The Psychology of a Psychopath/Sociopath

Hello, and welcome to my project plan for my new inquiry project. You have probably read the title which means you know that I will be doing my new project about the psychology of a psychopath/sociopath. The reason was I have said “psychopath/sociopath” is because not only do I want to look at what it means to be either one, but I to look at the similarities and differences between them. This project interests me because I find the psychology fascinating, and I would love to know more about the different ways that the human mind can function, this included how the mind of a psychopath and sociopath works.

Here is what I will be researching in through my three posts:

Post 1:
What is the definition of a psychopath, and what is the definition of a sociopath. The reason for me wanting to learn is because I have heard both terms used and I always thought that they were just synonyms of each other, but I’m pretty sure that they are actually two separate things, although they are similar. To go along with this I am going to talk about how these people can be dangerous to the people around them.

Post 2:
In this post I will talk about what it means to be a psychopath and what it means to be a sociopath. This will be a more in depth look into the psychology of the 2 types of people, I will research things about how they act in different situations, and how they manipulate others to reach their “goal”, whatever that goal may be.

Post 3:
In this post I will talk about about how to identify a psychopath or sociopath and how to avoid them. I will also compare their traits and potential come to a conclusion about which one could potentially be more dangerous.

5 potential sources:

This could help other indeviduals because they can learn how to identify these kinds of people so that they can stay away. These kinds of people can be very dangerous, so knowing how to spot one could help a lot.

5 Replies to “The Psychology of a Psychopath/Sociopath”

  1. Hi Matthew,
    I saw you had some other comments already but I just had to read this because of your topic. I have always ben interested in the minds of those with mental and emotional challenges especially due to their depiction in Hollywood today. I did a Inquiry project just last semester on “how difference environments impact individuals with mental disorders”, I found a lot of research that may even help you with yours so feel free to ask. Though this may not help you much with research I find it very interesting the different treatments they used on patients in the past like lobotomy. The treatments are barbaric and it is amazing how technology as given us to actually look inside the brain of a sociopath and or psychopath. It also might be interesting to look at examples of famous sociopaths and or psychopaths. As well as looking into if these individuals can be cured. Super excited to see what information you can find. Keep it up!

    -Sienna Saunders

  2. Hi Matthew,
    You have hit on a very interesting topic, as you can see from your comments. I would like your question to be phrased more like an inquiry question, so that you are not just gathering information and sharing it with us, but that you are making some determination with the information. I think you might have hit on it in your third round where you mention about which is more dangerous. If you’re interested in this, your question could be ‘Is it more dangerous to encounter a psychopath or a sociopath?’ or you could look at which is worse to be, or which of these people is harder/easier to provide help to, etc. This can then drive your research and your rounds can be quite similar, but in the end you will try to address this question. I agree with Alison’s comment too; you should try to look at the nature vs nurture aspects of both. Please come and see me if you aren’t sure what I mean or if you want some help to proceed.
    Good job on providing the detail to your steps and remembering to post a featured image with your post.

  3. Hi Matthew,

    Great research round! As all the comments before me said: your inquiry topic really caught my eye. It’s a intriguing topic to investigate, and I expect that you’ll uncover a lot during your research. 🙂

    I just did a quick search on the differences between a psychopaths and sociopaths. The website I went on said that psychopaths tend to be born whereas sociopaths tend to be made by their environment. One concept you may want to investigate is the difference between nature vs nurture. In my past year with Butterfly Effect, I did an inquiry project on the connection between education to success and intelligence. One of the key aspects of this project was how I investigated nature vs nurture when it comes to these three ideas. By researching these ideas, you can have a better understanding how various factors can impact a person’s psychology.

    Furthermore, in your third research round, you could research the clues to a psychopath or sociopath in childhood. Another suggestion is that you could also investigate which one is more dangerous.

    Here are some websites that might help out:

    All the best,

  4. Hi Matthew! I’m actually quite happy I ran into your post today. Recently I’ve been asking myself the same questions that you are asking in your project plan. I feel like different TV shows and movies always portray psychopaths and sociopaths as serial killers or other evil entities and I’ve always wondered why that was the case. Obviously, movies and TV shows do exaggerate things for dramatic effect, but even in real life you hear of people doing unspeakable things to others and it’s always perplexing. I am very much looking forward to reading your future posts so that I may learn more on this intriguing subject.

    Some resources you might want to use are:

  5. Hey Matthew!

    Your post caught my eye as I researched something very similar when I was in grade nine. In fact, I’d say that that inquiry was one of my favourites to research ever! If I remember correctly, I focused specifically on serial killers which lead me to exploring sociopaths. There’s a lot of creepy and freaky information about this topic – so prepare yourself! 😉

    If it interests you, it may also be helpful to look into if sociopaths are always dangerous? Considering many people do fear psychopaths/sociopaths, this might be worth looking into.

    Here are some sources that may be of use to you:

    Great job!

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