“An online survey by a group of Canadian researchers suggests that Internet trolls are more likely than others to show signs of sadism, psychopathy and ‘Machiavellianism’: a disregard for morality and tendency to manipulate or exploit others,” Doug Gross reports for CNN. “‘It was sadism, however, that had the most robust associations with trolling of any of the personality measures,’ says an article by psychologists from the University of Manitoba, University of Winnipeg and University of British Columbia. ‘In fact, the associations between sadism and… scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.'”
“Sadism is a tendency to take pleasure in other people’s pain or discomfort,” Gross reports. “The article was published last week in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.”
“As defined in the article, online trolling is ‘the practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose,'” Gross reports. “So, as opposed to cyberbullying, saying nasty things during an argument over politics or even making hateful comments that reflect the commenter’s true feelings, trolls are offensive for the sheer enjoyment of it. Or, in Internet parlance, ‘for the lulz.’ ‘Trolls operate as agents of chaos on the Internet, exploiting ‘hot-button issues’ to make users appear overly emotional or foolish in some manner,’ the article reads. ‘If an unfortunate person falls into their trap, trolling intensifies for further, merciless amusement. This is why novice Internet users are routinely admonished, ‘Do not feed the trolls!””
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Dennis” and “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]