Originally Posted by barth2k
Dexter isn't a sociopath, btw. He has an understanding of himself and knows there's something wrong with him, that he's just faking his way through human interaction. The flashbacks show him wrestling with his urges, showing he does have a conscience. A sociopath wouldn't see there's anything wrong with him; he just thinks other people are stupid chumps and deserve whatever punishment he deals out.
I don't think Dexter has a very good understanding of himself at all. He is constantly confused at some of his own actions, such as his coming on to his gf while talking about cutting people up. He still has no memory of his traumatic childhood, so no idea of where his dark urges come from.
"The sociopath is typified by extreme self-serving behavior and a lack of conscience as well as an inability to empathize with others and to restrain him or herself from, or to feel remorse for, harm personally caused to others."
Symptoms of sociopath:
* Disregard for society's laws
* Violation of the physical or emotional rights of others
* Lack of stability in job and home life (Dexter picked the one job that would allow him to pursue his hobby 24/7. I think his dad's influence on him also helped him avoid this particular symptom)
* Lack of guilt
* Superficial wit and charm
* Recklessness, impulsivity (dad taught him patience and invesitgative method)
Sounds like our boy to me :-) Dexter knows the difference between right and wrong, he just doesn't care. He enjoys killing, and following daddy's rules allows him to keep killing while staying under society's radar as much as possible.