Understanding The Sociopath Test And What It Means For You
Updated July 15, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Wendy Boring-Bray, DBH, LPC
Did you know there's a test out there that will help you figure out if you're a sociopath? Well, there's something called the sociopath test that will let you know a whole lot about yourself and whether or not you show symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder in just 16 true or false questions. Once you've done it, you'll be able to find out what being a sociopath might mean to you—or if it means anything at all—or even what it might mean for someone in your life who you think might be a sociopath, themselves, or have some other mental health issue.
The Sociopath Test
This test gives you a total of 16 different questions and asks you to rate whether they are true or false about yourself, your way of thinking, your life plan, and a whole lot more. You'll be asked questions about partying, insight, faking responses to others, feeling remorse or shame, telling lies, having delusions, experiencing nervousness, and exhibiting reliability. By answering each of these questions honestly, it's possible to determine a whole lot about your personality, and that can be instrumental in understanding yourself and your future, as well—including the likelihood of having a mental health concern or Antisocial Personality Disorder.
What Is A Sociopath?
A sociopath is someone that exhibits antisocial tendencies and has no regard for the welfare or interests of others around them, which is often officially diagnosed as Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD). These individuals will do or say anything that they need to in order to get what they want, and have no compunction about who they may have to step on to get there. They will sell out anyone in their lives and have absolutely no empathy or remorse for what they may need to do to succeed. Rather, they consider it their right to achieve the best, and everyone else should want to do whatever they can to help them do it.
Symptoms Of A Sociopath
In general, a sociopath does have a conscience, but they can ignore that conscience on the way to getting what they want. This means that they do know right from wrong, but the difference is unimportant and the fact that they may have to do something wrong to achieve their ends allows them to rationalize their behavior. They may feel that others are indebted to them and should treat them properly, but feel no desire or requirement to do the same in return.
Sociopaths are insincere, untrustworthy, and irrational in many different ways. Because they want to achieve what they want by any means necessary, they will lie, cheat, steal, and in other ways sabotage others to achieve their own ends. They can be entirely irrational in thinking that others are out to get them or that someone else is trying to overtake whatever it is that they want. They may even feel paranoid or suspicious of their family members or others who are close to them and have a great deal of difficulty making friends or even maintaining casual relationships. Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD) can mimic Borderline Personality Disorder in this respect: relationships are difficult to develop and maintain.
Sociopaths are usually impulsive and experience great difficulty when it comes time to make concrete, long-term decisions. They'll be irresponsible and likely have difficulty maintaining a job or meeting any of their obligations, whether financial or otherwise. They may also have difficulty and trouble with the law and may have sometimes been incarcerated throughout their adolescence and their adulthood. If they haven't been incarcerated, they have likely engaged in some activities that could have gotten them in trouble with the law if they had been caught at the time. This, too, mimics some of the behaviors associated with Borderline Personality Disorder and Narcissistic Personality Disorder; many personality disorders include impulsivity as part of their set of symptoms
These individuals are not only manipulators for their gain, however; instead, they will do so for their pleasure, delighting in anything that will get a rise out of someone or will cause trouble for others. They are not necessarily violent, but they most definitely can be if they don't get their way, which is why many times you'll hear criminals referred to as psychopaths and sociopaths—even if they don't have an official set of symptoms or a clinical diagnosis. It's important to note that not all sociopaths are criminals, just as not all criminals are sociopaths, though underestimating a sociopath is not a good move to make, and being watchful is the best idea to keep yourself and others safe.
Are You A Sociopath?
So, are you a sociopath? After you take this test what does it say about you? Does it say that you seem to be teetering on edge? Or that you're a sociopath? The truth is that a single test is not enough to tell you one way or another, definitively, if you are a sociopath. It takes a whole lot more time and effort to understand your thought processes, the things going on in your mind, your behaviors, and everything else that makes you who you are—but a therapist would be able to help you with the process, and could more effectively identify the differences between Antisocial Personality Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, and Narcissistic Personality Disorder—three personality disorders that may some symptoms, and which are often confused for one another by laymen.
If you take this test or other similar tests and find a result that says you do have sociopathic tendencies, it's important to talk to a professional and find out more about what it can mean for you and what you should be doing to improve your life and behavior after this diagnosis. Unfortunately, there are some negatives to life as a sociopath, the biggest one being the seeming inability to experience intimacy, closeness, empathy, care, and compassion for others—all of which are vital to creating deep, healthy relationships, and forging long-term connections to others.
