What lies beneath the mask of online trollers
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Previous studies have focused on the Dark Tetrad exclusively as a predictor of trolling inclusive of the Sadism measure. Thus, negating the cluster of the Dark Triad, specifically the Psychopathy measure for trolling (Buckels, Trapnell, & Paulhus, 2014). This research examined the relationship between the Dark Triad (Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Psychopathy) and Online Trolling. In an online study (N=131), respondents completed a 31-item personality inventory utilizing the Short Dark Triad and Global Internet Assessment of Trolling Scale to identify a correlation between the Dark Triad of personality and trolling online. Hypothesis 1 found results are statistically significant using a Pearson’s Co-efficient, as correlations are positively related to trolling experience and statistically significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). The present study hypothesized that there would be a relationship between the Dark Triad and the propensity to enjoy trolling. Hypothesis 2 indicated that Psychopathy is a primary factor for trolling, however an ANOVA test indicates that all traits are statistically significant factors responsible for trolling behavior (1-tailed). Hypothesis 3 explored if there was a significant correlation between the Dark Triad and frequency of internet usage. Results indicated that Psychopathy is not positively associated with internet usage using a Pearson’s Correlation test, although Narcissism and Machiavellianism are statistically significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed). The present study contributes to the existing body of research demonstrating that Psychopathy is a significant predictor of online trolling, unlike Narcissism and Machiavellianism. This suggests, Psychopathic individuals may troll online superfluous of internet usage. This research clearly identifies that Dark Triad Personalities are related to online trolling behaviours and that possessing all three traits are significant in leading to a propensity to troll online over those who negate Dark Triad traits.
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