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Bullying Until recently, Bullying has been identified as a major concern in our Society.

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Old January 31st, 2015, 11:06 AM   #1
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Troll Characteristics

A bit of a long article so again, the Cliff's Notes version with a link to the article. Longish but an interesting read and it goes into the characteristics shown by trolls.

The author has studied "every day evil in people" and has come up with a “Dark Triad” – a triple whammy of nastiness.

- narcissism – the incredibly selfish and vain, who may lash out to protect their own sense of self-worth

- Machiavellianism (the coolly manipulative)

- psychopathy (callous insensitivity and immunity to the feelings of others).

And then the kicker.

He thinks this is directly relevant to internet trolls. “They appear to be the internet version of everyday sadists because they spend time searching for people to hurt.” Sure enough, an anonymous survey of trollish commentators found that they scored highly on dark tetrad traits, but particularly the everyday sadism component – and enjoyment was their prime motivation. Indeed, the bug-crushing experiment suggested that everyday sadists may have more muted emotional responses to all kinds of pleasurable activities – so perhaps their random acts of cruelty are attempts to break through the emotional numbness.
The bug crushing experiment he refers to is he rigged up a phoney crushing machine that would make a grinding sound when you dropped a shelled bug into it making you think you were grinding them up, but they actually just dropped out the bottom. Some people wouldn't do it at all. Some people would do it but not like it. But some people really enjoyed it.

Definitely food for thought.

BBC - Future - Psychology: the man who studies everyday evil
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