(Washington Post) In yet another instance of science belatedly confirming what common sense has already told us, a new paper from researchers at three Canadian universities concludes that Internet trolls aren't just mean — they're sadists and psychopaths.
This black-and-white illustration, called "troll face," is often pasted in forums to celebrate when someone's been trolled. (Memegenerator.net)
The paper, published last week in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, surveyed a group of several hundred on their Internet behaviors and personal traits. It found that trolling correlated with higher rates of sadism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism, a certain lack of scruples when it comes to deceiving or manipulating other people.
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"… it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists," the paper rules.