The study ‘Trolls just want to have fun’ is co-authored by UBC Psychology professor Del Paulhus and is featured in Altmetric’s Top 100 research papers for 2014.
The study’s first author, Erin Buckels, was a UBC Psychology MA student at the time, and the second author, Paul Trapnell, is a former PhD student.
The researchers investigated whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad:
Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others). The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behaviour.
This study was mentioned by 20 news outlets, 13 blogs, 720 tweeters, 28 Facebook users, 14 Google+ users, 4 Redditors, and 2 video up loaders. See the paper’s score breakdown here.
Each year Altmetric tracks the top 100 academic papers that have received the most attention online – and the conversations that happened around them. See the full list of top 100 research papers in 2014 on Altmetric’s website.