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Psychopaths are not crazy. They're fully aware of what they do and of the consequences of their actions.
~ Hannibal Lecter to Will Graham.
And yet, I still feel nothing…
~ V after killing Grant.

Psychopaths, occasionally also called Sociopaths, are villains associated with antisocial personality disorder, otherwise known as psychopathy. They lack and/or have an absence of empathy, guilt and/or emotional connections; as a result, they tend to be violent, twisted and with some exceptions, they generally are not able to feel remorse. They are rarely in love, because they are mostly incapable of true love, although some of them are protective towards a select few while still being ruthless and uncaring toward everyone else. More often than not, most purely evil villains are psychopaths. Because of their inability to feel remorse, they are unlikely to redeem themselves, unless they are high functioning and softening toward others to an extent they leave their villainous career despite themselves (e.g. Beverly Hofstadter). For obvious reasons, it is very unlikely for anti-villains, extremists, morally ambiguous villains, villains by proxy, affable villains and/or incompetent villains to be psychopaths, though exceptions exist (e.g. Hisoka Morow, Solf J. Kimblee, Tom Ripley, Sakyo, Judge Wargrave, Alice Morgan, Tahomaru, Hank J. Wimbleton, SCP-076-2, Henry Stickmin, Tanya von Degurechaff, Eric Cartman, Chip Whistler, Izaya Orihara, Victor Zsasz (Gotham), Floch Forster, Tommy DeVito, Mai Mashiro and the Caretaker).

As stated by Lecter's quote above, psychopaths are NOT crazy or psychotic and are often mistaken for being so. Psychopaths are completely aware of reality while psychotic people are polar opposites; they hear voices, hallucinate, suffer from violent and/or delusional episodes and often do not fully understand what they are doing.

In fiction, it is common for psychopaths to come in two different forms:

  • High functioning: The cold-hearted and, in theory, more dangerous kind of social predator. If a villain is consistently apathetic towards other people's feelings, but is capable of using a façade to blend in with society, you are usually left with a high functioning psychopath. These kind of psychopaths maintain high impulse control and are able to recognize the consequences of their actions, but are generally more cunning, calculating and manipulative. They exercise superficial charm to adapt to society and tend to be expert liars. When committing wrongdoings, they may plan them in advance to avoid getting caught easily or at least carry them out when in a situation where they are guaranteed to not get caught. Though they try to make themselves look normal to the public, they are often emotionally hollow, callous, possess a grandiose sense of entitlement and care little for anyone but themselves, seeing people as tools to use for their own benefit. However, this does not mean that every psychopath is villainous; in fact, psychopaths in real-life may be people living completely normal lives and, in fiction, some may even be heroic (though as anti-heroes). Dimentio, Emperor Palpatine, Light Yagami, All For One, Lord Voldemort, Hans Landa, Louis Bloom, Amy Elliot-Dunne, William Afton and Roose Bolton are examples. In the uncommon cases where a psychopath redeems himself/herself, he/she is almost always from the high functioning type.
  • Low functioning: Usually, low functioning psychopaths do not conform to basic social standards. They are eager to flaunt their pride, act on destructive impulse and have very little regard for the consequences of their actions. As such, these variants are hot-headed villains who seemingly live without shame and may or may not bring harm to others or themselves depending on the circumstances of their situation through careless misdeeds. While minor symptoms of a high functioning psychopath may be present in a low functioning one, such as a constant need for stimulation, grandiose self-importance or habitual lying, these kinds of psychopaths do not usually hide behind a façade and easily become openly hostile (if not, violent) when things are not going their way. If caught or confronted for committing villainous deeds, it is very easy for them to show no genuine remorse or outright refuse to accept responsibility for their actions. Ramsay Bolton, Joffrey Baratheon, Zorin Blitz, Dandy Mott, Muscular, Dabi, Jang Deok-su, Charlie Walker, Biff Tannen and Montgomery de la Cruz are examples.

NOTE: It isn't necessary for a psychopath to specifically conform to High functioning or Low functioning. Sometimes a psychopath can be a little bit of both (e.g. Dio Brando, Micah Bell, Muzan Kibutsuji and Hisoka Morow).

Antisocial personality disorder is usually a persistent condition from birth, but it can be induced by a succession of horrific events that twisted the moral center of said characters (e.g. Prince Hans, Dabi, Bullseye, Mr. Skinner, Baron Von Strucker, Penguin, Karl Heisenberg and Petyr Baelish). Furthermore, psychopaths may have redeeming qualities (even if it doesn't lead them to redemption), as long as the aforementioned qualities don't contradict their lack of empathy.

Also, just because a villain is vengeful or wrathful and therefore adapts violent tendencies does not necessarily make them psychopaths unless they are that particularly antisocial in nature.

NOTE: Do not add this category to organizations or species. It is an individual affliction only and thus only individuals can be diagnosed with it. Also, NEVER add villains who are mentally ill or psychotic under this category because those types of villains are not completely aware of reality and suffer severely from various other mental health issues while psychopaths although unstable and ill in a different manner are completely aware of their reality at all times and don't present the crippling effects of mental illness associated with the other neurotype categories.

Supernatural beings, aliens or artificial Intelligence (e.g. It, Aku, Skynet, Ultron, Valak, Darkseid (DC Extended Universe) and King Ghidorah) do not count because their minds are not comparable to humans, unless it is explicitly made clear that their minds work similar to humans (e.g. Isshiki Ōtsutsuki, Lawrence Limburger, General Lunaris, Emperor Nefarious, Lucifer, Evolt, Ghirahim, Eramis, Cell, Brightburn, Ke-Pa, God (Supernatural), Scaramouche the Merciless, and Darkseid). Anthropomorphic characters can also count if they display all the requirements (e.g. Scar, Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear, Hopper, Bradford Buzzard, Ponce de Leon, Taurus Bulba, Doug Ramses, Koba, Dag, Steele, Napoleon, and Slagar the Cruel).

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