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I am confused by this description of sociopaths
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Avatar Korra Offline
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Post: #1
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Here's what it said:
"The characterization of a sociopath is a person who lacks empathy or a moral conscience and disregards societal norms. They con people for personal pleasure and amusement and have a complete lack of remorse. They live in their own bubble, ignoring reality and existing only to meet their selfish needs, not caring whom gets harmed in the way. One thing that attracted me to sociopaths was their antisocial behaviors."
--
So, sociopaths are supposed to be bad, right? But someone who "disregards societal norms" could be someone fighting against slavery, which is a societal norm. What if I rebelled against a tyrannical king and was happy during their defeat? I would've had a "complete lack of remorse" then.

"...existing only to meet their own selfish needs." Does that mean that if I skipped class because I feel school is a prison I shouldn't take seriously, and I wanted freedom... I'd just be acting selfishly since a teacher may feel bad that I'm not taking their class seriously?

Also, if sociopaths are supposed to question and go against what is accepted, then would empaths have to fully conform to whatever kind of society they are born in regardless of how bad it could be(since they're supposed to be the opposite of sociopaths I think)?

Would a teen acting antisocially because they hate being treated like an inferior being by adults/ hate the lack of freedom in their lives(aka going through what people call a rebellious "phase") be labelled a sociopath???

Or was this description made with the worst scenario in mind? I feel like I'm misunderstanding this horribly. BrickwallUpset

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02-06-2017 09:00 AM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #2
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

you've stumbled upon the most pervasive unwritten precept of psychology: "society is just fine"

people who come to see psychological abberations as being created by various institutions in society tend to gravitate away from psychology since the locust of various problems are not found within individuals. they go towards political science or various counter culture groups offering solutions to societal problems. such people seem to remain outside of the purview of mainstream psychology.

thats why people who study education DONT hear much about John Holt or Dan Greemberg.

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(This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 01:43 PM by the Analogist.)
02-06-2017 01:43 PM
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Avatar Korra Offline
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Post: #3
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

I never thought of psychology implying that society was just fine. That makes so much sense! This reminds me of Drapetomania, which was a mental disorder slaves were labelled with when they wanted to run away. Something like that can only be created with the idea that the slave was messed up and not that forced labor and captivity were bad.

"I’M BEGGING YOU, PRINCE ZUKO! It’s time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big question: who are you and what do YOU want?"
" While it is always best to believe in one’s self, a little help from others can be a great blessing"
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(This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 02:22 PM by Avatar Korra.)
02-06-2017 02:21 PM
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Post: #4
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

One thing by itself doesn't make you a sociopath, and you don't have to completely conform to norms and be a people-pleaser / doormat to not be a sociopath. You also can't be diagnosed with this until you're 18.

Sociopathy is an informal term, so to be specific, let's look at Antisocial Personality Disorder in the DSM V.

PDF, IV on the left and V on the right http://www.psi.uba.ar/academica/carreras...al/dsm.pdf

All emphasis mine.

First, the general criteria for a personality disorder:


The DSM IV column talking about this is a little easier to understand, I think, if you want to look at the PDF. So it has to be something that actually adversely affects your daily life, isn't occasional/situational, isn't better explained by your developmental stage or sociocultural environment (like still being a teenager), and isn't because you do drugs or have hit your head or something.

Then APD itself. This is the part where we satisfy General Criterion B from the above. First they begin with traits specific to APD. Note that it is saying the criteria A through F must be met. Don't worry just because it says things like "self-esteem derived from personal gain" and "goal-setting based on personal gratification". Everyone does things for themselves; this must all be taken as a big picture instead, not getting lost in the details.


Then it reiterates some of the general criteria, followed by the part where you can't be diagnosed with this as a minor. Note that the DSM IV also calls for "a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the
rights of others occurring since age 15 years
".