By seeking out help and treatment, it's possible to eventually build friendships and start to build a more meaningful life. While someone who is a sociopath can achieve success financially and professionally, achieving a successful relationship or personal life is much more difficult. Someone who is a sociopath can appear charming and is often very smart, but those characteristics go so far in building a life, and when someone gets in a little closer, it becomes much easier to tell that something else is going on and that the individual doesn't have the capability of establishing a relationship.
Getting Help For Yourself
If you exhibit symptoms of sociopathy, or even Bipolar Disorder, it's important to seek out help right away, because the sooner you seek out help, the sooner you can get started on living a more productive, healthy, and fulfilling life. A therapist or psychiatrist can help you understand more about your life, how you're living it, and how you could be living it. By doing this, you'll be able to start changing things about yourself and your personal life in ways that will make a huge difference as you go forward, allowing you to compound your professional and financial success with success in other areas of your life.
The first step is making sure that there are no other conditions that are causing the symptoms of sociopathy, as some of the symptoms can be found in multiple different disorders. It's also important to consider medications that could cause some symptoms. A doctor or your family physician will be able to help you with this process and can help you find out if seeing a mental health professional may be the best option for you. They may even know some that you can contact or talk to find out more and achieve a diagnosis. This is an important part of the diagnosing process, because mental disorders often have co morbidities, even if the co morbidity seems unrelated, such as internet addiction and Binge Eating Disorder. Mental health—and, correspondingly mental illness—often has a snowball effect, and improving or worsening one aspect can create a ripple effect.
If you're looking for the best, however, you may want to take a look at BetterHelp, which connects you with a much larger network of professionals that are just as qualified (if not more so) than the ones available in your area. What sets them apart, however, is that you'll be able to communicate with them without ever having to visit a psychiatrist's office. You'll never have to sit in that waiting room with the nosy receptionist or see the patient that's coming out of the session or sit on one of those uncomfortable couches. Instead, you can sit right on your couch and feel comfortable.
BetterHelp is different because everything is done online. You're connected with an entire network of mental health professionals from around the country, which allows you to find a therapist who fits your needs, your personality, and your personal preferences. Once you’re matched with a therapist, you'll be able to set up your sessions for whenever it's convenient for you. After you’ve set up your online sessions, you'll be able to make the sessions no matter where you happen to be—as long as you have an internet connection, that is. To receive therapy, all you have to do is log on, and begin talking.
If you've taken the sociopath test and you came up with a result that says to seek professional help it's a good idea to follow through. You'll be able to talk with someone who can help you and can improve your quality of life in many different avenues. Why would you want to go on living an unfulfilling life when you could be doing so much more? It's all about finding someone that you feel comfortable with and then making sure that you implement the processes and the homework that you'll get from each of your sessions. Doing so will allow you to achieve greater mental health, and may be able to offer you a reprieve from some of your symptoms.
What are the 7 symptoms of a sociopath?
Although the term “sociopath” is not a diagnosis in and of itself, it has made itself at home in tandem with Antisocial Personality Disorder, the personality disorder known for the symptoms associated with sociopathy. While there are numerous symptoms associated with the condition, there are 7 core symptoms that are present in most individuals with an ASPD diagnosis. These include:
- Individuals with ASPD often display narcissistic tendencies, and focus a great deal on outward appearance, or how others perceive them. They may possess a dual diagnosis of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but can just as easily have other diagnoses along with their personality disorder, as diverse as General Anxiety Disorder and Post Partum Depression.
- People with sociopathy are impulsive and compulsive, and are often prone to behavior that is illegal or largely considered immoral. They may also have a particular predisposition toward addiction, whether that means alcoholism or internet addiction. The mental health ramifications of impulsivity are wide-ranging.
- Aggression or violence. The mental health symptoms of a sociopath often include aggression and violence, though these may not always come through in physical manifestations. Aggression and violence can come in the form of emotional abuse, or verbal outbursts, and will not always include physical force.
- Difficulty maintaining relationships. People with ASPD struggle to maintain relationships with others—or are entirely uninterested in maintaining relationships with others.
- Confusion about or disregard for right and wrong. Sociopaths may either not understand the concept of right and wrong, or may simply not care about the differences between right and wrong. This can lead to behavior that is considered immoral or could lead to illegal activities, depending on the severity of the condition.
- Risky behavior. People with sociopathy often engage in risky behavior. That behavior may come in pursuit of something (serial occasions of unprotected sex in pursuit of pleasure, for instance), or may come for no particular reason at all (stealing from others in plain view, despite a lack of financial need). Risky behavior is often tied to the lack of empathy exhibited by sociopaths, as well as the narcissism that is so often present, which may assure sociopaths that they are above the law.
