How sadistic are you? Answer these questions honestly & you'll have an idea:
Bottom Line: The term sadistic isn't a comfortable one. As a refresher here's the actual definition of the word:
deriving pleasure from inflicting pain, suffering, or humiliation on others.
I believe it's safe to say that in today's society there's a high level of concern with regard to overt sadistic behavior. Assad's regime, fresh off of the most recent gassing and bombing of Syrians certainty fits the definition, ISIS/Islamic terrorism is as clear of an example as you'll ever find but there are many, less obvious examples in our everyday life. If we were all to adhere to the idea that if we simply didn't engage in as much negative behavior, that we'd necessarily improve (this is proven to be the fastest, easiest way to self-improve)...consider this.
Researchers from the Department of Psychology, University of Western Ontario recently completed this study:
The Assessment of Sadistic Personality: Preliminary psychometric evidence for a new measure
The short version is that they created nine questions that are extremely predictive of sadistic behavior. Here they are:
- I have made fun of people so that they know I am in control.
- I never get tired of pushing people around.
- I would hurt somebody if it meant I would be in control.
- When I mock someone, it's funny to see them get upset.
- Being mean to others can be exciting.
- I get pleasure from mocking people in front of their friends.
- Watching people get into fights excites me.
- I think about hurting people who irritate me.
- I would not purposely hurt anybody, even if I didn't like them.
Based on how you answer those, you can see how potentially sadistic you might be. I'd like to say that I don't ever engage in any of these but that's not the case. I'm occasionally guilty of #4 and potentially #6. Not out of maliciousness but out of perceived comedic outcomes. That's no excuse if it's symptomatic of sadistic behavior generally - so that's something I need to cut out and will make an effort to do so. Most of us aren't completely sadistic or completely non-sadistic - that means that most of us have room to improve if we're being honest with ourselves. Joel Malkin might not know what to do If I'm successful in this effort