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Psychopathy is a mental illness. It is generally seen as a type of antisocial personality disorder. Psychopaths are unemotional. They do not care about the emotions or rights of others. They show almost no empathy, and do not try to conform to social norms. They lack a conscience and do not feel guilt. Many psychopaths are charming and often manage to have superficial ties with other people, which they use to manipulate people for their own benefit. Psychopaths often show other antisocial behaviour as well, including sadism, violence and deception. They are very selfish and discard people whom they have no further use for. They tend to have many children by many partners.

There are efforts to use behaviour therapy to treat psychopaths; very often, this is done in prisons.

Popular science also labels other characters as psychopaths: These have no problems with social norms, but they are good at influencing people.