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One important thing to note is that even family members and long-term 'friends' are not excused from these behaviors. Even their own children mean nothing to the Sociopath. They too are tools to be used and tossed aside as soon as they reflect poorly on the sociopath or get in their way. If a character cares about ''anybody'' other than themselves; if they can hesitate, they may be terrifyingly, murderously ambitious, but they have empathy for others, and by extension they are not a sociopath.

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One important thing to note is that even family members and long-term 'friends' are not excused from these behaviors. Even their own children mean nothing to the Sociopath. They too are tools to be used and tossed aside as soon as they reflect poorly on the sociopath or get in their way. If a character cares about ''anybody'' other than themselves; if they can hesitate, they may be terrifyingly, murderously ambitious, but they have empathy for others, and by extension they are not a sociopath.
sociopath. It has been noted that many sociopaths like animals, though.


# '''LackOfEmpathy and Devoid of Conscience''': Their defining feature. Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe them: except [[DevilInPlainSight for when trying to appear normal]], they [[TheUnfettered will disregard any social norms and semblance of morality in pursuit of their own selfish desires]]. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, [[ManipulativeBastard manipulate]], or use [[BloodKnight outright violence]] without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and for as little as [[EvilFeelsGood Pleasure]] or [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]. Murder and violence [[ButForMeItWasTuesday have no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout or some other mundane activity]], and they have no concern for the direct or collateral damage they do to other people, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood being unable to understand why anyone should]]. Likewise, they never truly [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand the feelings of others on anything more than an intellectual level]], and may even believe that [[PsychologicalProjection everybody else is faking it too]]. As many RealLife criminal psychologists put it: "They know the words but not the music." Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral reward/punishment, will not work on them or tend to only make their behavior even worse by making it easier for them to fake it.
# '''ConsummateLiar and {{Manipulat|iveBastard}}or''': In the event they are ever targets of suspicion in crime dramas and thrillers, sociopaths are able to fool any [[LivingLieDetector Living Lie Detectors]] in the cast, pass polygraphs effortlessly, and [[BitchInSheepsClothing fool even you, the audience, into believing they are genuinely kind and caring people]] who are victims of a "big misunderstanding" (assuming they are not [[SmugSnake so smugly confident of their own invincibility]] that they feel no need to hide their unsavory personality). Moreover, despite their lack of empathy, sociopaths are capable of using their knowledge of others' desires, emotions and insecurities to manipulate them for their own personal gain. Because of this, many of them are FauxAffablyEvil. This is related to their lack of empathy and shame - they don't feel the slightest discomfort about lying or exploiting others, so they do so with the same ease in which normal people perform mundane activities.

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# '''LackOfEmpathy and Devoid of Conscience''': Their defining feature. Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe them: except [[DevilInPlainSight for when trying to appear normal]], they [[TheUnfettered will disregard any social norms and semblance of morality in pursuit of their own selfish desires]]. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, [[ManipulativeBastard manipulate]], or use [[BloodKnight outright violence]] without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and for as little as [[EvilFeelsGood Pleasure]] or [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]. Murder and violence [[ButForMeItWasTuesday have no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout or some other mundane activity]], and they have no concern for the direct or collateral damage they do to other people, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood being unable to understand why anyone should]]. Likewise, they never truly [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand the feelings of others on anything more than an intellectual level]], and may even believe that [[PsychologicalProjection everybody else is faking it too]]. As many RealLife criminal psychologists put it: "They know the words but not the music." Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral reward/punishment, will not work on them or tend to only make their behavior even worse by making it easier for them to fake it.
it. This is why the ''only'' thing resembling consistently successful treatment involves teaching them to avoid behaviors that have predictable consequences; they may still believe that consequences are bullshit, but if they have been made sufficiently aware of the fact that their behavior will always end up with them in jail, getting sued, or simply just getting jumped or killed when they fuck with the wrong people, and that they can't lie and fake their way out of it because people are wise to their game, they will usually shape up.
# '''ConsummateLiar and {{Manipulat|iveBastard}}or''': In the event they are ever targets of suspicion in crime dramas and thrillers, sociopaths are able to fool any [[LivingLieDetector Living Lie Detectors]] in the cast, pass polygraphs effortlessly, and [[BitchInSheepsClothing fool even you, the audience, into believing they are genuinely kind and caring people]] who are victims of a "big misunderstanding" (assuming they are not [[SmugSnake so smugly confident of their own invincibility]] that they feel no need to hide their unsavory personality). Moreover, despite their lack of empathy, sociopaths are capable of using their knowledge of others' desires, emotions and insecurities to manipulate them for their own personal gain. Because of this, many of them are FauxAffablyEvil. This is related to their lack of empathy and shame - they don't feel the slightest discomfort about lying or exploiting others, so they do so with the same ease in which normal people perform mundane activities. This is why you should ''always'' assume that any apparent epiphany from a sociopath is bullshit; as far as they're concerned, it's just another tool to get what they want, and they don't actually believe that they have done anything wrong. Don't let them know that they are full of shit, because it will just force them to become more slick, but do act with the knowledge that they will go right back to their old ways the minute that they think it is safe to do so.



