Welcome to my scientifically informed insider look at mental health topics. If you find this video to be interesting or helpful, please like it and subscribe to my channel. Hello, this is Dr. Grande. Today’s question is what did Kati Morton get wrong about sociopathy. So this video departs from my usual format a little bit but I had a lot of requests to answer this particular question, and this question is based on a recent video that was on a YouTube creators channel. His name was Shane Dawson, and it interviewed another YouTube content creator named Kati Morton. Now, Katie Morton is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and just to be clear from the outset, I don’t know either one of these content creators. So the description of sociopathy that was offered as part of this video, has offended a number of people and a number of other people who said it’s just so technically inaccurate that there needs to be some sort of adjustment, some sort of clarification offered as I mentioned, I received a number of requests to do this video and if you look at the impact of this particular video, it’s exceedingly popular. So I’m worried about how some of this misinformation is getting out there, and I think it makes some sense to offer clarification to allow people who are interested, to know the scientific facts behind sociopathy. For those of you who are new to my channel, my channel really is based on the science of mental health, so I’m not going to offer any commentary about anyone’s character, I don’t offer a judgement about people, this is really just a focus on the accuracy or inaccuracy of this particular description of sociopathy. So let me start by drawing a distinction between the type of videos that I do and the type of technical information that I give versus the information we see in that particular interview. And this part really isn’t a criticism at all, this is just pointing out that there are two different formats I’m what they call a “Scientist Practitioner”. I have a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision, I’m a licensed professional counselor for mental health, a licensed chemical dependency professional, a certified advanced alcohol drug counselor and a national certified counselor. So, I am both a scientist and a clinical practitioner. So I conduct research, and I treat people who are trying to reduce mental health symptoms and meet other goals. As I understand it, as I mentioned, Kati Morton is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. So she’s a practitioner, so it makes sense that her description of sociopathy wouldn’t necessarily involve a lot of technical detail, so that’s something to keep in mind when reviewing my criticism of her description. Of course, I’m going to go into a lot of technical detail, because that’s what I do. That’s really the point of my channel. Her particular interview there with Shane Dawson, that wasn’t necessarily the goal. So, in all fairness, that’s important to keep in mind. So on my channel in prior videos, I’ve covered antisocial personality disorder, I’ve covered sociopathy and psychopathy many times and from many different perspectives, so I’m just gonna give a brief summary of those constructs here, and I’ll move directly to my concerns with this particular video I’m talking about. So, antisocial personality is a cluster B personality disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. This is the dramatic erratic and emotional cluster. The same cluster as narcissistic, borderline and histrionic personality disorders. We see certain symptom criteria with the antisocial personality disorder. A tendency to violate society’s norms, deceitfulness impulsivity, irritability or aggression, a disregard for safety, irresponsibility and lack of remorse. As you can see this description is largely behavioral. The definition, the official diagnosis in the DSM emphasizes behavior. Now moving on to the constructs of psychopathy and sociopathy. It’s first important to note here that sociopathy is not a term that we really use too much anymore, in research literature. And it’s very easy, and really understandable that psychopathy, sociopathy, and antisocial personality disorder are confused with one another The overarching construct of interests most of the time is actually psychopathy. Psychopathy has, depending on the research that you look at, two main factors. There’s an interpersonal, affective factor, and a social deviance factor Sociopathy is really just that second factor. Its factor 2 psychopathy. And sociopathy closely aligns with that definition of antisocial personality disorder we see in the DSM. So real quickly going over factor 1 and factor 2 psychopathy. With factor 1, we see superficial charm, grandiosity pathological lying, being manipulative, lack of remorse, shallow affect, being callous, having a lack of empathy, and a failure to accept responsibility. With factor 2, which I mentioned before, is really that sociopathy piece. We see a need for sensations, so sensation seeking, parasitic lifestyle, lack of realistic long-term goals, impulsivity but here it’s really more of a boredom driven impulsivity, irresponsibility, poor behavioral controls, early behavioral problems, juvenile delinquency revocation of conditional release, and criminal versatility. This is having the ability, and desire, to engage in a number of different criminal activities. So again, sociopathy lines up with antisocial personality disorder. Psychopathy, overall, is different than antisocial personality disorder, but factor 1 is particularly different. The way we could think about it would be, most everyone who has psychopathy, would probably qualify for a diagnosis of antisocial personality disorder, but only some individuals with antisocial personality disorder would qualify as having psychopathy. So now I’m gonna go through, item by item, and discuss the different statements made by Kati Morton in this interview, and talk about some of the technical inaccuracies. Some of these aren’t really a big deal, but when I looked at that interview, and then I got all the requests for this video I realized that might as well just cover every technical inaccuracy that really stood out to me, and not just pick and choose. So the first thing that she said that kind of worried me was this idea that, an individual with antisocial personality disorder has “no empathy” and “no feelings.” So first of all, you have to understand that there’s Cognitive Empathy, the ability to empathize with somebody else, based on thinking and Affective Empathy. That’s the part where somebody can use their ability to feel, to