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Are All Sociopaths Criminals?

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This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  security43 7 years, 3 months ago.

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  • #1424 Reply

    Jack Charlie

    I am a graduate student in psychology and am considering some different topics to use for a paper I must write. I have been wondering for a while about sociopaths and whether they are really destined to become criminals or not. I certainly have my own opinion on this matter, but really wonder what other people may be thinking about this topic or question. So, let’s have at it…do all sociopaths become criminals or commit crimes? I would also like to know your reasoning as to why or why not. Thanks in advance, I appreciate all comments.

  • #1425 Reply


    This is certainly one of the most interesting questions we have seen here in quite some time. I would like to chime in with my opinion and hope that it can provide some clarity and possible guidance. I am sure you have your own opinion already, but possibly it is not really set in stone yet?

    At any rate, I think that if someone is a sociopath, they are generally going to have an idea as to who or what they are. That is not to say that they will be able to rationalize in their own mind that they are a threat to others, society and potentially themselves. But, I do think that they are aware that their personality is fundamentally different from others around them. I also think that because of this, they do take steps to learn how to cope and avoid detection.

    In many cases, I would venture to say that fear is a highly motivating factor. A sociopath would certainly not like this fact revealed to the world. Maybe those closest to them (such as parents and siblings) understand, but they do not want this fact broadcast.

    According to some research I have seen, only about 25 percent (on the high end) of those in prison are actually classified as sociopaths. Of course, there could be a fair amount who just have not been formally classified or identified. But, I think that most sociopaths have highly developed coping methods.

    Generally, I am more inclined to believe that due to the fact that a sociopath really does not care for anything or anyone, they tend to end up as manipulators or scam artists. You would be more likely to lose money to one than to be criminally victimized. Other sociopaths may take their coping mechanism to the extreme and just simply hide away from the world. It is sad, but I think the bottom line answer to the question is that just being a sociopath does not guarantee that a person will become a criminal.

    Another interesting question centers on why or how someone becomes a sociopath. Or are they really just born this way? It could be that traumatic events in their childhood led them down this path, like abuse or seeing something very gruesome. Maybe they were actually raised by one or both parents who were sociopaths themselves, setting a very bad example?

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