Psychological Profile Of An Internet Troll

I was at Mr. Steves blog today, he has a post on the mass murder in Christchurch NZ. I read his post, wanted to comment, but really could find nothing good to say. This being such a human tragedy it is difficult to find words of wisdom, or words that do come seem to somehow only fall short of a proper comment. But lo and behold there was the troll.

The troll had nothing to say about the post except that for him it was an act of evil, but for us silly secularists, and this was the implication of his comment, “Oh woe is me, how on earth would an ignorant secularist be able to identify evil without a god?” Such an imbecilic question only meant to rile up the posters there.

And it worked, to a degree, I responded. And true to an internet troll the prods and pokes, and the sickening fascination with the back and forth volley of words began. Well I played for a minute, then I quit. You know why? Because I know the secret to a troll. They want no intellectual discourse. They want no friendly conversation. They only live for the fight. They get some sort of momentary satisfaction from their perceived perch of justifiable confrontation. They wander around the internet plying their trade, hopeless little dopamine junkies looking for a fix. Nothing leaves the troll more deflated than someone just walking away. So when I encounter this situation, it is what I try to do, just because I know that is the deepest cut you can give a nasty troll.

Now I’m no psychological expert. I was married to a gal for over 10 years though, who had a slew of personality disorders. (we were young when we got together and things developed as we moved along, I was 2 kids and a mortgage deep before the full realization set in) She was eventually diagnosed with Schizoaffective disorder. Which is a panoply of several differing disorders ranging from bi polar, to depression, to schizophrenia, to delusions, and who know what all else. Needless to say I have experienced the entire deck of cards, and I know when my buttons are being pushed. This is the trolls calling card. Pushing buttons just for the sake of eliciting a response. I won’t go so far to say that all trolls have personality disorders, but I’ll bet you a buck fifty it damn well helps. Don’t give them the satisfaction of giving them the sort of engagement they desire 🙂

I have already admitted I’m no expert on the matter. I wonder what say the experts? I’m pasting an entire page here with the link to follow. Please note to access the study you have to at least create an account, which I have no interest in doing, only to probably find out it’s behind a paywall… if someone else decides to pursue the study I’d like to hear what you ran into.

“In this month’s issue of Personality and Individual Differencesa study was published that confirms what we all suspected: Internet trolls are horrible people.

Let’s start by getting our definitions straight: An Internet troll is someone who comes into a discussion and posts comments designed to upset or disrupt the conversation. Often, in fact, it seems like there is no real purpose behind their comments except to upset everyone else involved. Trolls will lie, exaggerate, and offend to get a response.

What kind of person would do this? Some Canadian researchers decided to find out.

They conducted two online studies with over 1,200 people, giving personality tests to each subject along with a survey about their Internet commenting behavior. They were looking for evidence that linked trolling with the “Dark Tetrad” of personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism.

They found that Dark Tetrad scores were highest among people who said trolling was their favorite Internet activity. To get an idea of how much more prevalent these traits were among Internet trolls, see this figure from the paper:

Look at how low the Dark Tetrad scores are for everyone except the trolls! Their scores for all four traits soar on the chart. The relationship between trolling and the Dark Tetrad is so significant that the authors write in their paper:

“… the associations between sadism and GAIT (Global Assessment of Internet Trolling) scores were so strong that it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists.” [emphasis added]

Trolls truly enjoy making you feel bad. To quote the authors once more (because this is a truly quotable article): “Both trolls and sadists feel sadistic glee at the distress of others. Sadists just want to have fun … and the Internet is their playground!”

The next time you encounter a troll online, remember:

  1. These trolls are some truly difficult people.
  2. It is your suffering that brings them pleasure, so the best thing you can do is ignore them. ”    END QUOTE

Yep, I’m no expert, but I can’t argue with that. Link:

An excerpt from another site:

“Trolls glorify in their own worldview. As such, they bait others of different bends on social media in order to mock and abuse them. They’re motivated by a need for attention, by boredom, by a flash of excitement due to causing others pain, or by exacting revenge.”  I could have sworn I pretty much just said that. Maybe I am an expert 😉     Link:

Any good guesses who the troll is? Im sure some of you know 🙂






20 thoughts on “Psychological Profile Of An Internet Troll

    • Oh, I’m sure you know 🙂


        • No not that one, one of the other well traveled ones, Brainyawn.