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If the Sociopath happens to be a ruler, and considers themselves above the law, then expect them to be TheCaligula.

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If One important thing to note is that even family members and long-term 'friends' are not excused from these behaviors. Even their own children mean nothing to the Sociopath happens Sociopath. They too are tools to be a ruler, used and considers themselves above tossed aside as soon as they reflect poorly on the law, then expect them to sociopath or get in their way. If a character cares about ''anybody'' other than themselves; if they can hesitate, they may be TheCaligula.
terrifyingly, murderously ambitious, but they have empathy for others, and by extension they are not a sociopath.



The Sociopath has become a very popular villain-type in recent years; crime dramas and thrillers, for example, will inevitably feature one as a particularly merciless and evil antagonist. Some tropes that are frequently associated with TheSociopath include SerialKiller, FauxAffablyEvil, LackOfEmpathy, TheUnfettered, ManipulativeBastard, TheChessmaster and TheUbermensch. Many [[PsychoForHire Psychos For Hire]], TheSoulless, and believers in ForTheEvulz are this as well. If the Sociopath happens to be a ruler, and considers themselves above the law, then expect them to be TheCaligula. If a character qualifies as a CompleteMonster, there's a good chance that this trope applies to them. Compare SociopathicHero, ComedicSociopathy, MoralSociopathy. Contrast the {{Narcissist}}, who has the grandiose ego and LackOfEmpathy, but experiences the full range and intensity of human emotion, and is capable of love -- even if it's a very one-sided, selfish kind of love.



The Sociopath has become a very popular villain-type in recent years; crime dramas and thrillers, for example, will inevitably feature one as a particularly merciless and evil antagonist. Some tropes that are frequently associated with TheSociopath include SerialKiller, FauxAffablyEvil, LackOfEmpathy, {{The Unfettered}}, ManipulativeBastard, TheChessmaster and TheUbermensch. Many [[PsychoForHire Psychos For Hire]], [[TheSoulless Soullesses]], and believers in ForTheEvulz are this as well. If a character qualifies as a CompleteMonster, there's a good chance that this trope applies to them. Compare SociopathicHero, ComedicSociopathy, MoralSociopathy. Contrast the {{Narcissist}}, who has the grandiose ego and LackOfEmpathy, but experiences the full range and intensity of human emotion, and is capable of love -- even if it's a very one-sided, selfish kind of love.





One important thing to note is that even family members and long-term 'friends' are not excused from these behaviours. Even their own children mean nothing to the Sociopath. They too are tools to be used and tossed aside as soon as they reflect poorly on the sociopath or get in their way. If a character cares about ''anybody'' other than themselves; if they can hesitate, they may be terrifyingly, murderously ambitious, but they have empathy for others, and by extension they are not a sociopath.



* TheSociopath/{{Literature}}

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* TheSociopath/{{Literature}}{{TheSociopath/Literature}}