(This post was last modified: 02-06-2017 07:55 PM by vonunov.)
02-06-2017 07:47 PM
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Post: #5
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

You can't be a sociopath if you don't violate rights of others.
There were no rights in Nazi Germany.
Ergo, there were no sociopaths in Nazi Germany.
Brilliant fucking definition. I r8 0/8.

Hello, traveler.

This is an ancient account I have not used in a long time. My views have changed much in the intervening months and years.

Nonetheless, I refuse to clean it up. Pretending that I've held my current views since the beginning of time is what we in the industry call a lie. Asking people to do so contributes to moralistic self-loathing. "See, those people have nothing damning! I do! I'm truly vile!"

Because you can never be a good person with a single blemish on the moral record, I thought that simply entertaining some thoughts made me irredeemable. Though I don't care for his writing style, William Faulkner presents a good counterexample. He went from being a typical Southern racist to supporting the civil rights movement. These days we'd yell at him for that, probably.

People are allowed to change their views.

Nevertheless, this period of my life has informed some of how I am today. In good ways and bad ways. To purge it would be to do a disservice to history. Perhaps it will not make anyone sympathetic, but it may help someone understand.

If, after reading all this, you still decide to use the post above as evidence that I am evil today, ask yourself if you have never disagreed with the moral code you now follow. In all likelihood you did, at some point. If some questions are verboten, and the answer is "how dare you ask that," don't expect your ideological opponents to ever change their minds.
(This post was last modified: 02-07-2017 04:32 AM by no.)
02-06-2017 09:23 PM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #6
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

I'm pretty skeptical of most definitions of "disorders". Most of them seem to depend on the assumption that there is one accepted "normal", and things that are different from that should be called a disorder.

The only valid disorders, IMO, are things that actually seriously make life difficult for the person(s) most affected by it. Like, not being able to see, or having hallucinations, not being able to understand words, stuff like that.

Or, well, lying to people and hurting them without giving a damn. But I suppose that affects other people more than the person doing it. Also, people who do this kind of thing can actually be handsomely rewarded by society, if they get away with it (politicians, corrupt people in positions of power, etc). So I guess it's only considered a disorder if it isn't a powerful elite person doing it.

The way society is set up, it makes certain things a lot harder than they should be, so "disorders" with a definition based on how well the person functions in society are pretty questionable to me.

I found this a while ago (about Autism, but still relevant):
Quote:I won't say that I am differently abled, and I will correct people who call me differently abled. I will also info-dump all the reasons that it's not the language choice I want if you tell me I should be using it. It's soft. It's nice. It also ignores the fact that I am Disabled. I am disabled by society's responses to my actual set of abilities, impairments, and kind of weirds. In many cases it's more by the kind of weirds than the actual impairments, which is... really telling.

So... society is a disorder? Scratchchin

Where'd you find that description anyway? It sounds like it was written by someone based on their personal experience...

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02-06-2017 10:48 PM
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Avatar Korra Offline
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Post: #7
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

(02-06-2017 10:48 PM)SoulRiser Wrote:  Where'd you find that description anyway? It sounds like it was written by someone based on their personal experience...

I found it here: https://www.google.com/amp/thoughtcatalo...id-verizon

"I’M BEGGING YOU, PRINCE ZUKO! It’s time for you to look inward and begin asking yourself the big question: who are you and what do YOU want?"
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Post: #8
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Here what I think about everything.
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"CONSENSUAL incest is not wrong. (Abuse victims: being abused by a relative does not make it wrong for others to have consensual incest, any more than rape by a stranger makes all sex wrong. Sex and assault/molestation are two different things.) An aversion became common in humans that aided in population growth as one disease couldn't wipe out the human race. That's not a problem anymore.

Consensual incest is very common. You know people who have been involved, whether you know it or not.

