Antisocial Personality Disorder vs. Psychopathy – Close But Not The Same

Antisocial falls into the cluster B personalities. There are 3 clusters, Cluster A are the personality types that are odd or eccentric. Cluster B are dramatic, emotional or erratic and Cluster C are anxious or fearful.

Antisocial personality disorder is not the same as psychopathy. Psychopathy has become a very popular term lately. It’s based on a construct developed by Harvey Cleckley and Robert Hare. The construct has mostly been used in criminal forensic populations to predict future violence and future offending.

Most people with psychopathy are antisocial, but research shows that only a third of the people with antisocial personality disorder meet the criteria for psychopathy. One key difference is based on a subfactor of the Hare Psychopathy checklist. And that is a parasitic lifestyle of using others. Other aspects of psychopathy that don’t line up that well with antisocial is having glib, superficial charm, being very good at manipulating others and being eccentric.

With antisocial personality, there is a heavy emphasis on behavior that doesn’t conform to societal norms with the additional attitude of being indifferent to the needs of others.

But psychopathy takes the interpersonal exploitation to a higher level. It’s got more of a calculating, predatory nature to it. The behavior that stems from psychopathy may or may not come to the attention of the legal authorities.

Abdalla-Filho E, Völlm B. Does every psychopath have an antisocial personality disorder?. Braz J Psychiatry. 2020;42(3): 241-242. doi: 10.1590/1516-4446-2019-0762

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