The study found that one in twenty internet users deliberately engage in trolling. They exhibit classic traits of sadism, psychopathy, narcissism and Machievellianism. The study was published in ScienceDirect and it covered 1,215 people.
Unsurprisingly it found that those who identified themselves as trolls were sadistic, as they enjoyed to watching their victims suffer. They were also willing to manipulate people and many simply lacked empathy.
“Of all personality measures, sadism showed the most robust associations with trolling and, importantly, the relationship was specific to trolling behaviour,” the study found.
The study revealed that about five percent of internet users are active trolls, while 40 percent have never commented anything at all.