* {{TheSociopath/Other}}




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[[folder:Art]]
* Creator/{{William Hogarth}}'s series ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Stages_of_Cruelty The Four Stages of Cruelty]]'' depicts the life of [[MeaningfulName Tom Nero]], who finds at a very young age that he [[{{Sadist}} enjoys torturing]], and goes from an EnfantTerrible to a ruthless adult ultimately executed for the murder of a ladylove he'd charmed and corrupted.
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[[folder:Music]]
* Several songs from the HipHop group ''Music/{{Gravediggaz}}'' are known for their lyrics describing people mentally unstable, or completely sociopathic murderers.
* Cracked has [[http://www.cracked.com/photoplasty_1544_17-famous-love-songs-clearly-written-by-sociopaths/ 17 Famous Love Songs Clearly Written by Sociopaths]]. As usual however, few of the examples are displaying actual clinical symptoms of sociopathy. In fact, many of the songs go in the complete ''opposite'' direction, detailing people with borderline-like symptoms such as feeling deep connections or falling in love with people they barely know. Relationships involving sociopaths, on the other hand, are defined by their ''lack'' of (real) emotional connections even with their spouses and family, and instead using a so-called "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mask_of_Sanity Mask of Sanity]]" to feign, among other things, caring and love in order to use people or maintain a facade as a well-adjusted person.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Trinity}}'', this is the dirty secret of the main branch of the vitakinetic order. Their powers make them intimately aware of the physical and mental health of people in close proximity to them. Quite a few of these healers find being surrounded by so much pain and decay so overwhelming that they voluntarily undergo a process that turns them into sociopaths, just so they can get on with their jobs without being constantly crippled by empathy with their patients.
* Among the Night Lords in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', Captain Jago Sevatarion (best known for being the first to utter the Chaos Marine catchphrase "Death to the False Emperor") pretty clearly suffers from genuine antisocial personality disorder. As an illustration of how screwed-up the Night Lords are, Sevatar approaches being ''the OnlySaneMan''; he might suffer from a LackOfEmpathy and believe strongly in the power of FlayingAlive, but the rest of the Night Lords are ''worse''.
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[[folder:Theater]]
* ''Theatre/TheCrucible'': Abigail Williams, who manipulates her town into mass executing people for witchcraft because one guy broke off his affair with her.
* Atreus from Lucius Annaeus Seneca's tragedy[=/=]horror classic ''Thyestes'' is one of the most chilling sociopaths in literature. He's a [[CardCarryingVillain card-carrying tyrant]] with zero empathy, and his [[TheWrongfulHeirToTheThrone crown]] has only intensified his ego issues. He shows no signs of any of TheFourLoves towards anyone (he would have turned on his sons Agamemnon and Menelaus in a heartbeat had they showed evidence of being Thyestes' instead), and any injury done him must be [[DisproportionateRetribution repaid with interest]]. In the play, Thyestes had been exiled after he seduced Atreus' wife Aërope and tried to claim the crown. Atreus, craving some deeper vengeance, pretends to extend the olive branch and claims that all is forgiven. Nope. It turns out that [[ImAHumanitarian Thyestes' own sons]] [[IAteWhat were the main course of that banquet Atreus served]].
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One important thing to note is that even family members and long-term 'friends' are not excused from these behaviours. Even their own children mean nothing to the Sociopath. They too are tools to be used and tossed aside as soon as they reflect poorly on the sociopath or get in their way. If a character cares about ''anybody'' other than themselves; if they can hesitate, they may be terrifyingly, murderously ambitious, but they have empathy for others, and by extension they are not a sociopath.


Many of these traits are shared with other disorders, but it's the ''combination'' of them all that creates the true Sociopath. And, like many other disorders, sociopathy falls on a spectrum. Some sociopaths are just unusually self-absorbed. On the other end of the scale are the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil ruthless]], remorseless and totally insane monsters. Sociopaths also have varying personalities, levels of intelligence, and interests, which influences how their disorder manifests in everyday life.

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Many of these traits are shared with other disorders, but it's the ''combination'' of them all that creates the true Sociopath. And, like many other disorders, sociopathy falls on a spectrum. Some sociopaths are just unusually self-absorbed. On the other end of the scale are the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil ruthless]], remorseless and totally insane monsters. Sociopaths also have varying personalities, levels of intelligence, and interests, goals, which influences how their disorder manifests in everyday life.
life. Some sociopaths just want a family - but the very best, most happy family, and only to reflect well on them and make them happy. At ''any'' cost. For example if another family member is 'spoiling' this dream, they may simply dispose of that person, and lack empathy and can't see why they might be at fault.

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* ''Theatre/TheCrucible'': Abigail Williams, who manipulates her town into mass executing people for witchcraft because one guy broke off his affair with her.


# '''[[{{Pride}} Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth]]''': The trait that ties it all together - the one that changes it from moustache-twirling evil into a mental disorder. Sociopaths will go so far as to convince ''themselves'' that they have succeeded in their plan, even as failure stares them in the face and snaps on the handcuffs. They genuinely believe it. They don't really care what others truly think on the matter, but they do care about what they ''say'', and like to fill their social circle with people who say what they want to hear. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Any others - even former 'friends' - will be dismissed from the sociopath's social circle simply for doubting them]]. They consider themselves better than anybody else and that [[EntitledBastard they are entitled to special treatment]] - [[DrivenByEnvy and they can't stand anybody being considered better than them]]. However, while the {{Narcissist}} is self-conscious of how they measure up to others' standards (and therefore will experience shame or guilt for failing them), a sociopath's [[AboveGoodAndEvil grandiosity is all-encompassing to the point they have no concern how their actions reflect upon them]] ''UNLESS'' it threatens [[TheHedonist their ability to indulge their appetite for further stimulation]]. They are incapable of acknowledging personal responsibility for failure, [[NeverMyFault and will always blame others]], no matter how irrational it is. In fact, it's considerably difficult convincing them that the activity they have partaken in has even failed. This is all part of why a sociopath [[StaticCharacter can't change]] - since they [[SmallNameBigEgo consider themselves to already be perfect]], and [[NeverMyFault refuse to acknowledge failure on their part]], and [[IRejectYourReality consider the true opinions and feelings of others insignificant]], they never try to improve themselves.

