Two new studies show that people who score high on a measure of sadism seem to enjoy pleasure from behaviours that hurt others, and are even willing to spend extra effort to make someone else suffer.
New research led by psychological scientist Erin Buckels of the University of British Columbia suggests that everyday sadism is real and more common than previously thought.
The new findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
“Some find it hard to reconcile sadism with the concept of ‘normal’ psychological functioning, but our findings show that sadistic tendencies among otherwise well-adjusted people must be acknowledged,” says Buckels. “These people aren’t necessarily serial killers or sexual deviants but they gain some emotional benefit in causing or simply observing others’ suffering.”
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