We all know these people who seem to take pleasure in disrupting a conversation and making others upset — Internet trolls! Internet trolls can be found virtually anywhere on the Internet — any site, blog or forum that allows visitors’ comments can become a victim of trolling. This is so common that a group of Canadian researchers decided to conduct a study to find out what’s wrong with these people!
Here are some important points from the study:
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- from 1215 participants only 5.6 percent admitted that Internet trolling was their favorite activity;
- although they possess rather negative traits, trolls are extroverts;
- they truly enjoy making others upset and see it as a form of entertainment;
- Internet trolling is strongly associated with narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, direct sadism and vicarious sadism.
Another study showed that Internet trolls tend to have unusually high expectations of what it means to be successful. The standard is so high that trolls themselves fail to achieve it. When they see someone who is successful despite being below this standard, they tend to resent them and feel tempted to bully them (2013).
In all cases, their ultimate goal is to confuse and upset others. The more emotional and upset you get, the happier they become. This is the reason why the best way of dealing with trolls is to ignore them. Don’t feed the trolls!