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# '''[[{{Pride}} Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth]]''': The trait that ties it all together - the one that changes it from moustache-twirling evil into a mental disorder. Sociopaths will go so far as to convince ''themselves'' [[SmugSnake convince]] ''[[SmugSnake themselves]]'' [[SmugSnake that they have succeeded in their plan, even as failure stares them in the face and snaps on the handcuffs. They genuinely believe it.it]]. They don't really care what others truly think on the matter, but they do care about what they ''say'', and like to fill their social circle with people who say what they want to hear. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Any others - even former 'friends' - will be dismissed from the sociopath's social circle simply for doubting them]]. They consider themselves better than anybody else and that [[EntitledBastard they are entitled to special treatment]] - [[DrivenByEnvy and they can't stand anybody being considered better than them]]. However, while the {{Narcissist}} is self-conscious of how they measure up to others' standards (and therefore will experience shame or guilt for failing them), a sociopath's [[AboveGoodAndEvil grandiosity is all-encompassing to the point they have no concern how their actions reflect upon them]] ''UNLESS'' it threatens [[TheHedonist their ability to indulge their appetite for further stimulation]]. They are incapable of acknowledging personal responsibility for failure, [[NeverMyFault and will always blame others]], no matter how irrational it is. In fact, it's considerably difficult convincing them that the activity they have partaken in has even failed. This is all part of why a sociopath [[StaticCharacter can't change]] - since they [[SmallNameBigEgo consider themselves to already be perfect]], and [[NeverMyFault refuse to acknowledge failure on their part]], and [[IRejectYourReality consider the true opinions and feelings of others insignificant]], they never try to improve themselves.


# '''[[ItsAllAboutMe Shallow Affect]] and [[AllTakeAndNoGive Complete Lack of Emotional Reciprocity]]''': A Sociopath is physiologically incapable of experiencing a deep emotional attachment towards others but - being a ConsummateLiar - learns early in life how to fake them. This shallow emotional life means that the Sociopath is [[LackOfEmpathy unable to form sincere long-term relationships with anything or anyone, but will feign feelings of love and affection if they feel it serves their purposes]]. Most of the true feelings a sociopath harbors towards others, positive or negative, are rooted in an insatiable desire [[ControlFreak to dominate or control them]]. While [[{{Narcissist}} narcissists]] desire to be [[LoveHungry loved]] or [[GlorySeeker at least respected]], sociopaths don't care whether others view them positively as long as they don't stand in the way of their own [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered gratification]]. In the rare event that a Sociopath actually ''does'' form an "attachment" to another person, it [[AllTakeAndNoGive rises no further than that between an owner and a possession and/or a valuable resource for advancing their goals]]. Thus, once such "friends" cease to be useful or entertaining, they will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness abandon them or, in some cases, even kill them]] without any hesitation or regret.

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# '''[[ItsAllAboutMe Shallow Affect]] and [[AllTakeAndNoGive Complete Lack of Emotional Reciprocity]]''': A Sociopath is physiologically incapable of experiencing a deep emotional attachment towards others but - being a ConsummateLiar - learns early in life how to fake them. This shallow emotional life means that the Sociopath is [[LackOfEmpathy unable to form sincere long-term relationships with anything or anyone, but will feign feelings of love and affection if they feel it serves their purposes]]. Most of the true feelings a sociopath harbors towards others, positive or negative, are rooted in an insatiable desire [[ControlFreak to dominate or control them]]. While [[{{Narcissist}} narcissists]] desire to be [[LoveHungry loved]] or [[GlorySeeker at least respected]], sociopaths don't care whether others view them positively as long as they don't stand in the way of their own [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered gratification]]. In the rare event that a Sociopath actually ''does'' form an "attachment" to another person, it [[AllTakeAndNoGive rises no further than that between an owner and a possession and/or a valuable resource for advancing their goals]]. Thus, once such "friends" cease to be useful or entertaining, they will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness abandon them or, in some cases, even kill them]] without any hesitation or regret. Any emotional reaction to having committed a [[KickTheDog heinous act]] is met [[ButForMeItWasTuesday indifference]] at best and [[ReminiscingAboutYourVictims gl]][[WouldYouLikeToHearHowTheyDied ee]] at worst.

