October 7, 2014

The "Dark Tetrad" — sadism, psychopathy, narcissism, and Machiavellianism.

Found — by Canadian researchers — in internet trolls.

Oddly enough, some internet trolls found the Dark Tetrad in Canadian researchers!

83 comments:

Mrs Whatsit said...

The "Dark" Tetrad? Isn't that racist?

Anonymous said...

For gamers it is 'The Dark Tetris'.

Bob Ellison said...

The original Dark Tetrad (the "Tmavě Tetrad") is the beautifully melancholy fifth movement of Antonin Dvorak's 9th symphony. It was never performed publicly because is was so dark and so tetradic.

Anonymous said...

It will be interesting to view this post this evening if it goes where i think it will go.

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness there isn't anyone like that around here. Oh wait. I still visit because I enjoy many of the linked articles and front page commentary but don't comment, or read the comments, very often. Also, after being called a racist a half dozen times I switched exclusively to the Amazon portal on Instapundit.

Anonymous said...

The use of the lowercase 'i' for 'I' shows that i am not narcissistic.

SGT Ted said...

They forgot the other reason for trolling: because it gets a huge rise out of the usual bed wetters.

Love the attempt to psychopathologize annoying online behavior.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

The need to psychopathologize the behavior of others is itself an indicator of psychopathology.

Of which I apparently suffer.

gerry said...

I am an autoerotopsychopathologist. My specialty: the study of trolls who get a huge rise out of the usual bed wetters.

Can I get a Canadian government grant for a study?

Henry said...

Not surprisingly, under-bridge trolls exhibit the same behaviors.

Xmas said...

Why throw in sadism? That's covered by the other 3 traits. The dark triad of "Machiavellianism, Psychopathy and Narcissism" is a well-known concept in "Game". Sigma men who use "Game" concepts to intentionally hurt women are often marked by the dark triad.

Of course, I'd be more likely to believe that internet trolls are a bunch of unwashed, Aspy boys living in their parents' basement. Their lack of empathy simple coming from a physical brain defect and an inability to link the words they're reading on a screen to a real life human being.

gerry said...

Oh, and I Googled "Dark Tetrad" and this was one of the images.

Robert Cook said...

"Love the attempt to psychopathologize annoying online behavior."

Some online behavior is pathological.

Kevin said...

Aren't they overlooking the possibility that trolls like to lie on personality tests in order to troll the researchers??

Ann Althouse said...

"Also, after being called a racist a half dozen times I switched exclusively to the Amazon portal on Instapundit."

So, I will lose the riches previously won by skimming off the wealth Alan N channels to Amazon?

These are the hard times coming...

Robert Cook said...

"Of course, I'd be more likely to believe that internet trolls are a bunch of unwashed, Aspy boys living in their parents' basement. Their lack of empathy simple coming from a physical brain defect and an inability to link the words they're reading on a screen to a real life human being."

You might be dismayed to learn how many of them are functionally normal adults with jobs.

Paul said...

"The dark triad of "Machiavellianism, Psychopathy and Narcissism" is a well-known concept in "Game". Sigma men who use "Game" concepts to intentionally hurt women are often marked by the dark triad"

You are clueless, aren't you?

Ann Althouse said...

Canadianism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having fun.

Ann Althouse said...

"Why throw in sadism? That's covered by the other 3 traits…"

That seems to be some special quirk of the Canadians.

The term "Dark Triad" is much more common (and has a Wikipedia entry, unlike "Dark Tetrad").

Anonymous said...

Cannibalism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be more tasty.

Fernandinande said...

gerry said...
Oh, and I Googled "Dark Tetrad" and this was one of the images.


His speeches are off-internet trolling.

chillblaine said...

Cannibalism is more of a gnawing fear.

traditionalguy said...

Vicarious sadism sounds like a victim less crime done by wuss sadists. I demand authentic sadism on the internet.

Bob Boyd said...

Canadabalism
The gnawing fear that someone somewhere may be having fun eating a Canadian.

m stone said...

I think avoidance or deflection is the most annoying trait of trolls, those who never answer direct questions and respond to questions with other unrelated provocative ones.

Straw dogs all the way down.

What was the question?

Big Mike said...

Hey, Crack! You gonna let them honky Canadians say that about you?

MadisonMan said...

Canadian researchers surveyed more than a thousand internet users about their commenting behavior.

Putting aside my observation that a news story about Canadian Researchers should spell it behaviour, I question whether those internet users answered their survey honestly, especially if they're dealing with trolls.

