Distinguishing between Psychopathy and ASPD

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Distinguishingbetween Psychopathy and ASPD

Distinguishingbetween Psychopathy and ASPD

Part1: Question Prompts

DefiningAntisocial as used in the Clinical Diagnosis of ASPD

Antisocial simply denotes a socially isolated individual or loner.Relative to the phrase Antisocial Personality Disorder, it isassociated with persons who are attractive, charismatic, and able toattract sympathy from other societal members. Thus, it is adisposition condition categorized by a prevalent pattern ofindifference for the liberties of other people. Studies indicate thatthese individuals manifest above average intelligence levels as wellas a superficial charm, cunningness, thoughtfulness, keenobservation, personality analysis, and the capacity to manipulativelyexploit others (Gacono &amp Meloy, 2013). Such a person can use oreven harm others without any hint of empathy and gain pleasure fromit without any sense of shame, regret, guilt, or remorse.

Lack ofRemorse and Empathy in ASPD

Empathy is an emotional state where an individual is able tocorrelate to another’s situation and from the affected person’spoint of view (Gacono &amp Meloy, 2013). It is akin to placing one’sself into another’s shoe and grasp what they are experiencing.Empathy is believed to appraise helping behaviors. Personality traitsof such individuals include being contemptuous, cold, tactless, andinconsiderate.

Remorse is expressed as heartfelt grief or regret for a committedwrong, loss, suffering, and pain caused to others (Gacono &ampMeloy, 2013). It is an emotion that compels people to the awarenessthat something ought to have been affected sooner and in a bettermanner. Exhibited psychopathic personality traits include disdain forother’s emotional well-being, cold-hearted, unconcerned,non-empathic and dispassionate.

People lackingempathy and remorse often do not hold a job for long due to lowself-discipline, are quickly bored and consider routine tasks boring(Gacono &amp Meloy, 2013). In financial dealings, they can beunscrupulous, deceitful, underhanded, manipulative, fail to honorfinancial obligations and financially exploitative dependence. Theydo not keep friends due to nomadic lifestyles, are pathologicalliars, and exhibit inadequate control of temper and anger. They areprone to promiscuous sexual tendencies and are unable to preservelong-term marital relations.

AsPDs andPsychopaths Perception of Behavior

Ego-Syntonic entails a state of being consistent with an individual’sconcept of self. This ego state is often associated with positiveattributes where the concept of self-matches reality (Gacono &ampMeloy, 2013). On the other hand, ego-dystonic entails sufferinginconsistencies with one’s ego state or self-concept. An individualwith such a mental health issue comprehends that they suffer a knownissue which creates conflict in the mind caused by compulsivefeelings, behaviors, and thoughts (Gacono &amp Meloy, 2013).

The connection between ego-syntonic and lacking empathy and remorsearise from the fact that individuals with this disorder think thatantisocial traits are in harmony with their ego states (CJ 618,n.d.). Such a person fails to comprehend the need to change theapparent lack of remorse and empathy and in some cases, even becomehostile when confronted during therapy.

ImmutableBehavior among Ego-Syntonic

Immutable behaviors are those which present no tendencies to changeover time imply that ego-syntonic persons are unable to realizebehavioral transformations (CJ 618, n.d.). Ego-Syntonic individualsdo not perceive any troubles resulting from their traits, therefore,lack any motivations to seek professional help thus translating toimmutable behavior tendencies.


With respect to the failure to consider other’s feelings,psychopathic individuals, at first sight, appear devoted,trustworthy, and very reliable. However, such persons suddenly turnto the extreme exhibiting high unreliability without provocation andno regard how their own actions adversely affect important situationsor relationships. For instance, even in situations where lying isessentially non-beneficial, the psychopath opts to remain untruthful.It is imperative to note that psychopaths manifest egocentric thoughtpatterns such that self-centeredness is as deeply entrenched andimmutable as to be incapable of extending love to others includingown children and parents (Gacono, 2015). They only show some form ofpositive social attributes with an end goal of self-gain and are thusoverly manipulative. Inability to learn from past negativeexperiences is such that in instances where ploys fail to bring aboutexpected gains, they point fingers at victims or plot revenge(Gacono, 2015). This means that they blame others for mistakes andattempt to attain contentment irrespective of the implications.

Differencebetween ASPD and Psychopathy

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM) as provided by the American Psychiatric Association definesantisocial personality disorder as common in people with previousconduct disorders and symptoms outside schizophrenia or mania (CJ618, n.d.). Persons with ASPD often show symptoms reflected inpsychopaths such as an inflated ego, manipulative tendencies,irresponsible behaviors, superficial charm, and disregard for other’swell-being. Psychopaths present a PCL score greater than 30, whichcan only be diagnosed through non-diagnostic clinical constructs andpresent both affective as well as behavioral indicators (CJ 618,n.d.).

The behaviorof an ASPD or a Psychopath Post-Offense?

People with ASPD often exhibit difficulties in hiding disorders suchthat they have the potential to seek total behavior transformation inpost-offense situations (Gacono, 2015). On the other hand,psychopaths manifest great pride in their overly manipulativecapabilities and the inabilities to express remorse or guilt forwrongs committed thus do not show a willingness to change inpost-offense life (Gacono, 2015). In this regard, unlike ASPDs,psychopaths alter their demeanor or reveal the disposition to committo a change after offending.

Part2: Case Study of an ASPD and Psychopathy using Real Life Examples

The case ofASPD

In England, a notable former soccer star named Joey Barton played topflight football with the Manchester City Club (newhealthadvisor.com,2014). To date, there remains no professionally qualified detailconfirming him as an ASPD, as such, most psychologists have pointedto this fact founded on predominantly selfish and erratic tendenciesthat ultimately led to indulgence in criminal activity. For instance,he is known to have poked a colleague with a lit cigar after aprovocation (newhealthadvisor.com, 2014). Another instance ofantisocial tendencies emerged in 2006 when he submitted a transferwish causing the team manager and Stuart Pearce and many firms toheavily criticize the action. On as well as off the field, he neverexpressed any manner of personal responsibility or remorse for hisunacceptable actions.

Case Study ofa Psychopath

Theodore Bundy or Ted was an American serial killer said to havekidnapped thereafter, tortured, and killed about 30 young ladies in anumber of American states (Chivers, 2014). He is described as havingbeen a well calculating, calm and highly manipulative. Ted suffered abad childhood and as a grown up nurtured unique capabilities ofgaining trust from young ladies by pretending to be an injuredperson. Afterward, he would murder or cause them to loseconsciousness and proceed to rape them whether alive or dead to thepoint where body decay made it impossible (Chivers, 2014). Hallmarksof his mental state emerged after being sentenced to death afterwhich he attempted to assist investigators to unearth murdermysteries. Ted actually prided himself in doing so, he had no remorseor empathy to the point of even failing to care for himself by rapingdecomposing bodies.


Chivers, T. (2014). Psychopaths, how can you spot one?&nbspTheTelegraph.

CJ 618 (n.d.). Crime Scene Investigation Covering Turvey 18:Psychopathy and sadism:

interpreting psychopathic and sadistic behavior in the crimescene.

Gacono, C. B. (Ed.). (2015).&nbspThe clinical and forensicassessment of psychopathy: A practitioner`s guide. New York City,NY:

Gacono, C. B., &amp Meloy, J. R. (2013).&nbspThe Rorschachassessment of aggressive and psychopathic personalities. New YorkCity, NY: Routledge.

New Health Advisor. (2014). Famous people with antisocial personalitydisorder. New Health Advisor. Retrieved 17 March 2017 fromhttp://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Famous-People-with-Antisocial-Personality-Disorder.html