“Dark” sides of the personality determined the interest in cryptocurrency

(ORDO NEWS) — A survey of more than 500 people led scientists to believe that the average crypto investor is a prudent psychopath with an inflated ego.

Bitcoin marked the age of cryptocurrencies, although it took a long time before the public really took notice of it. Starting out of nowhere in 2009, bitcoin has become the most exciting way to invest money.

Trading it gave rise to millionaires, but it also tickled a lot of nerves because of the fluctuating exchange rate: for example, yesterday the figure fell below 40 thousand dollars per “coin”, and in November last year it exceeded 67 thousand dollars.

Despite the rapid growth of the cryptocurrency market in recent years, for scientists, topics related to it have not yet been studied enough. It is especially interesting why people, in addition to the obvious profit, decide to take risks and acquire digital currency.

To understand this issue – at least partially – decided the staff of the Queensland University of Technology (Brisbane, Australia), the School of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University (Denmark), Cardiff University (Northern Ireland) and Macquarie University in Sydney.

In particular, the authors of the work assessed the influence of the traits of the “dark tetrad” of personality: sadism was added to the usual triad (it has three correlated variables – non-clinical narcissism, non-clinical psychopathy and Machiavellianism), again, without clinical manifestations.

It is believed that people who are characterized by Machiavellianism are unscrupulous manipulators, cynical and can do anything to achieve a goal, but avoid impulsive decisions.

Narcissists are vain dominators, craving admiration and submission, believing they deserve more than anyone else. Psychopaths are characterized by low empathy for others, impulsiveness, deviant behavior and disregard for others, and tend to take risks.

566 people participated in the study: they were asked to complete personality questionnaires and talk about their attitude towards cryptocurrency. One in four reported that they had invested in a digital currency, and two-thirds expressed an interest in investing in it.

As the reasons why people buy cryptocurrency, scientists considered: belief in a conspiracy (for example, distrust of the government, and the crypto market is initially beyond the control of the authorities), a positive attitude (pleasure from the process itself and faith in the future) and fear of missing out on profits.

Of course, the hope of making a profit largely determines the desire to invest in crypto. However, as the results of the survey showed, this is far from the best side of the personality.

All four features of the “dark” tetrad were associated with the propensity to buy digital currency, each for its own reasons. “We found that narcissism was correlated with positivity-mediated attitudes towards cryptocurrency.

Machiavellianism was associated with buying intent mediated by conspiracy beliefs: Machiavellians were more distrustful of the government, so they wanted to buy cryptocurrencies. Psychopathy affected through fear of missing out and negatively impacted positivity,” the study authors write.

Thus, crypto investing and Machiavellianism are related because the digital currency does not have a central authority, as it is separated from banks and government.

Narcissists are attracted to new technologies because they can improve their own lives. Impulsive psychopaths and heartless sadists, especially gamblers, are thrill-seekers and fearful of missing out on other people’s profits.

Sadists also love to contemplate someone else’s pain and failure. Both psychopaths and sadists do not have a positive attitude towards their prospects, therefore, according to scientists, this nullifies their sympathy for the crypto market.


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