An Internet Troll Psyche

An internet troll is a person who makes deliberately offensive or provocative comments/posts online, in order to bring people down. But what really goes on in an internet troll’s brain? What is an internet troll’s psyche?


An internet psychological state consists of something called a dark triad. This includes narcissism (manipulative and easily angered, consider attention their birth-right), Machiavellianism (extreme focus on self-interests, tendency to manipulate others to attain their goal), and psychopathy (self-centered, lack of empathy, chronic violation of legal and social rules). They feel a sadistic glee when they realize the pain that they are inflicting on those that are affected by them. They thrive on the attention that they get when people respond to their activity. What believe is just for fun, can range from small pranks to threats of violence, even death threats. It is interesting to note that trolls generally score high on empathy tests, proving that they can understand what other people are feeling, but have no sympathy for them. It is understandable, that when a troll provokes you, you feel the need to react; however, trolls look for response, confirmation that their actions have hurt somebody, and so, the best way to throw a troll off, is to not respond, just say nothing. This will result in the losing interest and moving on.

We have all at some point in our lives interact with, or will interact Troll with an internet troll, so it helps for us to understand a troll’s psychological working; see what irks them, what jollies them, and what will help get them off our backs.

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