"do you happen to know if sociopaths are typically of extremely high i.q.? from what i've seen from personal experience and posts on your site, most individuals who fit the classification appear to be at least above average in intelligence. is this an accurate observation?"
I think that sociopaths would typically score high(er) on IQ tests, but I don't know if that would necessarily mean that they are of above average intelligence. Sociopaths are extremely capable of finding the weaknesses in things, people, the social fabric, etc., like a shark sniffing blood or a dog "smelling" fear.
Let's take for example the fact that I have always performed very well on standardized tests. I will readily admit that doesn't necessarily make me "intelligent." Rather, when I read a question, I am not always looking for answers, or even clues to the answers, but rather clues into the test maker's mind. Are they trying to trick me? I think, if I were a test maker, how many different ways could I ask a question on a critical issue? There will always be a limited number of ways that test makers can/will ask questions--you just have to figure out which, and then recognize those particular questions when you see them. I also try to guess what would be the fake answers test makers might come up with. Test makers have fears like everyone else has fears -- fears that a question will be too easy, fears that a question may have more than one answer or be ambiguous. You can practically see a test taker's CYA precautions in some of the questions you read. You know immediately what the answer is, just like when you ask someone, "Where's the safe?" and they say "I don't know," but their eyes look to the wall behind the desk. Obviously the safe is in the wall behind the desk.
Is this ability to sense weakness what intelligence is? I wouldn't think so. Standardized IQ tests don't necessarily test intelligence, they just test someone's ability to correctly mark the right answer -- they don't account for how you managed to choose that right answer. Take the extreme example: you obtained all the answers ahead of time (cheated). Your score indicates a very high IQ. Does that mean you are intelligent? What if, instead of "cheating," you are a mind reader and get the answers that way? What if you are just very good at predicting what answer test makers think is "right"? Does that mean you are intelligent?
But I do think most sociopaths seem intelligent, particularly to empaths. They have different blindspots than you do, and they think out of the box because they aren't in a box, or at least not the same box you are. Have you ever heard a child speak a foreign language? Maybe for a moment you are amazed. "Good lord! That child's speaking Swahili!" But you are amazed because you are framing the issue in terms of how difficult it would be for you to be speaking Swahili, particularly at that child's age. Your mind has forgotten that some people grow up speaking Swahili as their native language, or in bilingual homes. So the sociopath can amaze the empath with his charm, wit, and intelligence, just because that is the sociopath's "native language," so to speak.
But are sociopaths perceived as being above average, charming, witty, and intelligent? Yes, most of us manage to come off that way. And life is almost always form over substance, rarely the other way around.