Differences between antisocial personality and asocial personality

Again antisocial and asocial personality is often confused in everyday speechThe truth is, these are two very different ways of being: the first is considered pathological because it is associated with harm to others (antisocial behaviors), while sociality refers to lack of interest in the interaction.

In this article, we will describe in detail what they consist of and in which antisocial and dissocial personality are differentiated. For this, we will rely mainly on the diagnostic criteria of the psychological manual of the DSM-IV, as well as on the contributions of other experts.

    What is the antisocial personality?

    Antisocial personality is considered a type of chronic psychological disorder. DSM-IV collects it as “antisocial personality disorder” in the “Personality Disorders” category; in the case of ICD 10, it is included among “specific personality disorders”.

    Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by recurring behaviors that involve contempt and / or violation of the rights of others. According to the DSM-IV, at least 3 of the following diagnostic criteria must be met:

    • Repeated non-compliance with laws that could lead to arrests.
    • Lying and dishonest behavior with the aim of making a profit or a pleasure.
    • Impulsiveness and lack of future planning.
    • Irritability and aggressiveness manifested by physical and / or verbal aggression.
    • Lack of concern for own safety and / or that of others.
    • Irresponsibility maintained; for example, the inability to comply with financial and professional obligations.
    • Lack of remorse about harmful behavior.

    Be able to diagnose an antisocial personality disorder the person must be at least 18 years oldIn addition, some of the criteria described have been in existence for 15 years or more.

      Dissocial disorder as an early manifestation

      Before adulthood, persistent antisocial behaviors are classified under the label “Dissocial Disorder”, which the DSM-IV includes under the category “Attention Deficit Disorders and Disruptive Behaviors”, which in turn falls under the category. macrocategory “Disorders of onset in childhood, childhood or adolescence”.

      The diagnostic criteria for dissocial disorder also focus on the violation of the rights of others. In particular, the criteria are classified into four blocks: assault on people and animals (physical cruelty, armed robbery, etc.), destruction of property (for example, causing fires), fraud or theft and serious violations of rules.

      Dissocial disorder it is considered to be the precursor of an antisocial disorder, More serious because it occurs at more advanced stages of development. The earlier symptoms appear (“childhood dissocial onset disorder”), the more likely they are to become severe and persist into adulthood as an antisocial personality disorder.

      Define associativity

      The term “asocial” is used to describe the people who are not interested in social interactions or that they prefer to be alone. This is a non-pathological characteristic of highly introverted people, although in today’s society dominated by extroverted personalities, it is often seen as problematic.

      Hans Eysenck proposed that the degree of extraversion in people depends on the activity of the central nervous system, in particular the ascending reticular activator system (SARA). Extroverted people have a low level of activation, so they need a lot of external stimulation; the opposite happens with introverts.

      In this sense, it seems likely that many people who qualify as social are simply very introvertedSo much so that external stimulation, including social stimulation, becomes more or less unpleasant. Environmental factors can also influence the development of this personality type, on the other hand.

      Since this is not a pathology, diagnostic manuals do not include any “asocial personality disorder”, as is the case with antisocials. However, some psychological disorders are clearly linked to a lack of social interest and a lack of pleasure in interacting with other people.

        Associated psychological disorders

        there are many personality disorders listed in the DSM-IV which are remarkably characterized by associativity. In particular, schizoid personality disorder is defined as a pattern of behavior in which the tendency to isolation, emotional coldness, apathy and lack of interest in social relationships predominate.

        Schizotypal disorder is also linked to sociality, although in this case the lack of social contact is more due to social anxiety (which does not decrease with familiarity) and extravagant behaviors. In schizophrenia, which is related to this disorder and the previous one, similar asocial signs may appear.

        People with a personality disorder to avoidOn the other hand, they would like to tell more but are overwhelmed with anxiety and fear of being ridiculed. Preventive disorder is considered to be an extreme manifestation of social phobia (or social anxiety), in which asocial behaviors can also occur.

          How are they different?

          There are certainly few similarities between these two personality types; the frequent confusion between antisociality and associativity is mainly due to the superficial resemblance between the two words, More than the fact that they share features.

          More specifically, the word “antisocial” is commonly used to describe antisocial behavior, that is, related to a lack of interest in social relationships. However, the concept of antisocial personality refers to actions against the company and those who compose it, not to the passive rejection of social interaction.

          The prefix “anti” means “opposed to”, “against” or “to prevent”; thus, literally antisocial people are those who oppose social norms and / or act against others. Instead, the prefix “a-” indicates negation or absence (we could translate it as “without”), so sociality would be the lack of social interaction.

          In any case, and since they are two different personality dimensions, antisociality and associativity should not be mutually exclusive. In fact, it’s relatively common for people with antisocial disorders to feel some rejection of social interaction, in a way we might call misanthropic.

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