1. failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
2. deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
3. impulsivity or failure to plan ahead;
4. irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
5. reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6. consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
7. lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another.
At first glance, this looks like a random collection of undesirable traits, all of which combine to form an extremely unattractive personality. But in fact, each of these characteristics is related to the others.
A failure to comply with the law (1) is nothing more than a consistent irresponsibility (6) combined with a certain impulsiveness (3). It often incorporates a reckless disregard for safety (5) as well.
The kind of people who are repeatedly deceptive (2) are that way because they feel no remorse (7). If you feel guilty -- or at least embarrassed -- about lying, you don't do it, and certainly not on a regular basis. Lying is also the act of a person who is impulsive (3), who wants some sort of satisfaction at that moment, and who doesn't care about the future, when he may get caught in that lie.
(It's hard for most people to imagine, but a sociopath will lay claim to a nonexistent accomplishment just to bask in the glory of the moment, even though it's inevitable that he will eventually be caught in his lie.)
"Conning others" (2) is also a function of "consistent irresponsibility" (6) as well as a "lack of remorse" (7) and it often is illegal as well (1). One behavior is a prerequisite for another.
"Impulsivity or a failure to plan ahead" (3) is how you behave when you never learn from experience, and you never learn from experience when you never feel remorse (7) or even embarrassment about your mistakes.
"Irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults" (4) can only result from a "reckless disregard for safety of self or others" (5). And the irritability is often a byproduct of a personality which is incapable of remorse (7), and never sees himself as being at fault, therefore always blaming others for whatever goes wrong in his life. And actual physical assaults are "grounds for arrest"(1).
What is a "reckless disregard for safety" (5) other than irresponsibility (6) combined with a failure to plan ahead (3)?
"Consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations" (6) usually incorporates deception (2), since sociopaths almost always promise to work hard and pay their debts. Inconsistent work behavior is usually a result of "impulsivity" (3), going off to do something more fun than working. And not keeping one's promises is the behavior of one who has a "lack of remorse" (7).
It's not an accident that these traits and behaviors cluster.
Much of the literature on sociopathy states that you have to see several of these behaviors before you can accurately diagnose sociopathy. But if all you get is a little snapshot of someone, and one of the behaviors described above is extreme enough, you can pretty much count on the others being there as well.