Skeptical Voter said...

Well we have a Dark Triad in the Oval Office. I'll leave out sadism, but three out of four ain't bad as the saying goes.

Achilles said...

They even used the word dark.

Damn trolls.

George said...

Trolls Gonna Troll!

Achilles said...

Ann Althouse said...
"Also, after being called a racist a half dozen times I switched exclusively to the Amazon portal on Instapundit."

"So, I will lose the riches previously won by skimming off the wealth Alan N channels to Amazon?

These are the hard times coming..."

He cut it off at a half a dozen times. That's some thin skin Alan. Don't be afraid of a parody character.

William said...

I saw the picture of that woman who was outed for harassing the McAnn (if I have the name right) family. The McAnn family had their child kidnapped while on vacation in Spain. The woman who was harassing them on the Internet looked exactly like the kind of person who would harass a family that had just lost their daughter. She looked truly evil, parched, and resentful of just about everyone in the world.......In real life, she doesn't look like she can inflict much more than a dull ache on those in her vicinity, but the Internet gives her an excellent opportunity to inflict real pain. That woman genuinely qualifies as a real troll......Complaints about trollers here should be tagged under the heading of faux trollery, which is itself a form of trolling. Masochists in search of a whipping, not with a whip or a switch, but with an embroidered garment.

CWJ said...

gerry wrote -

"I am an autoerotopsychopathologist. My specialty: the study of trolls who get a huge rise out of the usual bed wetters.

Can I get a Canadian government grant for a study?"

Only if you title your proposal - The effect of anthropomorphic climate change on internet troll posting behaviour.

Make sure you get that "u" in "bahaviour,"

rhhardin said...

I myself have a bad attitude, attested to by countless merit reviews.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

The second to last question in the online dark triad personality test asks:

"Were your answers accurate and can they be used in our research?"

I had to answer no, which proves I'm not a member of the dark triad.

CWJ said...

Sigh, gerry make sure your autocorrect is turned off. Otherwise your anthropogenic climate change might be turned into anthropomorphic.

rhhardin said...

Standish O'Grady, Canadian poet, summarizes Canadians

I think he gave up and returned to Ireland or wherever he came from.

Gerrard787 said...
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rhhardin said...

I was in Prince Albert Sask. for a couple days once. Aside from the nifty radar which was the object of the trip, there wasn't much to do.

The weather was okay but it was summer.

Gerrard787 said...

== Canadianism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be having fun. - Ann ==

You'd lose your sense of humo(u)r too if you had to live with snow ten months a year and listen to nonsense like the above from our progressive academics.

Drago said...

MadisonMan: "Putting aside my observation that a news story about Canadian Researchers should spell it behaviour, I question whether those internet users answered their survey honestly, especially if they're dealing with trolls."

Precisely. Self-selection into a survey immediately renders the study invalid.

Not. Sciency.

Therefore, all conclusions are invalidated.

Was that too mean?

Freeman Hunt said...

Of course, I'd be more likely to believe that internet trolls are a bunch of unwashed, Aspy boys living in their parents' basement. Their lack of empathy simple coming from a physical brain defect and an inability to link the words they're reading on a screen to a real life human being.

Maliciousness is hardly a trait of "Aspy boys."

ndspinelli said...

Brenda Leyland was a 63 year old white/female divorcee w/ 2 children. Add 2 children and you have another infamous troll.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Apparently a lot of the commenters here are Troll Science Deniers, and deserve to be put up against a wall and pelted with spitwads. The amount of trollishness in the atmosphere has increased a truly incredible kajillion times since 1985, and world governments have done little or nothing to curb it. Fortunately, Microsoft will soon institute a practice of selling troll credits, the proceeds of which will be used to subsidize Hello Kitty and other sources of niceness. Let's all just hope Crack will be able to afford his massive liability in this scheme.

traditionalguy said...

I object to the lumping together these four traits into one category.

Psychopathy and Narcissm maybe mental illnesses.

But Sadisim is just a sport and Machiavellianism is everyday politics.

tim maguire said...

Canadians are more likely to troll on the internet because they have to be nice in person.

The Godfather said...

Don't knock Canadians (it's OK to knock Canadian "researchers" because it's always OK to knock "researchers"). I did some legal work for a Canadian company and found them very pleasant people to deal with, paid their bills on time, etc. Their "niceness" was kind of annoying though: They kept wanting to settle. Hard to run up big legal fees with that kid of attitude.

mikeski said...