There is no rational reason for keeping laws or taboos against consensual
incest that is consistently applied to other relationships. Personal disgust or religion is only a reason why one person would not want to personally engage in what I call consanguinamory, not why someone else shouldn't do it. An adult should be free to share love, sex, residence, and marriage with ANY consenting adults. Youthful experimentation between close relatives close in age is not uncommon, and there are more people than you'd think out there who are in lifelong healthy, happy relationships with a close relative. It isn't for everyone, but we're not all going to want to have each others' love lives, now are we? If someone thinks YOUR love life is disgusting, should you be thrown in prison?

Some people try to justify their prejudice against consanguineous sex and
marriage by being part-time eugenicists and saying that such relationships inevitably lead to “mutant” or “deformed” babies. This argument can be refuted on several fronts. 1. Some consanguineous relationships involve only people of the same gender. 2. Not all mixed-gender relationships birth biological children. 3. Most births to consanguineous parents do not produce children with significant birth defects or other genetic problems; while births to other parents do sometimes have birth defects. 4. We don’t prevent other people from marrying or deny them their reproductive rights based on increased odds of passing along a genetic problem or inherited disease. It is true that in general, children born to consanguineous parents have an increased chance of these problems than those born to nonconsanguineous parents, but the odds are still minimal. Unless someone is willing to deny reproductive rights and medical privacy to others and force everyone to take genetic tests and bar carriers and the congenitally disabled and women over 35 from having children, then equal protection principles prevent this from being a justification to bar this freedom of association and freedom to marry.

Some say "Your sibling should not be your lover." That is not a reason. It begs the question. Many people have many relationships that have more than one aspect. Some women say their sister is their best friend. Why can’t their sister be a wife, too?

Some say “There is a power differential.” This applies least of all to siblings or cousins who are close in age, but even where the power differential exists, it is not a justification for denying this freedom to sex or to marry. There is a power differential in just about any relationship, sometimes an enormous power differential. To question if consent is truly possible in these cases is insulting and demeaning.

Some say “There are so many people outside of your family." There are plenty of people within one’s own race, too, but that is no reason to ban interracial marriage. So, this isn't a good reason either. Let consenting adults love each other the way they want!"-Keith Pullman

02-07-2017 09:00 AM
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Post: #9
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

I think you misunderstood some of this. By societal norms, I believe it meant int the sense of basic respect for others around you.
And the selfish needs thing was like being greedy and selfish, not caring about others in pursuit of your own goals and casing harm in the process

well would you look at the time its time to gay
02-07-2017 09:14 AM
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Post: #10
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

where do we draw the line between competing for a job, competing for a promotion, and keeping wages low to enhance company profit? at what point do we label the self-interest as a psychosis, or morally blameworthy?

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02-07-2017 02:39 PM
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Post: #11
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

(02-07-2017 02:39 PM)the Analogist Wrote:  where do we draw the line between competing for a job, competing for a promotion, and keeping wages low to enhance company profit? at what point do we label the self-interest as a psychosis, or morally blameworthy?

Cuttung wages to enhance profit is bad because it gets so low people cant live off of it
Competing for a job is a natural part of job selection, if someone can perform better than another, then they should be hired. Same with promotion

well would you look at the time its time to gay
02-08-2017 05:58 AM
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Post: #12
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

"I will do a better job, everyone tries to be the best at it" != "I will do the same job, everyone tries to do it for less than the other guy"

Those grapes, they had so much wrath.

Hello, traveler.

This is an ancient account I have not used in a long time. My views have changed much in the intervening months and years.

Nonetheless, I refuse to clean it up. Pretending that I've held my current views since the beginning of time is what we in the industry call a lie. Asking people to do so contributes to moralistic self-loathing. "See, those people have nothing damning! I do! I'm truly vile!"

Because you can never be a good person with a single blemish on the moral record, I thought that simply entertaining some thoughts made me irredeemable. Though I don't care for his writing style, William Faulkner presents a good counterexample. He went from being a typical Southern racist to supporting the civil rights movement. These days we'd yell at him for that, probably.

People are allowed to change their views.