experience empathy. Cognitive Empathy is intact with psychopathy and this includes sociopathy. So with antisocial personality disorder, Cognitive Empathy is intact. The affective empathy piece is where we see a deficit with factor 1 psychopathy, and we see a disturbance with factor 2 psychopathy, or sociopathy. So the feeling, including empathy, is still there. It’s just more of an emotional disregulation, a disturbance, than it is a deficit with sociopathy. The next statement was regarding this ability to “feel” when somebody has antisocial personality disorder. Now, I get that we all react to observations and sometimes we detect the feeling, before, we think about it, but what worries me about this particular statement, this idea that clinicians or other people, could go around and “feel” sociopathy, is that it makes the appraisal look easy. It makes it look like scientists, and clinicians, just base diagnosis, diagnosis that people carry around, potentially for life, we base it on “feelings.” We actually base it on actual evidence, information that can be quantified and behavior that we can observed. So, there is a “feeling” part to being a clinician, but this isn’t it. Appraisal is based on actual evidence. The next point is this idea that, individuals with antisocial personality disorder need to “feel important to everybody”, they need to “feel better than other people.” This is really a confusion of sociopathy with narcissism. I understand this confusion though because the two constructs oftentimes can occur, so antisocial personality disorder oftentimes is comorbid with narcissistic personality disorder. The next point of clarification, is the statement about individuals with antisocial personality disorders, not caring about themselves, or other people. Now certainly this can be an associated characteristic of a disorder, but to understand this you really have to understand the difference between ego-syntonic and ego-dystonic antisocial personality disorder. With ego-syntonic, someone’s aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and they accept them. So in that case, they wouldn’t really care too much about what they’re doing. With ego-dystonic, somebody’s aware of their thoughts, feelings and behaviors, and they do care. So here, they would care quite a bit about how their behaviors affect themselves, and potentially how they affect other people. So this distinction between ego-syntonic and ego-dystonic is really crucial, around clarifying this statement of individuals with this disorder not caring. The next item I want address here is the statement that was made about individuals with sociopathy trying to “mimic” other peoples emotions, trying to fit in, and even learning from therapy, how to be more “effective” at “manipulating” other people. There is some evidence to support the “imitation” of other feelings and trying to fit in, a little bit, but for most people with this disorder, I would say that’s not true, and this idea of “learning” from therapy how to be “manipulative,” that might be true in a very small percentage, but that really is not a characteristic of psychopathy, or antisocial personality disorder. The next three points have to do with really a clarification between psychopathy, and sociopathy. So there’s a statement about individuals with sociopathy being “charismatic?” That’s really more psychopathy. There was another statement about them being “dramatic?” That is consistent with sociopathy, we hardly ever see that with psychopathy. And the prevalence was stated as 4%? It’s really about 2-3% for antisocial personality disorder, and about 1% for psychopathy. The last two points I think are a little more important. The second to last here is, this idea that individuals with antisocial personality disorder, are “super intelligent.” There is no evidence to support this. This is a common misconception, so I can understand why it was said, but it’s important to realize this just isn’t true. I have a video I did about this where I talk about this in depth, and the last statement, the one that really bothered me the most I think this is the one that had the most impact on people in terms of the negative impact, was the idea that individuals with this disorder are “gross” or “creepy”, and I know later this was clarified to indicate the symptoms were gross or creepy. As mental health clinicians, and a scientist, we have to be non-judgmental. It’s simply not our job to judge other people, and we certainly don’t want to perpetuate a stigma. I think these comments were really just…ill advised, and I can understand why people would be offended by this. I think this was just a mistake, I don’t have any evidence to suggest there’s anything more than that, but of all the mistakes I saw here, it really was the most serious mistake. The interview format overall really seemed… dramatic and sensational, like it was really trying to “sensationalize” the condition, the construct of sociopathy, and I think it did so, in part, at the expense of individuals who have these traits. That’s really not fair, and it’s really not reasonable, and it’s certainly not consistent with being a mental health clinician, or being a scientist. And again, I realize Kati Morton is not a scientist, but it’s important too that we specify, in interviews like this, what our qualifications are, and at what level we’re discussing the topic. I really don’t like this material being sensationalized at the expense of people who suffer tremendously, with personality disorders, including of course, antisocial personality disorder. So this is really just something I’m pointing out because it’s important. Again, this isn’t to make any judgment, or to hold anybody in a negative light. Just pointing out something I think that must be said, in terms of what we saw here with this interview There was a lot of information that Kati Morton provided which was correct. It was by the DSM, and I think this interview was really a tough format for technical depth, as I indicated before. So overall, I think that there were a lot of positives and we just have to look at these more as technical clarifications. I don’t really see any evidence that Katie Morton’s channel, for example, is negative, overall. It actually appears to be positive. I can’t really endorse it though because I haven’t watched every video, but of the videos I’ve seen, it tends to be positive. In terms of Shane Dawson’s Channel. I’ve only watched that one video. So I really can’t make any useful commentary there. I hope you found this description of sociopathy, and some of these technical corrections to be helpful. Thanks for watching.