The word element socio– has been commonly used in compound words since around 1880. The term sociopathy may have been first introduced in 1909 in Germany by biological psychiatrist Karl Birnbaum and in 1930 in the US by educational psychologist George E. Partridge, as an alternative to the concept of psychopathy. It was used to indicate that the defining feature is violation of social norms, or antisocial behavior, and has often also been associated with postulating social as well as biological causation.The term is used in various different ways in contemporary usage. Robert Hare stated in the popular science book entitled Snakes in Suits thatsociopathy and psychopathy are often used interchangeably, but in some cases the termsociopathy is preferred because it is less likely than is psychopathy to be confused withpsychosis, whereas in other cases the two terms may be used with different meanings that reflect the user’s views on the origins and determinants of the disorder. Hare contended that the term sociopathy is preferred by those that see the causes as due to social factors and early environment, and the term psychopathy preferred by those who believe that there are psychological, biological, and genetic factors involved in addition to environmental factors. Hare also provides his own definitions: he describes psychopathy as not having a sense of empathy or morality, but sociopathy as only differing in sense of right and wrong from the average person.In psychology, coping means to invest own conscious effort, to solve personal and interpersonal problems, in order to try to master,minimize or tolerate stress and conflict.The psychological coping mechanisms are commonly termed coping strategies or coping skills. The term coping generally refers to adaptive (constructive) coping strategies. That is strategies which reduce stress. In contrast, other coping strategies may be coined as maladaptive, if they increase stress. Maladaptive coping is therefore also described, when looking at the outcome, as non-coping. Furthermore, the term coping generally refers to reactive coping, i.e. the coping response which follows the stressor. This differs from proactive coping, in which a coping response aims to neutralize a future stressor. Subconscious or non-conscious strategies (e.g.defense mechanisms) are generally excluded from the area of coping.
The effectiveness of the coping effort depends on the type of stress, the individual, and the circumstances. Coping responses are partly controlled by personality (habitual traits), but also partly by the social environment, particularly the nature of the stressful environment.