What Makes An Internet Troll?

A 2014 study found that subjects who identified as trolls, or who enjoyed the act of trolling, were associated with the "dark tetrad" of personality traits. The most prevalent trait amongst the trolls was sadism, or enjoyment prompted by the suffering of others. The trolls seemed to engage in what scientists call everyday sadism. The study also found that people who spent a lot of time commenting online were more likely to be trolls, an observation that many internet users will find intuitive.


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Key Facts In This Video

  1. Approximately 5.6% of individuals identify as trolls, or say that they enjoy trolling online. 00:13

  2. Sadists experience an emotional reward when causing or observing suffering. 00:56

  3. Studies suggest that internet trolls exhibit their "dark" personality traits in day-to-day life, in addition to online. 01:51