For gamers it is 'The Dark Tetris'.

At Goodyear, it's "The Dark Retread".

mikeski said...

The woman who was harassing them on the Internet looked exactly like the kind of person who would harass a family that had just lost their daughter. She looked truly evil, parched, and resentful of just about everyone in the world.......In real life, she doesn't look like she can inflict much more than a dull ache on those in her vicinity, but the Internet gives her an excellent opportunity to inflict real pain. That woman genuinely qualifies as a real troll

You should have just identified her as Amanda Marcotte.

Brando said...

"You should have just identified her as Amanda Marcotte."

Marcotte comes to mind as a particularly successful troll, in that she's actually paid for her trolling.

The article didn't go into the issue of how one distinguishes genuine trolling vs. having an abhorrent online personality. Marcotte, for example, may actually think she's being insightful and provocative. Can someone be an unintentional troll?

If trolling is always necessarily intentional, then isn't it possible that the only person who knows whether it's trolling is the troll itself?

Bob Ellison said...

Brando asked, "If trolling is always necessarily intentional, then isn't it possible that the only person who knows whether it's trolling is the troll itself?"

But real trolls, the crouching-under-bridge kind, don't act that way intentionally. That's just the way they are.

The modern use of the word "troll" is miscombobulated with the word "trawl". One trawls for fish, hopefully. One trolls...because one is a troll.

There should be a new word. Maybe "dogfish" or "catshark". No real reasoning there; I'm just throwing them out. Just trawling.

Michael said...
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Michael said...


Althouse


It is not good to be snarky to customers. If you think the purchases made through your link are insignificant and are dismissive of the income it provides you why not say so. I would like to think that the many purchases I make here monthly would matter to you.

If a customer leaves you for a stated reason the best response is not to sneer.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Sigh, gerry make sure your autocorrect is turned off. Otherwise your anthropogenic climate change might be turned into anthropomorphic.

That was even funnier! Besides, I read "anthropogenic" anyway.

Also, a big humanoid troll pulling the levers of climate change makes as much sense as everything else that's been proposed. You may be onto something accidentally.

John Lynch said...

In my experience rules don't stop trolls. Banning trolls stops trolls. You have to target the person, not the rules they break.

People who live by rules have a hard time with this.

gerry said...

If trolling is always necessarily intentional, then isn't it possible that the only person who knows whether it's trolling is the troll itself?

Wow. Troll epistemology.

John Lynch said...

Althouse isn't running a business. Keep sneering, I say. Don't let anyone try to control your blog.

Unknown said...

eh?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael said...

If a customer leaves you for a stated reason the best response is not to sneer.

I don't see the professor as a business serving customers, and I doubt that she does either.

I think a better analogy is she is a musician who likes to play the music for it's own sake, and enjoys the reaction of the audience, and she puts out a tip jar for a little extra cash.

Now someone from the audience comes up and says that he enjoys her music, but doesn't like the behavior of some of the other audience members, so he's gonna tip the musician across the street instead.

I think her snark is well placed.

Alex said...

Sounds like garage!

Alex said...

You have to be very thin skinned to leave this blog because Crack calls you a racist.

Michael said...

Silence is stronger than snark.

John Lynch said...

I don't think garage is a troll. He's not doing it for lulz. He really believes what he says, and he doesn't spam it twenty times in a thread. What he says is not out of the mainstream of political discourse. If I went to a liberal blog there would be many like him.

He's also very quiet the day after an election.

Jason said...

In my experience, liberal sites, and feminist/women-centered sites in particular, are incapable of discerning genuine trolling with principled and reasoned opposition.

Marcotte herself is one of the biggest cases in point.

Online Feminist: 2+3=9

Principled respons: "No, that's not correct. 2+3 = 5. Here are a dozen citations supporting me."

Online feminist: TROLL!!!

Jason said...

Garage is not a troll.

John Lynch said...

Other non-trolls include Robert Cook and betamax. Cook is sincere, and betamax is entertaining in his own right. Simply disagreeing doesn't make one a troll.

That's enough about trolls. Have a nice day.

Kevin said...

Oh fuck that guy. Fuck him till he bleeds out. I don't care about him at all. I shouldn't, I'm the best, and obviously I should rule over everybody.

Henry said...

If someone claims to be Machiavellian, how do you tell?

If I read the study right, the trolls self-reported their trollness, while a standard survey classified their pathologies.

