Trolls love pain; they inflict it on others
This is another study on trolls, which confirms most of our last article on the subject. It adds a fourth dimension to what we identified as the “Dark Triad;” it is now the “Dark Tetrad.” It is particularly interesting to note the strong association of trolls with the psychopathic character trait of sadism.
“Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others . . . and the internet is their playground!”
According to Psychology Today:
Canadian researchers . . . conducted two internet studies with over 1,200 people. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the Dark Tetrad personality: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadistic personality.
“… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.” [emphasis added]
From the study’s abstract:
(Common types of trolls)
- Regular Troll – Whatever you’re for, he’s against, and vice-versa
- False-Flag Troll – This guy pretends to be on your side, but he’s really not . . . His purpose is to sow confusion, discord and demoralization.
- Concern Troll – A subspecies of false-flag troll.
- Agent Provocateur Troll – Another false-flag subspecies, who aims to elicit unsavory or disreputable comments from other commenters, which can then be quoted to discredit the blog.
Then there are other internet trolls, like those (send) you an all caps laden tweet telling you to “WAKE UP SHEEPLE!!!” . . . “because your dumb [sic]“.
Most likely to troll? Vicarious sadists. Followed by, direct sadists, psychopaths, Machiavellians, and narcissists, respectively.
So next time you encounter a troll online, remember a few things. (1) These trolls are some truly messed up people and (2) it is your suffering that brings them pleasure, so the best thing you can do is ignore them.
What’s been missing so far is research to look for a correlation between trolls and the a desire to look attractive. Perhaps it’s unique to Costa Mesa but have you noticed how many of the Avatars chosen by trolls are either beautiful, such as a statue of David, or pictures of themselves 250 or so pounds ago? Perhaps they’re demonstrating the Tetrad’s narcissism aspect.
Or maybe it’s just a local phenomenon.