Trolls love to try to mess up people’s days, and a new study published by Personality and Individual Differences shows just how mean trolls are.
Psychology Today reported on the troll study, saying, “Canadian researchers decided to find out [more about trolls]. They 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.”
Narcissism is where people think they’re better than everyone else. Machiavellianism has to do with exploiting others and being dishonest. Psychopathy is a personality disorder that includes having little or no empathy for others. Sadism refers to enjoying the suffering for others. These make up the “Dark Tetrad” in psychology, and you can see the issues trolls have.
It also shows again that trolls really ought to be ignored (unless you think it’s a situation where they need to be reported). In fact, if you get upset and start arguing with them, they’ll probably enjoy that. It’s not going to change their mind or anything. The study explained, “Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun … and the Internet is their playground!”
It is important to defend people from bullying and report bullying when you see it. But trying to talk to a troll online wouldn’t get you far, and it’s better to keep yourself in a happy place.