A sadist is someone who derives pleasure from the pain of others. Sadistic personalities tend to be aggressive toward others. They enjoy causing pain to others and humiliating them.
While sadism is similar to psychopathy (lacking empathy) and sociopathy (being antisocial), the key differentiating for sadism is that sadistic acts are purely committed for pleasure.
A sadistic person gains nothing from their sadistic behavior except pleasure. Their behavior seems odd and unnecessary to people who’re not sadists.
Sadists take pleasure in exerting power over and controlling others. They like to control others for the heck of it. They hardly gain any tangible benefit (except fun) from exerting power over others.
Examples of sadistic behavior
- Humiliating others
- Sharing violent and gory images on social media
- Enjoying violent movies and clips of people fighting
- Trolling and cyberbullying
- Hurting animals unnecessarily
Taking the sadism test
This test consists of 9 items on a 5-point scale ranging from Strongly agree to Strongly disagree. Your results are only displayed to you, and we don’t store them in our database. The test takes less than a minute to finish.
Plouffe, R. A., Saklofske, D. H., & Smith, M. M. (2017). The assessment of sadistic personality: Preliminary psychometric evidence for a new measure. Personality and individual differences, 104, 166-171.
Hi, I’m Hanan Parvez (MBA, MA Psychology), founder and author of PsychMechanics. I’ve published one book and authored 400+ articles on this blog (started in 2014) that have garnered over 4.5 million views. PsychMechanics has been featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Reader’s Digest, and Entrepreneur. Feel free to contact me if you have a query.