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About a week ago I was bored, and I wanted to do a study on something that would include expansive notes that I could plaster all over my mirror, because I was watching Sherlock and I thought it would be fun to figure something out the way he and other detectives and police did. (I’m an intellectual ~ these things excite me.) So I thought it might be interesting to match a few traits from the different MBTI types to common traits of psychopaths and sociopaths and see how many (and which) traits correlate. I’m not trying to determine which types are most likely to be psycho/sociopaths; I’m just seeing how many of their traits are similar. This isn’t an expansive study done by scientists or anything; it’s just a general observation by a bored INTP. Really, what would you expect?

To conduct this study, I needed to find a few traits about the types, psychopaths, and sociopaths, so I went online. Originally I was just going to do sociopaths, because I was watching Sherlock, but I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone. It turned out to include not only psychopaths and sociopaths, but also antisocial personality disorder in distinction, because it is the common factor between psychopaths and sociopaths.

For the types I watched a video about each type on YouTube by Personality Hacker. I wanted about eight traits from each type, so if I didn’t get enough from the videos, I went onto their website, 16Personalities, to gather a little more information. I will post my findings for each type in individual blog posts spanning over the next sixteen days. (Unless I somehow miss a day. Then you’ll have to wait a little longer.) As an INTP, it was pretty easy for me to remain unbiased, even when studying my own type and those of my very few friends. But I want to make sure it’s clear to everyone that these are by no means detailed findings, nor do they prove anything ~ it was just an interesting general study to keep me from getting too bored.

Here, I will describe the traits I highlighted for psychopaths, sociopaths, and antisocial personality disorder. Following that, I will put the types in order of those that correlate most, in psychopath/sociopath form, to those that are least similar.

PSYCHOPATHS

Psychopaths appear to be the more thoughtful of the two, so I figured they were probably more common around T and J types. It’s believed that psychopaths are born psychopaths.

The first trait I found for them was confidence, calmness, and perfectionism. I don’t know if it’s obvious for everyone or just for me (story of my life), but psychopaths are always so bloody sure of themselves. They also tend to pay ridiculous attention to detail and are very meticulous.

The second trait is careful planning with many possible outcomes for each scenario. If a psychopath is going to do something, they’re going to observe all the different outcomes before they do it.

Psychopaths are well educated, but also learn a great deal on their own. I matched this with general intelligence when comparing it with the types.

Psychopaths have a hard time forming emotions and attachments with others, so their trust circle is incredibly small and they lack almost all empathy.

They are also very good at detaching from their emotions. There is very little or no emotional involvement in their actions at all. Which, I have to admit, gives me ~ as an INTP ~ a tiny bit of respect for them, because it really annoys me when people let their emotions control their lives. But moving on.

When engaging in a criminal behavior, psychopaths do it in a way that minimizes risk to themselves. They don’t like to get hurt, and will go to great lengths to protect themselves.

Psychopaths also have this great ability to portray themselves as charming or trustworthy when they’re really just lying nasties. And they’re good at exploiting people to believe they’re nice people. I mean, look at Moriarty. He’s horrible, but we all love him, right?

ANTISOCIAL PERSONALITY DISORDER

I put antisocial personality disorder between the two because it’s the common link between psychopathy and sociopathy. Most, if not all, psychopaths and sociopaths have this disorder, so it became an important part of my study. When I go into detail about each type, I will give the individual count for antisocial personality disorder (which I will call APD, whether or not it’s actually called that), then add it to the counts for psychopathy and sociopathy in the final score.

Those that have antisocial personality disorder tend to be impulsive and don’t plan ahead. This, as you may notice, is a direct contradiction to one of the traits I gave for psychopaths, who plan things out very carefully. This shouldn’t be a problem in my study, because they will cancel each other out. But it’s still interesting, isn’t it?

APD people are prone to fighting and aggression, probably due to depression and loneliness, I would think. That’s not the real reason for it, though. It’s just my opinion.

A common correlation between psychopaths and sociopaths is violence. While violent tendencies aren’t necessarily a trait in APD, I added it in this category because it’s yet another middleground between psychopaths and sociopaths, who are the real focus of this study after all.

Those with APD are often deceptive and manipulative. Basically, they lie and exploit people.

They have no regard for the safety and rights of others. They don’t care about you or making sure everyone’s getting their fair share.

They also don’t feel remorse or guilt. If something happens that’s not good for you, well, sucks for you, basically.

APD people are often irresponsible. I found this to be an interesting addition to my study, because it’s something I hadn’t really thought much about.

And finally, those with APD, in a grand culmination of the traits I have described, will often or even regularly break or flout the law. I guess it’s no great mystery why they’re inspired to do this.

SOCIOPATHS

Of the two, sociopaths are far more emotional than psychopaths, so I figured they’re probably similar to F’s and P’s. They’re at almost the complete opposite end of the spectrum from psychopaths, if my research is correct. Apparently sociopaths are not born that way and are instead MADE into sociopaths due to some event, which makes me wonder if they’re also more common among the S types.

Sociopaths, in tandem with the APD trait, are impulsive, erratic, and reckless. They don’t really seem to care, ultimately, what happens to them or anyone else.

Sociopaths, like psychopaths, have trouble forming attachments with people, but there’s more hope for them than their psychopathic opposites. They are capable of empathy, but only with a few people.

Probably because they don’t care about anyone, sociopaths have trouble holding down jobs or having a consistent family life. But that’s not exactly surprising.

They have little regard for the risks they take or the consequences that may arise from their actions. They don’t care what happens and they don’t care what happens because of it. They seem awfully apathetic, now that I’m typing all this.

Due to their obviously unstable emotional state, sociopaths are easily angered or agitated. And one can guess that it’s not a good thing when they move this into action.

Sociopaths, generally, though appearing apathetic, seem to be very much influenced by emotion. This is the complete opposite from psychopaths. Really, how to people get them so confused?

Because they don’t really care about anybody, sociopaths have no regard to society or its rules, which is one thing I can agree with, because look at society nowadays ~ it’s screwed up beyond belief. But while I don’t agree with it, sociopaths simply don’t care.

Their reliability on emotion causes the sociopath to be disorganized and spontaneous. If they were to commit a crime, they would be the one that didn’t wear gloves to avoid leaving fingerprints, or didn’t schedule the timely arrival of a getaway car, or decided not to follow the plan. And they’re the ones that would probably get caught.

THE MBTI TYPES IN ORDER FROM MOST TO LEAST SIMILAR TO PSYCHOPATHS/SOCIOPATHS

  1. ENTP/ISFP
  2. ENFP/ESTP
  3. ENTJ/ENTP
  4. ESTP/ENFP
  5. ISFP/ESFP
  6. INTP/INTJ
  7. ESTJ/ISTP
  8. ISTP/ENFJ
  9. ENFJ/ENTJ
  10. ESFP/INFP
  11. INTJ/ISFJ
  12. ISFJ/ESTJ
  13. INFJ/INTP
  14. ISTJ/INFJ
  15. INFP/ESFJ
  16. ESFJ/ISTJ
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