SEATTLE (CBS Seattle) – A new study has found that internet trolls, people who leave provocative comments, are likely sadists and psychopaths.

According to the study titled “Trolls just want to have fun“, Canadian psychologists Erin Buckels, Paul Trapnell, and Delroy Paulhus created a survey of personality inventories to match with “Internet commenting styles.”

Their goal was to psychoanalyze commenters and found that people who like to troll are also very likely to show signs of “sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.”

Researchers discovered that trolls seemed to have all three character flaws which make up the ominous “Dark Tetrad” of personality, according to Time.  Psychopathy is an antisocial personality disorder, sadism means delighting in the harm of others, and Machiavellianism means a person’s tendency to be deceitful.

On the other hand, the study did note that the “enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism.”

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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