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Christiaan Huygensstraat 44, Zipcode:7533XB, Enschede, THE NETHERLANDS
cyberpsychology dark triad empathy online trolling undergraduates

Dark Triad Personality and Online Trolling: The Mediating Role of Empathy

Erdal Hamarta , Muhammed Akat , Ömer Faruk Akbulut

Online trolling is online behavior in which the troll provokes, harms, and pretends to be someone else to achieve their goals. The purpose of trolls m.

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Online trolling is online behavior in which the troll provokes, harms, and pretends to be someone else to achieve their goals. The purpose of trolls may be to harm the other person, but they can also be for entertainment purposes. Online trolling, for whatever purpose, can have significant psychological effects on individuals and people who are socially exposed. In addition, online trolling is becoming more common every day. However, there are very few studies on trolling. Therefore, the study aims to examine the mediating role of empathy in the relationship between dark triad personality traits and levels of online trolling. For this purpose, structural equation modeling and bootstrapping method was used. The participants comprised 516 (%71.6 females; %28.4 males) undergraduates. The ages of the participants ranged from 18 to 31 (X̄ = 21.09). The measures used included the Online Trolling Scale, Dirty Dozen Scale, and Toronto Empathy Questionnaire. In the study, it was found that there were significant relationships between the dark triad, online trolling, and empathy. Also, the results of the structural equation model showed that the effect of the dark triad on online trolling was mediated by empathy. This result was found to be significant with bootstrapping.

Keywords: Cyberpsychology, dark triad, empathy, online trolling, undergraduates.

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