Do you think that, as they outright lie and distort reality, they truly convince themselves that what they are saying is the truth? That they say it so passionately and with such certainty that they begin to really believe what they are saying?
Over time do they test certain phrases and behaviors and learn that they can push buttons with various people to get what they want? Do they knowingly manipulate; they pull a string and the marionettes move exactly as they've dictated?
If you do not want to respond publically please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org and I will post your response anonymously. If you have not dealt with a sociopath and simply find it interesting and have an opinion please do not hesitate to comment.