The Correlation Between Narcissism, Sadism, Psychopathic Behavior and Internet Trolls: In the Lab and the Real World

I have grown to really dislike the Comments section in many online sites. Even respect news sites, sometimes, have comments that I wish I could un-see. I can’t stand the cruelty, the purposeful nastiness, the fight-picking, superiority…the list goes on. It sucks my energy, like a parasite. Like, perhaps, a narcissist? Certainly like a sadist.

This is an excerpt from a terrific article in Slate by Chris Mooney, which explains the original research succinctly:

“The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).”

Read Mooney’s article, and scroll down for the graphic that further illustrates the results of the Buckels et al study.

The results are quite shocking, yet not really surprising.