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[[folder:Art]]
* Creator/{{William Hogarth}}'s series ''[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Four_Stages_of_Cruelty The Four Stages of Cruelty]]'' depicts the life of [[MeaningfulName Tom Nero]], who finds at a very young age that he [[{{Sadist}} enjoys torturing]], and goes from an EnfantTerrible to a ruthless adult ultimately executed for the murder of a ladylove he'd charmed and corrupted.
[[/folder]]


Note: Very few fictional sociopaths -- even the ones identified as such by the work itself -- would be considered as such by a real-life psychiatrist. This is because, as Robert Hare points out in his book ''Without Conscience'', sociopaths by definition are [[FlatCharacter two-dimensional characters]], lacking an ability to have anything resembling CharacterDevelopment. (Not to mention that people who have the full range of human emotions may find it near impossible to conceive of a human being that truly lives without them.) The biggest indication that a fictional character may score high on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist psychopath checklist]] is antisocial behavior (whether violent or nonviolent) coupled with their loyalty or affection to other characters being dubious at best. So if a character has a MoralityPet, MoralityChain, or [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas a deep attachment to a family member]] or [[UndyingLoyalty leader]] that goes beyond simple practicality, it's a good bet this trope doesn't apply to the character.

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Note: Very very few fictional sociopaths -- even the ones identified as such by the work itself -- would be considered as such by a real-life psychiatrist. This is because, as Robert Hare points out in his book ''Without Conscience'', sociopaths by definition are [[FlatCharacter two-dimensional characters]], lacking an ability to have anything resembling CharacterDevelopment. (Not CharacterDevelopment (not to mention that people who have the full range of human emotions may find it near impossible to conceive of a human being that truly lives without them.) them). The biggest indication that a fictional character may score high on the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hare_Psychopathy_Checklist psychopath checklist]] is antisocial behavior (whether violent or nonviolent) coupled with their loyalty or affection to other characters being dubious at best. So if a character has a MoralityPet, MoralityChain, or [[EvenBadMenLoveTheirMamas a deep attachment to a family member]] or [[UndyingLoyalty leader]] that goes beyond simple practicality, it's a good bet this trope doesn't apply to the character.


They might even go their whole lives appearing almost normal... [[UncannyValley but there will always be something a little "off" about them]]; something cold and distant and fake. And they won't even care. This type can make a terrifying KnightTemplar, liable to believe that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans -- some sociopathic serial killers claim they are simply a NecessaryEvil removing undesirable elements from society or making a political statement. They may understand intellectually that their actions are undesirable in society at large, [[BlueAndOrangeMorality but feel that they should be rewarded, not punished, for acting to solve a perceived problem]].

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They might even go their whole lives appearing almost normal... [[UncannyValley but there will always be [[UncannyValley something a little "off" "off"]] about them]]; them; something cold and distant and fake. And they won't even care. This type can make a terrifying KnightTemplar, liable to believe that UtopiaJustifiesTheMeans -- some sociopathic serial killers claim they are simply a NecessaryEvil removing undesirable elements from society or making a political statement. They may understand intellectually that their actions are undesirable in society at large, [[BlueAndOrangeMorality but feel that they should be rewarded, not punished, for acting to solve a perceived problem]].


# '''LackOfEmpathy and Devoid of Conscience''': Their defining feature. Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe them: except [[DevilInPlainSight for when trying to appear normal]], they [[TheUnfettered will disregard any social norms and semblance of morality in pursuit of their own selfish desires]]. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, [[ManipulativeBastard manipulate]], or use [[BloodKnight outright violence]] without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and for as little as [[EvilFeelsGood Pleasure]] or [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]. Murder and violence [[ButForMeItWasTuesday have no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout or some other mundane activity]], and they have no concern for the direct or collateral damage they do to other people, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood being unable to understand why anyone should]]. Likewise, they never truly [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand the feelings of others on anything more than an intellectual level]], and may even believe that [[NotSoDifferent everybody else is faking it too]]. As many RealLife criminal psychologists put it: "They know the words but not the music." Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral reward/punishment, will not work on them or tend to only make their behavior even worse by making it easier for them to fake it.

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# '''LackOfEmpathy and Devoid of Conscience''': Their defining feature. Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe them: except [[DevilInPlainSight for when trying to appear normal]], they [[TheUnfettered will disregard any social norms and semblance of morality in pursuit of their own selfish desires]]. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, [[ManipulativeBastard manipulate]], or use [[BloodKnight outright violence]] without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and for as little as [[EvilFeelsGood Pleasure]] or [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]. Murder and violence [[ButForMeItWasTuesday have no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout or some other mundane activity]], and they have no concern for the direct or collateral damage they do to other people, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood being unable to understand why anyone should]]. Likewise, they never truly [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand the feelings of others on anything more than an intellectual level]], and may even believe that [[NotSoDifferent [[PsychologicalProjection everybody else is faking it too]]. As many RealLife criminal psychologists put it: "They know the words but not the music." Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral reward/punishment, will not work on them or tend to only make their behavior even worse by making it easier for them to fake it.


