‘Everyday Sadists’ Among Us

The New York Times:

Try this quick word association:

Sadist.

And you respond… Hannibal Lecter? The Marquis de Sade?

Actually, you didn’t need to come up with representatives of extreme criminal behavior or sexual torture. You might just as well have considered the colleague two cubicles over. The one who spends lunch hour splattering the brains of video game characters.

Those who enjoy inflicting at least moderate pain on others, directly or vicariously, mingle with us daily. Think mean girls, taunting a classmate to commit suicide. Or the professor who grills a squirming, clueless student, lips curled in a small, savage smile.

Delroy L. Paulhus, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia, calls such people “everyday sadists.”

Read the whole story: The New York Times

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