- Sociopaths are often prolific liars, and are capable of creating a variety of stories without so much as batting an eye. Deceit can be used as a manipulation tactic to evade trouble or evoke sympathy, or can be used as a means of entertainment, to discern just how far people can be pushed.
What are sociopathic tendencies?
Sociopathic tendencies are thought or behavior patterns characteristic of sociopathy, a condition in which an individual lacks empathy, compassion, and other relational impulses, and experiences a great deal of impulsivity and difficulty adhering to standards or norms set forth by their families and society as a whole. Sociopathic tendencies are seen on a spectrum, and on one end, extremely mild symptoms include lying, cheating, or difficulty in relationships, with the other end concludes with psychopathy, trouble with the law, and an inability to maintain any kind of personal relationship.
Sociopathic tendencies are not necessarily the same as Antisocial Personality Disorder symptoms; although the two are related, someone who exhibits sociopathic tendencies may not qualify as someone with Antisocial Personality Disorder because this disorder has a specific set of symptoms, while sociopathic tendencies can be exhibited by virtually anyone. Sociopathic tendencies might include someone who struggles in relationships, behaviors selfishly on a regular basis, or lies continually to get what they want.
How do you diagnose a sociopath?
Sociopathy is diagnosed in the same way as virtually every other mental health issue; someone who suspects a mental illness or other mental health issue visits with a doctor of psychology or psychiatry, reports their symptoms, undergoes an evaluation, and receives a diagnosis. This process is not always cut and dry, however; because many mental illnesses share symptoms, and issues as diverse as postpartum depression and Binge Eating Disorder can exist in tandem, many mental health professionals require a handful of visits before a diagnosis can successfully be delivered.
What is the difference between a psychopath and a sociopath?
A sociopath and a psychopath are often confused because they both exhibit symptoms such as a lack of empathy, difficulty with relationships, and impulsivity—and both share the diagnosis of Antisocial Personality Disorder. What differentiates them is not the symptoms they share, but the way those symptoms are expressed and the severity of their disorder. Although both sociopaths and psychopaths have Antisocial Personality Disorder, a sociopath is more likely to behave erratically, and openly struggle with breaking rules and maintaining relationships. Psychopaths, conversely, will have no issue hiding their symptoms, and are often even considered charming, attractive, and successful. If Antisocial Personality Disorder is a spectrum, sociopathy and psychopathy are the two possible spectrums.
What is a sociopath’s weakness?
A sociopath’s weakness is others’ strength. Because sociopaths often rely on the emotional instability of others in order to get what they want, coming into contact with someone who is mentally strong or mentally healthy can be extremely problematic for their behavior patterns. A romantic partner, for instance, is often viewed as a good partner for their ability to be manipulated through guilt, lies, or verbal or emotional abuse. A romantic partner who immediately stands up for themselves or steps back from the relationship, conversely, cannot fall prey to the manipulative machinations of a sociopath, and the relationship will typically come to a halt. Even individuals who have some form of mental health concern can evade the scheming of a sociopath, as is the case with someone who struggles with an anxiety disorder actively working to manage anxiety, or someone with chronically low self-esteem actively working to dismantle unhealthy thinking patterns.
Who is a famous sociopath?
Sherlock Holmes’ character is arguably the most famous fictional sociopath. Although Holmes’ intellect is often the primary focus in tales of his adventures and exploits, his sociopathic behavior is also exhibited in his seeming inability to maintain close relationships, consider the feelings of others, and adhere to laws and customs. Film and television depictions of Sherlock Holmes often capitalize more on his sociopathic tendencies, and bring them to the forefront of his exploits.
Bernie Madoff, too, has been targeted as a living example of sociopathy, as he fits many of the characteristics associated with Antisocial Personality Disorder; namely, a lack of remorse, a focused and intent dedication to self-interest at the expense of others, and a lack of empathy. Madoff is known for his role as the leader of the largest Ponzi scheme in history, a crime for which he is currently serving time.
Do sociopaths love their family?
The question of love and sociopathy is a difficult one; because one of the primary traits of sociopathy is a lack of empathy, many argue that sociopaths are not capable of feeling love. Love, after all, is firmly rooted in empathy and compassion, and although everyone experiences some degree of self-serving behavior, sociopathy is almost entirely embroiled in self-service. Love may not be altogether impossible for sociopaths, however, as there are varying degrees of sociopathy, and many people with the disorder acknowledge having strong feelings of attachment to and comfort with friends and family. Perhaps the best answer, then, is to acknowledge that the attachments that people with Antisocial Personality Disorder form may not fulfill the healthy notions of love most people identify, they certainly do have a means of feeling and expressing closeness and affection for their families.