Sample
  • The Sociopath Next Door

  • By: Martha Stout
  • Narrated by: Shelly Frasier
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (7,985 ratings)

Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks, and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Audible Plus auto-renews for $7.95/mo after 30 days. Upgrade or cancel anytime.
The Sociopath Next Door  By  cover art

The Sociopath Next Door

By: Martha Stout
Narrated by: Shelly Frasier
Try for $0.00

$7.95 a month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $14.61

Buy for $14.61

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.
activate_primeday_promo_in_buybox_DT

Publisher's summary

We are accustomed to think of sociopaths as violent criminals, but in The Sociopath Next Door, Harvard psychologist Martha Stout reveals that a shocking 4 percent of ordinary people, one in 25, has an often undetected mental disorder, the chief symptom of which is that that person possesses no conscience. He or she has no ability whatsoever to feel shame, guilt, or remorse. One in 25 everyday Americans, therefore, is secretly a sociopath. They could be your colleague, your neighbor, even family. And they can do literally anything at all and feel absolutely no guilt.

How do we recognize the remorseless? One of their chief characteristics is a kind of glow or charisma that makes sociopaths more charming or interesting than the other people around them. They're more spontaneous, more intense, more complex, or even sexier than everyone else, making them tricky to identify and leaving us easily seduced. Fundamentally, sociopaths are different because they cannot love. Sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are indifferent to others' suffering. They live to dominate and thrill to win.

The fact is, we all almost certainly know at least one or more sociopaths already. Part of the urgency in reading The Sociopath Next Door is the moment when we suddenly recognize that someone we know, someone we worked for, or were involved with, or voted for, is a sociopath. But what do we do with that knowledge? To arm us against the sociopath, Dr. Stout teaches us to question authority, suspect flattery, and beware the pity play. Above all, she writes, when a sociopath is beckoning, do not join the game.

It is the ruthless versus the rest of us, and The Sociopath Next Door will show you how to recognize and defeat the devil you know.

©2005 Martha Stout (P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Stout is a good writer and her exploration of sociopaths can be arresting." (Publishers Weekly)
"A remarkable philosophical examination of the phenomenon of sociopathy and its everyday manifestations....Stout's portraits make a striking impact and readers with unpleasant neighbors or colleagues may find themselves paying close attention to her sociopathic-behavior checklist and suggested coping strategies. Deeply thought-provoking and unexpectedly lyrical." (Kirkus)

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks About Psychopaths


There's no denying the allure of psychopaths. There's something disturbing but fascinating about people so ruthless and manipulative, who lack the ability to feel guilt or remorse over their actions. Stories of psychopaths abound in just about every mystery subgenre, from action-packed thrillers to nuanced psychological character studies, and also stand out in works of psychology and neuroscience. Listen to some of the most riveting books about psychopaths.