It’s Official: Trolls are Sociopaths

Nicholas wrote this last fall, but it’s still good science! And it explains so much.

Nicholas C. Rossis

From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksHave you been on the receiving end of a troll attack or a flame war? You can take comfort in the thought that you’re not alone – and that trolls are, officially, sadists.

My friend Jack Eason alerted me to a link between trolls and sadism, discovered by Personality and Individual Differences. The journal published a study that confirms what we all suspected: internet trolls are really messed up.

Specifically, Canadian researchers conducted two internet studies with over 1,200 people. They gave personality tests to each subject, along with a survey about their internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the Dark Tetrad of personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadistic personality.

These are technical terms; google them for the formal definitions: it’s worth your time, for the aha! Moment of recognizing an ex-boss, boyfriend or girlfriend.

Anyway, the researchers found that Dark…

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