‘Internet Trolls’ Are Actually Jerks in Real Life Too, According to Study (Infographic)

'Internet Trolls' Are Actually Jerks in Real Life Too, According to Study (Infographic)

Photo courtesy of Comic Vine

A new report from the University of Manitoba finds that people who troll on the Internet exhibit traits of “sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism” in real life

Hollywood media is no stranger to the vast amount of internet trolls that dominate social media and the web at large.

Well, if you ever wondered whether the jerk who left that mean YouTube comment on your favorite music video was a jerk in real life, you might have been on to something. Some new scientific evidence is in and it turns out many internet trolls act the same in real life.

Also read: Jerry O'Connell Trolls Shia LaBeouf by Setting Up Art Piece Next Door: #IAmSorryToo

According to a new study published by the University of Manitoba, internet trolls — people who commonly lurk on message boards and post offensive material to get a rise out of people — exhibit anti-social behavior in their offline settings as well.

The research, conducted by University of Manitoba Erin Buckels and two colleagues, revealed that those who trolled online also tended to have the “Dark Tetrad of personality” — featuring traits of “sadism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism.”

Also read: Cheerios First Ever Super Bowl Ad Features Interracial Family That Spurred Hateful Internet Backlash

The Canadian researchers defined trolling as the “practice of behaving in a deceptive, destructive, or disruptive manner in a social setting on the Internet with no apparent instrumental purpose.”

The study concluded that “enjoyment of other online activities, such as chatting and debating, was unrelated to sadism. Thus cyber-trolling appears to be an Internet manifestation of everyday sadism.”

See chart from study below:

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.17.59 PM

  • http://www.ktvz.com Barney Lerten

    As manager of an active Internet news community… not surprised… sad but not surprised…

  • Tikkanen

    No surprises here. Who woulda thunk it that a jackass online is a jackass in real life, too? Cluster B traits abound amongst trolls.

  • http://www.rickey.org/ Rickey

    They are so awful. :( People are awful. :(

  • Dale Latimer

    The names of the study's three authors all have an extra letter at the end… their names are Buckels, Trapnell, and Paulhus. The ‘a', ‘b', and ‘c’ following point to footnotes containing their detailed affiliations. Buckels is with the University of Manitoba, but Trapnell is with the University of Winnipeg, and Paulhus the University of British Columbia.

    • http://www.thewrap.com TheWrap

      Thanks for the catch. We've fixed. TheWrap regrets the typos.

  • Michael Difani

    Many remind me of some die-hard Oakland Raider NFL fans who show up in full regalia, makeup, body paint and spikes sticking out. Living in their parents’ home, attic or basement…at age 35 and older. Yes, trolls are ugly and manifest anti-social personalities to the max. Anonymous? How cowardly. No eye to eye, face to face contact.

  • Troll

    How was this ever surprising? And trust me when I Say Everyone on the internet is a troll. Everyone decides to be a jerk sometimes, so it's not even a big issue. Stop getting your panties is a fucking twist, plebs.

  • Truthseekingmissle

    University of Manitoba….ummm okay.

  • eweerzba

    The only thing more “jerkish” than internet trolls is this article. Blah.