Under the Radar: Everyday Sadism Predicts Both Passive-Aggressive Harms and Beneficial Actions After Accounting for Prosocial Tendencies
Personality and Individual Differences
Two studies examined the predictive value of everyday sadism in determining participants' choices to cause frustration to a hypothetical other, controlling for prosocial characteristics (cognitive and affective empathy, helpfulness). In Study 1 (n = 154), forward-stepwise multiple regression analyses indicated direct physical sadism levels predicted participants' assignment of easy and difficult math items after levels of prosocial characteristics were statistically controlled. In Study 2 (n = 110), forward-stepwise multiple regression analyses indicated participants' levels of direct physical sadism predicted the assignment of easy and difficult math items across two math tasks (a replication of study one and a second math task related to the first). Study 2 analyses also revealed both direct verbal and physical sadism predicted the assignment of moderately difficult math items. Additional analyses further suggest direct verbal sadism predicted choosing to frustrate others in a more common, everyday experience. These findings suggest levels of direct physical and verbal sadism are important independent predictors of individuals' decisions to inflict non-physical forms of frustration on others.
Sadism, Prosocial, Frustration, Passive-aggressive, Non-physical harm, Dark Tetrad
Emer, D. R., & Poepsel, D. L. (2021). Under the radar: Everyday sadism predicts both passive-aggressive harms and beneficial actions after accounting for prosocial tendencies. Personality & Individual Differences, 168, Article 110321. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2020.110321