What do trolls do on their time off?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael said...

Silence is stronger than snark.

In some cases, sure. In this case, I think the snark makes the professor's point. Silence would have had no chance to make that point.

Terry said...

I don't see how the phrase "dark tetrad" can be seen as anything other than a racial slight.

Michael said...

Ignorance is Bliss:

I don't think it necessary for the Professor to make the point that this is her blog. It is. And she works hard for it and I am glad to make purchases through her link to encourage her to continue the very real effort it takes to create this venue and to police it. I gather she does a great deal of policing behind the scenes including sending some commenters to the woodshed or worse.

And in your example I do not think a professional musician sneers at the man taking his business across the street.

You never know if the former customer was on the verge of buying 100 new MacBook Pro 15 inch computers via her link. Or who would do so in the future after he learned that being a racist is full membership in the comment section of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Greetings, Mr. Bond. I am Dr. Impolite. I have you in my clutches now, eh?

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael said...

And in your example I do not think a professional musician sneers at the man taking his business across the street.

Most professional musicians aren't playing for tips on the street in their free time.

And she would not be sneering at him taking his business across the street, she would be sneering at his announcing that he was taking his tips elsewhere, after enjoying her performance.

Anonymous said...

The rise of sociopathic behaviors on the internet correlates with the ongoing development of the Vagina as Fascist State. As women gather more political power, often under the guise of privacy rights, their frequent inability to competently and publicly handle these advancements requires, by necessity, a lessening of their societal consequences.

Many women are simply unaware of the training wheels and safety nets society now provides for them; for others, the awareness causes a cognitive dissonance that functions similarly to paranoia and anxiety. The former do not function as trolls, per se: their lack of self-awareness blinds them to faults in their internet content, yet the enfeebled results of such are not an act. As such, it is important to note that annoying behaviors are not, singularly, signs of sociopathic tendencies -- often, they are simply examples of the tunnel-vision inherent in the Vagina as Fascist State.

The latter grouping -- the self-aware women of questionable competency -- is not, by itself, necessarily sociopathic, either. However, many belonging to this group DO lash out as means to distract themselves from their shortcomings. Since they often do not have a core understanding of who they really are, they can easily adopt contradictory viewpoints, and possess an erratic fluidity of identity: if you can tell yourself that the baby inside you is not really a baby, after all, then you can believe everyone else on the internet is self-delusional, too, and act out from this perception.

Interestingly, many men fall into this latter category: they buy into women's self-deception as a way of signaling the act of belonging to the society -- they have accepted the Vagina as Fascist State, and will defend their self-awareness of their capitulation accordingly. As such, on the internet they often lash out at other men from whom they sense danger to their social , while being safe in relative anonymity.

Finally, there are men who are aware of the Vagina as Fascist State and reject many of its premises: ironically, they are often the ones the previous groups would label as trolls. Of course, one of the premises rejected is the casual acceptance of abortion. If a woman can abort a man's offspring with no shame or remorse than there is no shame to be found in realizing most women on the internet are only approximately one-hundred dollars away from giving a stranger a blow-job, with internet communication continuing from this understanding.

tim maguire said...
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tim maguire said...

I'm of mixed views on garage. Most of the things he says are not out of the mainstream of leftwing thought, but he refuses to engage in dialog, preferring dodges and taunts, nonsequitors and irrelevancies. He loves the cheap shot and is perfectly happy twisting facts to suit his needs. Further, he ignores questions that are hard for him to answer, never granting that someone raised a valid point.

So i guess i'm not really of mixed views. garage is a troll.

RecChief said...

anyone else notice anything different about today? regarding this blog that is.

Freeman Hunt said...

There used to be a lot of trolls here. Now that there is comment moderation there are none. (That we can see.)

Terry said...

The dark tetrad of holidays:
-MLK Day
-Juneteenth
-Kwanzaa
Now the racism of the phrase "dark tetrad" is obvious, isn't it?
Racist, racist, racist. It's like a klan meeting here today.

Mike said...
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rcocean said...

Now, people labeling trolls as dark. Based on Canadians. White Canadians. Very white Canadians.

This is something only white people would do. White people who are racists - and who don't donate to Crack.

Remember Mike Brown!

Anthony said...

" You'd lose your sense of humo(u)r too if you had to live with snow ten months a year and listen to nonsense like the above from our progressive academics."

Watch out. Reading too much about (aboot) anthropophagic global warming can lead to Canadabalism.