Title

Under the Radar: Everyday Sadism Predicts Both Passive-Aggressive Harms and Beneficial Actions After Accounting for Prosocial Tendencies

Department

Psychological Sciences

Document Type

Article

Publication Source

Personality and Individual Differences. Volume 168, Article 110321.

Publication Date

2021-01-01

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Sadism, Prosocial, Frustration, Passive-aggressive, Non-physical harm, Dark Tetrad

DOI

10.1016/j.paid.2020.110321

Share

COinS