Nevertheless, this period of my life has informed some of how I am today. In good ways and bad ways. To purge it would be to do a disservice to history. Perhaps it will not make anyone sympathetic, but it may help someone understand.

If, after reading all this, you still decide to use the post above as evidence that I am evil today, ask yourself if you have never disagreed with the moral code you now follow. In all likelihood you did, at some point. If some questions are verboten, and the answer is "how dare you ask that," don't expect your ideological opponents to ever change their minds.
02-08-2017 06:03 AM
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Post: #13
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

my point is with reference to normal we remian uncritical of moral defects within the "normal". this bias toward convention is what skews the understanding.

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02-09-2017 12:10 AM
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Post: #14
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

bump

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03-19-2017 02:39 PM
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Post: #15
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

(02-06-2017 09:00 AM)Korravatar Wrote:  Here's what it said:
"The characterization of a sociopath is a person who lacks empathy or a moral conscience and disregards societal norms. They con people for personal pleasure and amusement and have a complete lack of remorse. They live in their own bubble, ignoring reality and existing only to meet their selfish needs, not caring whom gets harmed in the way. One thing that attracted me to sociopaths was their antisocial behaviors."
--
So, sociopaths are supposed to be bad, right? But someone who "disregards societal norms" could be someone fighting against slavery, which is a societal norm. What if I rebelled against a tyrannical king and was happy during their defeat? I would've had a "complete lack of remorse" then.

"...existing only to meet their own selfish needs." Does that mean that if I skipped class because I feel school is a prison I shouldn't take seriously, and I wanted freedom... I'd just be acting selfishly since a teacher may feel bad that I'm not taking their class seriously?

Also, if sociopaths are supposed to question and go against what is accepted, then would empaths have to fully conform to whatever kind of society they are born in regardless of how bad it could be(since they're supposed to be the opposite of sociopaths I think)?

Would a teen acting antisocially because they hate being treated like an inferior being by adults/ hate the lack of freedom in their lives(aka going through what people call a rebellious "phase") be labelled a sociopath???

Or was this description made with the worst scenario in mind? I feel like I'm misunderstanding this horribly. BrickwallUpset

Well, you did read one definition. The term "sociopath", as pointed out, can be a bit subjective.

However, I guess what's throwing people off is the "societal norms" part. All right, let me give a quick example where going against societal norms is a "bad thing".

Remember the game GTA Vice City? That game, and its main character, is pretty much the definition of what sociopathy looks like. You can run over people, shoot, massacre at your own will and not give a fuck. You can sell drugs, terrorize entire neighborhoods, and steal cars and keep them as your own, and through the storyline you amass a massive drug/business empire. Of course, the player can choose to play the game as clean as possible and commit as little crime as they can while playing the game, but in the end, the character is a true sociopath.

I'd definitely say running over people at random and mowing down crowds with a shotgun are definitely bad things and "against societal norms". Of course, as you pointed out, times always change. What's considered acceptable in one time is not considered acceptable in another. Like slavery used to be acceptable back then, but not anymore now. Or, back then, women couldn't vote, but now everyone has a right to suffrage so long as they're a citizen.

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Post: #16
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

I found a shorter, different description just now in a YouTube comment section:
"It's called sociopath, people who do in fact mirror the emotions of others because they have no empathy or feelings of their own..."

and also

"Psychopaths don't feel very many emotions, but they become experts at pretending to do so, constantly analyzing everyone around them to find the best way to get in those people's good graces. Because most of how they act is a facade, they can freely change "masks" whenever it suits them, making them the ultimate chameleons."
(I know it says psychopath here, but it is kinda close)

I feel pretty weird for saying this, but I've been thinking it deep in my mind, to afraid to really ponder it, but... Why are these traits so demonized? I can see how lacking emotional empathy can make someone act like an asshole, but I don't think all of them would. I've noticed that a lot of the oh so horrible antisocial traits also seem to be things many people desire to have or respect in others.