          Liked by 1 person

          • Shelldigger, have your comments been ‘featured’ on his blog yet? That’s when you really know you’ve made it. :). If that hasn’t happened yet, just wait. . . You’ll be his next blog star. .

            Liked by 3 people

            • Hey Carmen 🙂

              I have no idea, I kind of doubt it. I would not grace that asshats blog with my presence to find out 🙂

              My interactions with him have been few and far between. But this recent one just really stood out as more than your standard creationist faux interest in a topic, so they could score some imaginary points on the merry-go-round kind of thing. It was full blown troll from the get go and it got me a bit irritated 🙂

              I do sort of wish I could reach the elevated level of many of my blog friend troll slayers. I’m just less the sophisticated reasoning with a dingbat kind of guy, and more a let’s hit it with a hammer kind of guy. So I try to keep my interactions with the trademarked trolls to a minimum. My stardom can wait 🙂

              Thing is, my experience with my first wife, she was much like the internet troll. She would start fights over the most mundane things, that would turn into hellish encounters… A mere brush with a troll brings those memories I’d rather forget a little too close to the forefront of my cranium.

              Much like the troll, no amount of logic, reason, nor verifiable evidence to the contrary, of whatever silly claim it might be, there was nothing that would convince her of factual truth.

              The very definition of the troll. I’ve paid my dues, ain’t got the time of day for them.

              I hope all is well in Carmens world 🙂 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              • All good here.

                I also don’t visit his blog but another blogger wrote to me a couple of years ago to tell me that I had the dubious distinction of having one of my interactions with him posted to his blog, and of course it gave him license to expound on my ignorance. He had fun for a little while; he and his commenters. 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  1. Such an imbecilic question only meant to rile up the posters there…..Nothing leaves the troll more deflated than someone just walking away.

    Yep. The only way to get rid of trolls is to deny them any interaction at all. That’s one reason I use comment moderation. I’ve had trolls leave comments like that on my blog, but they never actually appear, even for a moment. They can’t start pigfights if nobody sees them.

    Once a troll is allowed to “ply his trade”, even if most posters just walk away, somebody is going to feed that troll by responding and interacting — and so the “dopamine fix” is granted. And like raccoons or cockroaches, as long as they’re being fed, they’ll keep coming back.

    Liked by 3 people

    • It is sometimes damnably difficult not to interact with the troll. Even knowing full well they are trolls. You just feel the gravitational pull to right the obviously idiotic wrong, then you are knee deep in troll shit before you realize you’re still wearing your sneakers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BRANYAN!!! He is one of THE funniest, wittiest, most highly intelligent guys I’ve EVER come across. Christ, he REALLY needs to think about a career in stand up comedy! He’s THAT funny! Even when he’s not trying, his humor and wit literally FLY off the screen as you read his replies. Some people are just SO funny, innately, that humor literally drips from their pores. Branyan is such a person. We should all consider ourselves lucky to be anywhere near him online because when he does finally decide to go into standup comedy, his career will, without doubt, ROCKET to stardom in no time at all. God, my side is hurting from laughing at some of the insanely humorous and witty things he’s written of late. Isn’t yours? 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. My Sunday morning laugh-out-loud. Inspired by . . .who else? Inspired. 🙂
    Ever think of doing online satire?

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Hello Shelldigger. I am not good at spotting the trolls and Nan has often suggested I simply drop a conversation that was going no where. I am glad others can spot the trolls. So far I am lucky and have had only a couple I would call real assholes on my blog, guess it is too small for them, or the people who come there are too smart to fall for trolls. Hugs


    • Scottie, the moment you sense you are being insulted, provoked, talked down to, or being led around the mulberry bush, you have found yourself a troll 🙂

      I have come to really appreciate the circle of blog friends we share. Good people all. Hugs my friend 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

  5. Yes I’ve danced with Branyan a couple of times…it’s as fruitless as Colorstorm. The irony is that Branyan is a comedian who is not funny, and Colorstorm tries not to be a comedian but is actually hilarious.

    Liked by 2 people

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