think 4-5% is as good as anything. However, we run into the "observed population" problem here. Actually, some professions and some locales greatly encourage and attract sociopathic personalities. So smoothing the distribution of sociopaths across all cohorts may not be such a good idea, if you are on the lookout.

Politics, Big Finance, Big Media, the Arts: these verticals have a higher distribution of true sociopathic personalities.

Absent from the list in the story is something that all people should spot as a total red flag: an inability to maintain frame, or cover, for more than 6-9 months. Most brilliant sociopathic personalities are educated and seemingly successful, and they interview and date very well. But you'll find that they have a track record of 6-9 month relationships or marriages, and a professional track record of 1-2 year jobs.

Sociopathic criminals keep moving: they can't maintain the facade for more than 6-9 months.

Other things to look for: a kind of sexual pleasure that emerges in the sociopath's face and eyes, when s/he recounts hurting someone at work or on the street. When the rest of us become stressed over conflict, a sociopath becomes enlivened, even blissful; it is her/his zone of self-actualization. A total focus on "winning" -- at anything. A remarkably accurate inventory of your needs (which are then manipulated) and your vulnerabilities or weaknesses (which are exploited). A focus on a deterministic assessment of other people: a good sociopath constructs an algorithm of control, tests it, and then *does not deviate* from its use. Repetition: Ted Bundy, Bill Clinton, Warren Beatty: a good sociopath knows that worked once will work for all time. There won't be any innovation.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Last, an accomplished sociopath, if confronted with new information, is an unemotional learning machine. Example: my friend's inmates are sexual predators. They spend a lot of time getting themselves into court proceedings and working the system. My friend focuses on preventing dilatory proceedings. The best criminals seeking exit comprehend faster, and with more discipline, how the courts work, and what the weaknesses are. They are unemotional and ruthless in their data acquisition. The likelihood of preventing their success in arbitrary court proceedings declines as their duration increases.

Just get away from these people. There is no managing, changing, or saving them. The impulse to do so just serves their ambitions. Just get away.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"... that *what* worked once will work for all time. There won't be any innovation.

This is why, if in a relationship with one of these people, there is no meaning in apology or tearful remorse. No matter how sincerely expressed, its merely a coded response designed to trigger sympathy from someone who retains the capacity for empathy, moral fairness, a desire for fairness. These qualities simply don't exist in a sociopathic personality. It's not that the qualities are inverted -- they *simply don't exist.* This is very hard for anyone of conscience to comprehend, and locating the credulous is the sociopath's game.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Just want to apologize to Helen, because I don't want my comments to appear to be directed at her as a professional, just to the rest of us out here walking around and dealing with some of these people. I should have provided that caveat up front.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I have some experience with this personality type (a female friend) and it's chilling to know you are nothing more than a means to an end.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
What's "antisocial behavior" even supposed to mean? I've seen people that are more introverted than most labeled "antisocial" simply because they prefer 1 on 1, serious conversation, as opposed to group discussions about not so serious topics.

As for psychopaths, the "worst" sociopaths, the newest research is indicating that they choose whether to empathize or not, whereas "normal" people have no choice. Kinda a cool ability, I think. :)
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
There's nothing "kinda cool" about sociopathic personalities, though I understand you do not understand the concept and haven't read the literature or lived the life.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Introverted is not the same thing.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
View All