Examples: Not caring what others think, charming, not dwelling on the past and future, (like mentioned above) "mirroring" other people to get them to like you, being able to solve problems logically and calmly, loving yourself, high intelligence, and NO FEAR, ANXIETY, OR STRESS?!!! That sounds pretty awesome.
---
Maybe I'm just saying this because I keep trying to see the good in seemingly bad things, or maybe it's because I have a fear of people thinking of me as one since I'm shy as fuck in real life + introverted. I can't really give eye contact, and when I do look at people, I feel like I'm death staring them unintentionally. When I'm told someone I care about died, I don't emotionally react at that moment and act like I give no fucks, but when I'm alone I feel like shit and cry myself to sleep thinking about them. I also tend to ignore people a lot until they acknowledge me, which probably makes me look like I view them as inferior but I fucking don't. Brickwall
Once in P.E, we were in the fitness lab (with the exercise machines) and I saw a classmate put weights on one of the machines, but I thought there were two of that machine for some reason and I started using it, only realizing after she walked away confused that I just took the machine she was about to use. Then I felt like an asshole. Another time someone in my class was trying to converse with me, but I just replied with one word answers and looked down. After he turned away, the girl next to him said, "It's okay," comforting him and that's when I realized I fucked up once again. Thus, I felt like shit the entire class.
It doesn't help that when my mom and I were in a minor car accident, I panicked for a little while, then acted totally calm the rest of the time (the towing of the car, the trip to the hospital in an ambulance for my mom's head, etc). Later though, in my room, I started feeling the fear and panic I should've felt during all of that shit.
What the hell is wrong with me..

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Post: #17
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

You've clearly never met Duelix on here, have you?

Narcissists are overtly obsessed with themselves. They only see themselves as important.

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04-09-2017 02:47 AM
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Avatar Korra Offline
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Post: #18
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

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04-09-2017 03:22 AM
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Gwedin Offline
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Post: #19
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

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04-09-2017 03:44 AM
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Post: #20
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Lol sure.

In general though even if some sociopathic traits seem "positive" almost always a sociopath will only act in their own interests without the regards for others. There's definitely a way to harness some of the "positive" aspects without going off the deep end.

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04-09-2017 11:20 AM
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Post: #21
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

"...a sociopath will only act in their own interests without the regards for others."
Usually, when I see a statement like this, I immediately think of a situation where acting like this would be justified, like if you where getting kidnapped and tried to escape, you'd technically be acting in your own interest and if the kidnapper was sad that you didn't want to be with them you'd be acting without regards for others..

But I somehow just freaking realized that acting in such away could be justified if a wrongdoing is first done to you.
That's why it wouldn't be deemed sociopathic for someone to fight against slavery, defeat a tyrannical king, skip the prison of school, or get pissed at being treated inferior(like I mentioned in my OP), and the kidnapper is the one acting antisocially. The only problem would be if the people around you didn't agree that what caused the angry behaviors was a bad thing(like pro schoolers thinking there's something wrong with those who hate school.

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(This post was last modified: 04-09-2017 12:06 PM by Avatar Korra.)
04-09-2017 12:04 PM
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Post: #22
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

(04-09-2017 12:04 PM)Korravatar Wrote:  "...a sociopath will only act in their own interests without the regards for others."
Usually, when I see a statement like this, I immediately think of a situation where acting like this would be justified, like if you where getting kidnapped and tried to escape, you'd technically be acting in your own interest and if the kidnapper was sad that you didn't want to be with them you'd be acting without regards for others..

But I somehow just freaking realized that acting in such away could be justified if a wrongdoing is first done to you.
That's why it wouldn't be deemed sociopathic for someone to fight against slavery, defeat a tyrannical king, skip the prison of school, or get pissed at being treated inferior(like I mentioned in my OP), and the kidnapper is the one acting antisocially. The only problem would be if the people around you didn't agree that what caused the angry behaviors was a bad thing(like pro schoolers thinking there's something wrong with those who hate school.

