These nine questions will measure how much of a sadist you are

Jack Webb@JackWebb92
Thursday 07 June 2018 13:00
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It's pretty tough to measure if people are good or evil, but science is getting better at figuring out if people enjoy causing pain to others.

Modern psychologists identify what they call the 'dark triad' of harmful personality traits and these are: narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism.

Having any of these traits make a person more antagonistic and selfish, acting in such a way to get themselves ahead at the expense of others.

Some researchers are now suggesting that a fourth trait should be added to join the dark triad: sadism, or taking great joy in hurting others.

Your typical sadist is someone that enjoys the suffering of others for no other reason than to be pure evil. We're looking at you, King Joffrey Baratheon.

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Exploring sadism in a clinical setting is fairly new, mostly in part to the study into 'dark personality traits' being underdeveloped. Further to this, sadism is hard to distinguish and dissect.

The modern day examples that researchers lean on to show a correlation between sadism and cruel behaviour is trolling and cyberbullying.

Researchers assembled a list of questions designed to measure a sadistic personality.

The first version of this test was 20 questions long and participants were asked to say if they agreed or disagreed with a list of statements, on a scale of one to five (One being strongly disagree).

The sadism test:

1. I have made fun of people so that they know I am in control.

2. People do what I want them to because they are afraid of me.

3. When I tell people what to do, they know to do it.

4. I never get tired of pushing people around.

5. I would hurt somebody if it meant I would be in control.

6. I control my friends through intimidation.

7. When I mock someone, it is funny to see them get upset.

8. Being mean to others can be exciting.

9. When I get annoyed, tormenting people makes me feel better.

10. I have hurt people close to me for enjoyment.

11. I enjoy humiliating others.

12. I get pleasure from mocking people in front of their friends.

13. I think about harassing others for enjoyment.

14. I have cheated others because I enjoy it.

15. I think about hurting people who irritate me.

16. I'd lie to someone to make them upset.

17. I have stolen from others without regard for the consequences.

18. Making people feel bad about themselves makes me feel good.

19. I am quick to humiliate others.

20. I have tormented others without feeling remorse.

Researchers found the test was good at measuring sadism and dark triad traits. But it wasn't able to identify sadism specifically as a single entity away from psychopathy or the rest of the triad.

So, they made a more specific and revised version:

1. I have made fun of people so that they know I am in control.

2. I never get tired of pushing people around.

3. I would hurt somebody if it meant I would be in control.

4. When I mock someone, it's funny to see them get upset.

5. Being mean to others can be exciting.

6. I get pleasure from mocking people in front of their friends.

7. Watching people get into fights excites me.

8. I think about hurting people who irritate me.

9. I would not purposely hurt anybody, even if I didn't like them.

202 students took part in this revised test and while it still correlated with other dark triad traits, it did a better job of showing sadism as a separate entity.

Men were found to score much higher than women for the negative traits and the results were published in the journal of Personality and Individual Differences.

H/T: Business Insider

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