Can they feel love? Mercy?
Is their life is the most important thing for them?
Basically it boils down to the following traits. Why the exist tends to be related to their early childhood environment. Children who do not have structure in their lives while in early childhood (2-5 years old) tend to not develop the natural process of understanding boundaries and how to deal with said boundaries.
You’ll see this quite a bit with helicopter parents who refuse to allow their children to experience anything challenging. It’s a natural part of development to fail and learn, if that process is broken it causes all sorts of behavioral issues.
* ignoring social norms and laws, or breaking rules at school or work, overstepping social boundaries, stealing, stalking and harassing others, and destroying property
* dishonesty and deceit, including using false identities and manipulating others for personal gain
* difficulty controlling impulses and planning for the future, or acting without considering the consequences
* aggressive or aggravated behavior, including frequent fights or physical conflict with others disregard for personal safety, or the safety of others
* difficulty managing responsibilities, including showing up at work, handling tasks, or paying rent and bills
* little to no guilt or remorse, or a tendency to justify actions that negatively affect others
I’ve taught martial arts for over 20 years and have seen “trouble children” come in time after time and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the child they just haven’t been allowed to experience a natural learning process and figure things out for themselves in an environment with predictable rules. When parents negotiate with children the child has to deal with random variables and nothing remains the same from day to day which interferes with their ability to follow a thought process through to a predictable outcome. I’ve had several dozen children over the years where the parents have come in and told me their child “no longer needs their meds” which just breaks my heart when the child probably never needed to be medicated in the first place.
Sociopathy is when a person does not feel emotions like most people do. They might not feel sorry when they hurt someone’s feelings, or when they do something wrong. This can make it hard for them to be good friends and get along with others.
People with sociopathy exist in the population just like anyone else. It’s not something that they choose or can control. It can be caused by a mix of genetics, brain development, and life experiences. But it’s important to remember that people with sociopathy are still human and deserve to be treated with kindness and understanding.
Plenty of good answers for this one that others have stated. I’ll point out that “sociopathy” is a very general term, and a sociopath is very likely to have multiple neurological conditions that lead to this tag being applied to them.
As for what’s most important, that various tremendously based on the individual. For example, if you have virtually no empathy for others, it’s easier to be in a more ruthless role like corporate leader, politician, etc. However, if you have no empathy and certain types of depression, then neither your life nor others may matter all that much.
The randomness of evolution pretty much guarantees that some people will be way outside the norms of behaviour and society. When such traits are useful, they tend to spread. When they’re not – they don’t simply disappear; they keep popping up. Makes sense in the long term; when circumstances change, they may be useful. There will be other answers, but I see sociopathy as one of those things that mostly isn’t useful but still hangs around.
Sociopathy is, loosely defined, as a lack of empathy. The sociopath consistently shows no regard for right and wrong and ignores the rights and feelings of others.
They still have many other normal emotions, like love or anger or fear, but what is missing (or at least greatly attenuated) is their concern for others. They may still show mercy or kindness, but they don’t really care about how that affects the target of the mercy/kindness – rather they do it for themselves and their own benefit.
They exist because psychological behavior is a spectrum, and there will always be people on that spectrum that have greater or lesser amounts of certain traits. If there are people that are incredibly empathetic, then there will be people less so.
As to what is most important to them, that will vary by every individual. The only unifying trait is that whatever that thing is, it won’t be focused on the feelings of others.