# '''[[ItsAllAboutMe Shallow Affect]] and [[AllTakeAndNoGive Complete Lack of Emotional Reciprocity]]''': A Sociopath is physiologically incapable of experiencing a deep emotional attachment towards others but - being a ConsummateLiar - learns early in life how to fake them. This shallow emotional life means that the Sociopath is [[LackOfEmpathy unable to form sincere long-term relationships with anything or anyone, but will feign feelings of love and affection if they feel it serves their purposes]]. Most of the true feelings a sociopath harbors towards others, positive or negative, are rooted in an insatiable desire [[ControlFreak to dominate or control them]]. While [[{{Narcissist}} narcissists]] would prefer to be [[LoveHungry loved]] or [[GlorySeeker at least respected]], sociopaths don't care whether others view them positively as long as they don't stand in the way of their own [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered gratification]]. In the rare event that a Sociopath actually ''does'' form an "attachment" to another person, it [[AllTakeAndNoGive rises no further than that between an owner and a possession and/or a valuable resource for advancing their goals]]. Thus, once such "friends" cease to be useful or entertaining, they will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness abandon them or, in some cases, even kill them]] without any hesitation or regret.

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# '''[[ItsAllAboutMe Shallow Affect]] and [[AllTakeAndNoGive Complete Lack of Emotional Reciprocity]]''': A Sociopath is physiologically incapable of experiencing a deep emotional attachment towards others but - being a ConsummateLiar - learns early in life how to fake them. This shallow emotional life means that the Sociopath is [[LackOfEmpathy unable to form sincere long-term relationships with anything or anyone, but will feign feelings of love and affection if they feel it serves their purposes]]. Most of the true feelings a sociopath harbors towards others, positive or negative, are rooted in an insatiable desire [[ControlFreak to dominate or control them]]. While [[{{Narcissist}} narcissists]] would prefer desire to be [[LoveHungry loved]] or [[GlorySeeker at least respected]], sociopaths don't care whether others view them positively as long as they don't stand in the way of their own [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered gratification]]. In the rare event that a Sociopath actually ''does'' form an "attachment" to another person, it [[AllTakeAndNoGive rises no further than that between an owner and a possession and/or a valuable resource for advancing their goals]]. Thus, once such "friends" cease to be useful or entertaining, they will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness abandon them or, in some cases, even kill them]] without any hesitation or regret.


# '''LackOfEmpathy and Devoid of Conscience''': Their defining feature. Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe them: except for when trying to appear normal, they [[TheUnfettered will disregard any social norms and semblance of morality in pursuit of their own selfish desires]]. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, manipulate, or use [[BloodKnight outright violence]] without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and for as little as [[EvilFeelsGood Pleasure]] or [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]. Murder and violence have no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout or some other mundane activity, and they have no concern for the direct or collateral damage they do to other people, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood being unable to understand why anyone should]]. Likewise, they never truly [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand the feelings of others on anything more than an intellectual level]], and may even believe that [[NotSoDifferent everybody else is faking it too]]. As many RealLife criminal psychologists put it: "They know the words but not the music." Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral reward/punishment, will not work on them or tend to only make their behavior even worse by making it easier for them to fake it.

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# '''LackOfEmpathy and Devoid of Conscience''': Their defining feature. Utterly ruthless doesn't begin to describe them: except [[DevilInPlainSight for when trying to appear normal, normal]], they [[TheUnfettered will disregard any social norms and semblance of morality in pursuit of their own selfish desires]]. The Sociopath will do whatever it takes: lie, cheat, steal, extort, manipulate, [[ManipulativeBastard manipulate]], or use [[BloodKnight outright violence]] without the slightest hesitation, disgust or remorse, and for as little as [[EvilFeelsGood Pleasure]] or [[ForTheEvulz The Evulz]]. Murder and violence [[ButForMeItWasTuesday have no more emotional weight than eating Chinese takeout or some other mundane activity, activity]], and they have no concern for the direct or collateral damage they do to other people, [[EvilCannotComprehendGood being unable to understand why anyone should]]. Likewise, they never truly [[EvilCannotComprehendGood understand the feelings of others on anything more than an intellectual level]], and may even believe that [[NotSoDifferent everybody else is faking it too]]. As many RealLife criminal psychologists put it: "They know the words but not the music." Techniques for learning moral behaviour, such as reason, therapy, rehabilitation and behavioral reward/punishment, will not work on them or tend to only make their behavior even worse by making it easier for them to fake it.



