What Is A Sociopath? Logan Paul’s Comments Explained

2 October 2018, 14:23 | Updated: 2 October 2018, 15:15

Logan Paul Sociopathic Tendencies
Picture: Shane Dawson/Logan Paul via YouTube
Benedict Townsend

By Benedict Townsend

Much of Shane Dawson's new documentary has focused on sociopaths and 'sociopathic tendencies', but what is the definition and what are the characteristics?

Shane Dawson's hugely popular new documentary series 'The Mind Of Jake Paul' has been notable in its focus on sociopathy and sociopathic tendencies.

Part 2 of the documentary centred on the issue of whether or not Jake Paul - and possibly his brother Logan Paul were sociopaths. This video was criticised by viewers for the 'horror movie' way in which it dealt with personality disorders - it was also criticised by Logan himself, who chastised Shane for not recognising the spectrum of sociopathic tendencies and for conflating sociopathy with psychopathy.

This lead to Shane apologising (it was a really good apology too) and reediting some of his upcoming episodes to make them more accurate.

But with all this talk of sociopaths in the air, many are asking what does it mean to have sociopathic tendencies, and what is a sociopath? We went along to some trusted sources, to give you the answers.

What is a 'sociopath'?

Sociopathy is a 'personality disorder', so let's start there.

According to the mental health charity 'Mind':

"Personality disorders are a type of mental health problem where your attitudes, beliefs and behaviours cause you longstanding problems in your life. The word ‘personality’ refers to the pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviour that makes each of us the individuals that we are. We don't always think, feel and behave in exactly the same way – it depends on the situation we are in, the people with us and many other things."

The preferred medical term is 'Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)'.

A professional would not readily label a patient as a 'sociopath' but would rather say they have signs of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD).

What are the symptoms of Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)?

According to the National Health Service (NHS):

"A person with antisocial personality disorder may:

- exploit, manipulate or violate the rights of others

- lack concern, regret or remorse about other people's distress

- behave irresponsibly and show disregard for normal social behaviour

- have difficulty sustaining long-term relationships

- be unable to control their anger

- lack guilt, or not learn from their mistakes

- blame others for problems in their lives

- repeatedly break the law

A person with antisocial personality disorder will have a history of conduct disorder during childhood, such as truancy (not going to school), delinquency (for example, committing crimes or substance misuse), and other disruptive and aggressive behaviours."

Personality disorders are not 'black and white'.

People can display some of these tendencies, or only a few. As with most mental health concerns, each person is different and may display different levels of sociopathic tendencies.

In the latest episode of Shane Dawson's documentary series, Logan Paul openly admitted to having 'sociopathic tendencies', but that does not mean that he is de facto a 'sociopath' (unless later diagnosed as so by a professional).

What do you make of the series so far? Has it educated you about mental health?