While I like some of the literal thinking you're doing here, you also have to understand that these are pretty normal human behaviors. Most people don't want to get killed by a kidnapper, and even if you want to escape and not caring for their regards, who gives a shit. It puts someone's life in danger.

I suggest you read up on Kantian philosophy; which sort of stresses that the thing that maximizes pleasure and minimizes pain is generally the best way to act for society; Kantianism actually was used to advance positions such as feminism for example.

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04-09-2017 12:10 PM
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Post: #23
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Quote:I can see how lacking emotional empathy can make someone act like an asshole, but I don't think all of them would.
Most people who (supposedly) lack empathy aren't assholes. The problem isn't the lack of empathy, it's something else that makes them hurt people.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexithymia
Quote:alexithymics have difficulty in distinguishing and appreciating the emotions of others, which is thought to lead to unempathic and ineffective emotional responding
It doesn't make them assholes, it makes them unsure of how to respond to emotions in others. It's different from the sociopath, because the sociopath really does understand it, but only to the extent of how to exploit it for their own personal gain, which is their choice. Their inability to deal with emotions does not make them an asshole.

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04-11-2017 03:59 AM
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Post: #24
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

I remember reading that alexithymia tends to strongly overlap with people with ASD/autism, which kind of makes sense; these people generally have more difficulty picking up signs of empathy, etc more than others, so they make seem "assholish", but in reality just simply don't understand.

Actually I used to be in a bit of a similar boat. I remember I used to have a few "asshole" moments where I didn't really mean to; I just simply didn't understand or I missed the point.

There also seem to be other personality disorders/behaviors that seem to be associated with it as well as post traumatic stress disorder (alexithymia was seen in Holocaust survivors as well as war veterans in Vietnam and Iraq), which kinda makes sense when you think about it.

However, even then, even "normal" people have trouble empathizing that has nothing to do with any disorder but conditioning (people forget that conditioning is very strong). I think a good example is last year's election; ultimately despite Trump being such a disaster for pretty much everyone, a lot of white Americans didn't feel so threatened by Trump, in part because of conditioning which "justified" things like racism, sexism, etc. I think that these things can be linked to our education system which fails at not only teaching subjects but culture.

To expand EverydayFeminism has a pretty great resource for "toxic whiteness"; ultimately lack of empathy isn't really a disorder but conditioning as well.

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04-11-2017 04:05 AM
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Post: #25
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Quote:I remember reading that alexithymia tends to strongly overlap with people with ASD/autism, which kind of makes sense; these people generally have more difficulty picking up signs of empathy, etc more than others, so they make seem "assholish", but in reality just simply don't understand.
Yup. I actually really hurt a friend of mine without meaning to, because she expected me to do certain things in response to some tough stuff she was dealing with, but I had no clue how to empathize with her situation, so I figured I wouldn't be the right person to get involved with it... and yeah. She was pretty upset because I did nothing. I also had no idea she was upset until she told me about it like 2 years later. O_O

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04-11-2017 04:33 AM
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Post: #26
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Lol, it sounds like one of those random things you bring up when you're talking in retrospect. God knows how different I feel about even little things in retrospect.

The ego is a bitch.

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04-11-2017 04:36 AM
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Post: #27
RE: I am confused by this description of sociopaths

people who live in their own head a lot are OBVIOUSLY missing some things im the material world. Heavy emphasis in impericism means most disorders are about people who have issues with the material world.

What about all those assholes who treat people like varying degrees of shit, but their behavior is sanctioned by our culture?

the athoritarian slant in mainstream psychology is obvious for the fact that authoritarianism, arrogance, and the material world are all stiches from the same cloth.

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04-13-2017 02:00 PM
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Post: #28
I am confused by this description of sociopaths

Yeah. Once you free yourself from your own ego and start appreciating how fucking beautiful this world is things start to make a lot more sense.

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04-13-2017 03:57 PM
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