#''' [[TheHedonist Pathological Need for Stimulation]]''': The Sociopath's ''raison d'etre'' (i.e.: [[MotivationIndex an overriding goal which serves as one's "reason for existence"]]). Due to their [[LackOfEmpathy inability to empathize]] or even care for those around them, sociopaths largely view their existence as [[StrawNihilist boring or meaningless]] and therefore feel compelled to [[ItAmusedMe engage in "thrill-seeking" activities to alleviate their restlessness]]. How this manifests depends largely on the sociopath's personality. It can be as ''relatively'' benign as binging on video games, compulsively gambling, or leading [[TheCasanova highly promiscuous lifestyles]]. Far more dangerous examples are prone to satiate their lust for thrills by partaking in criminal enterprises, becoming {{serial rapist}}s and [[SerialKiller killers]], or (if they are [[BunnyEarsLawyer unusually high-functioning]]) accumulating vast wealth and/or influence for the sole purpose of [[DespotismJustifiesTheMeans dominating as many people as they can for their own amusement]]. Due to their obsession with indulging their insatiable appetites ''however'' they want ''whenever'' they want, sociopaths have a '''very''' low tolerance for inconvenience or irritation which in turn leads them to have a pronounced lack of impulse control. Because of this, many of them are AxCrazy, have a HairTriggerTemper, and/or are {{Mood Swinger}}s.
# '''[[ItsAllAboutMe Shallow Affect]] and [[AllTakeAndNoGive Complete Lack of Emotional Reciprocity]]''': A Sociopath is physiologically incapable of experiencing a deep emotional attachment towards others but - being a ConsummateLiar - learns early in life how to fake them. This shallow emotional life means that the Sociopath is unable to form sincere long-term relationships with anything or anyone, but will feign feelings of love and affection if they feel it serves their purposes. Most of the true feelings a sociopath harbors towards others, positive or negative, are rooted in an insatiable desire [[ControlFreak to dominate or control them]]. While [[{{Narcissist}} narcissists]] would prefer to be [[LoveHungry loved]] or [[GlorySeeker at least respected]], sociopaths don't care whether others view them positively as long as they don't stand in the way of their own [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered gratification]]. In the rare event that a Sociopath actually ''does'' form an "attachment" to another person, it [[AllTakeAndNoGive rises no further than that between an owner and a possession and/or a valuable resource for advancing their goals]]. Thus, once such "friends" cease to be useful or entertaining, they will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness abandon them or, in some cases, even kill them]] without any hesitation or regret.
# '''[[{{Pride}} Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth]]''': The trait that ties it all together - the one that changes it from moustache-twirling evil into a mental disorder. Sociopaths will go so far as to convince ''themselves'' that they have succeeded in their plan, even as failure stares them in the face and snaps on the handcuffs. They genuinely believe it. They don't really care what others truly think on the matter, but they do care about what they ''say'', and like to fill their social circle with people who say what they want to hear. Any others - even former 'friends' - will be dismissed from the sociopath's social circle simply for doubting them. They consider themselves better than anybody else and that they are entitled to special treatment - and they can't stand anybody being considered better than them. However, while the {{Narcissist}} is self-conscious of how they measure up to others' standards (and therefore will experience shame or guilt for failing them), a sociopath's [[AboveGoodAndEvil grandiosity is all-encompassing to the point they have no concern how their actions reflect upon them]] ''UNLESS'' it threatens their ability to indulge their appetite for further stimulation. They are incapable of acknowledging personal responsibility for failure, [[NeverMyFault and will always blame others]], no matter how irrational it is. In fact, it's considerably difficult convincing them that the activity they have partaken in has even failed. This is all part of why a sociopath can't change - since they consider themselves to already be perfect, and refuse to acknowledge failure on their part, and consider the true opinions and feelings of others insignificant, they never try to improve themselves.

