Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Child Behavior and Development

pp 1410-1414


  • Rania D. HadjicostaAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Nicosia
  • , Xenia Anastassiou-HadjicharalambousAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Nicosia


Antisocial personality disorder; Dissocial personality disorder; Psychopathy


Sociopathy is a term used to describe certain personality characteristics including lack or impaired conscientiousness, lack of future orientation, lack of interest in goal-directed activities [15], egocentricity, callousness, impulsivity, exaggerated sexuality, excessive boasting, risk taking, inability to resist temptation, antagonistic and deprecating attitude toward the opposite sex, and lack of interest in interpersonal bonding.


The concept of psychopathy was introduced in the literature by Cleckley around the 1940s [20]. Sociopathy was once considered as a distinct cluster of personality disorders, namely the Sociopathic Personality Disturbances (SPD). SPD was recorded in the first edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-I; 1952) as a cluster of personality disorders encompassing two distinct personality disturbance ...

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