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Psychologists Prove Internet Trolls Are Terrible People, Try Not To Die Of Surprise

They fall into the Dark Tetrad, which sounds way awesomer than it actually is.


So we all know internet trolls are the bane of the internet; but, in reality, are they all just harmless basement-dwelling creeps and pre-pubescent boys? A new study suggests that’s not the case; in fact, the troll denizens of the net have some serious personality issues IRL.

Psychologists at the University of Manitoba decided they wanted to know exactly what makes troll tick, so they conducted a study to determine if trolls have character traits that fall into what is known as the Dark Tetrad:

1. Machiavellianism – wanting and being able to manipulate and deceive others

2. Narcissism – extreme egotism and self-obsession

3. Psychopathy – a total lack of remorse and empathy

4. Sadism – taking pleasure in others’ suffering

Let’s just say the results are pretty damning, guys:


Surprise! Trolls are basically the worst human beings on the planet. The study also found a relationship between all the Dark Tetrad traits but narcissism and the amount of time an individual spends, per day, commenting on posts like this one (probably with things like “I could have written an article better than this was I was in 8th grade I hope you die in a fire,” but whatever).

Of all the traits, the researchers found that the correlation between trolling and sadism was strongest, suggesting that trolls really are just in it for the lulz.

(via Slate, image via Matteo Della Torre)

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