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#''' [[TheHedonist Pathological Need for Stimulation]]''': The Sociopath's ''raison d'etre'' (i.e.: [[MotivationIndex an overriding goal which serves as one's "reason for existence"]]). Due to their [[LackOfEmpathy inability to empathize]] empathize or even care for those around them, them]], sociopaths largely view their existence as [[StrawNihilist boring or meaningless]] and therefore feel compelled to [[ItAmusedMe engage in "thrill-seeking" activities to alleviate their restlessness]]. How this manifests depends largely on the sociopath's personality. It can be as ''relatively'' benign as binging on video games, compulsively gambling, or leading [[TheCasanova highly promiscuous lifestyles]]. Far more dangerous examples are prone to satiate their lust for thrills by partaking in criminal enterprises, becoming {{serial rapist}}s and and/or [[SerialKiller killers]], or (if they are [[BunnyEarsLawyer unusually high-functioning]]) accumulating vast wealth [[{{Greed}} wealth]] and/or influence [[VillainWithGoodPublicity influence]] for the sole purpose of [[DespotismJustifiesTheMeans dominating as many people as they can for their own amusement]]. Due to their obsession with indulging their insatiable appetites ''however'' they want ''whenever'' they want, sociopaths have a '''very''' low tolerance for inconvenience or irritation which in turn leads them to have a pronounced lack of impulse control. Because of this, many of them are AxCrazy, have a HairTriggerTemper, and/or are {{Mood Swinger}}s.
# '''[[ItsAllAboutMe Shallow Affect]] and [[AllTakeAndNoGive Complete Lack of Emotional Reciprocity]]''': A Sociopath is physiologically incapable of experiencing a deep emotional attachment towards others but - being a ConsummateLiar - learns early in life how to fake them. This shallow emotional life means that the Sociopath is [[LackOfEmpathy unable to form sincere long-term relationships with anything or anyone, but will feign feelings of love and affection if they feel it serves their purposes.purposes]]. Most of the true feelings a sociopath harbors towards others, positive or negative, are rooted in an insatiable desire [[ControlFreak to dominate or control them]]. While [[{{Narcissist}} narcissists]] would prefer to be [[LoveHungry loved]] or [[GlorySeeker at least respected]], sociopaths don't care whether others view them positively as long as they don't stand in the way of their own [[ItsAllAboutMe self-centered gratification]]. In the rare event that a Sociopath actually ''does'' form an "attachment" to another person, it [[AllTakeAndNoGive rises no further than that between an owner and a possession and/or a valuable resource for advancing their goals]]. Thus, once such "friends" cease to be useful or entertaining, they will [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness abandon them or, in some cases, even kill them]] without any hesitation or regret.
# '''[[{{Pride}} Grandiose Sense of Self-Worth]]''': The trait that ties it all together - the one that changes it from moustache-twirling evil into a mental disorder. Sociopaths will go so far as to convince ''themselves'' that they have succeeded in their plan, even as failure stares them in the face and snaps on the handcuffs. They genuinely believe it. They don't really care what others truly think on the matter, but they do care about what they ''say'', and like to fill their social circle with people who say what they want to hear. [[ChronicBackstabbingDisorder Any others - even former 'friends' - will be dismissed from the sociopath's social circle simply for doubting them. them]]. They consider themselves better than anybody else and that [[EntitledBastard they are entitled to special treatment treatment]] - [[DrivenByEnvy and they can't stand anybody being considered better than them. them]]. However, while the {{Narcissist}} is self-conscious of how they measure up to others' standards (and therefore will experience shame or guilt for failing them), a sociopath's [[AboveGoodAndEvil grandiosity is all-encompassing to the point they have no concern how their actions reflect upon them]] ''UNLESS'' it threatens [[TheHedonist their ability to indulge their appetite for further stimulation.stimulation]]. They are incapable of acknowledging personal responsibility for failure, [[NeverMyFault and will always blame others]], no matter how irrational it is. In fact, it's considerably difficult convincing them that the activity they have partaken in has even failed. This is all part of why a sociopath [[StaticCharacter can't change change]] - since they [[SmallNameBigEgo consider themselves to already be perfect, perfect]], and [[NeverMyFault refuse to acknowledge failure on their part, part]], and [[IRejectYourReality consider the true opinions and feelings of others insignificant, insignificant]], they never try to improve themselves.

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[[folder:Theater]]
* Atreus from Lucius Annaeus Seneca's tragedy[=/=]horror classic ''Thyestes'' is one of the most chilling sociopaths in literature. He's a [[CardCarryingVillain card-carrying tyrant]] with zero empathy, and his [[TheWrongfulHeirToTheThrone crown]] has only intensified his ego issues. He shows no signs of any of TheFourLoves towards anyone (he would have turned on his sons Agamemnon and Menelaus in a heartbeat had they showed evidence of being Thyestes' instead), and any injury done him must be [[DisproportionateRetribution repaid with interest]]. In the play, Thyestes had been exiled after he seduced Atreus' wife Aërope and tried to claim the crown. Atreus, craving some deeper vengeance, pretends to extend the olive branch and claims that all is forgiven. Nope. It turns out that [[ImAHumanitarian Thyestes' own sons]] [[IAteWhat were the main course of that banquet Atreus served]].
[[/folder]]

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