Structural relationships of Big Five personality factors with symptoms of Sadistic personality due to the role of Schadenfreude in students

Document Type : Original Article


M.Sc. of Clinical Psychology, Department of Psychology, Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran


Aim: Enjoying the suffering of others can occur in the form of a Schadenfreude in most people, or it can manifest itself in a more stable form: Sadistic personality traits. This study was about the structural relationships between the Big Five and Sadism through the role of Schadenfreude. Method: 364 people from the 24,000-student population of Tabriz University (169 males and 167 females) in 2020 were selected by available sampling. They answered the Milon III, NEO-FFI, and Schadenfreude Scenario Questionnaire. Data were analyzed using SPSS-24 and Amos. Results: Evaluation of the hypothetical research model using fit indices showed that the measured model fits. Conclusion: Agreeableness among the Big Five mediated by Schadenfreude has a significant effect on the symptoms of Sadism. The findings, along with supporting the hypothetical model for the symptoms of Sadistic personality traits, provide a suitable framework for the etiology of this personality disorder. The common denominator of the three factors of the present model is their social element. Agreeableness can be considered as the most social factor of Big Five that affects Schadenfreude as a social emotion and Sadism as a personality type based on the presence of others. That means people with higher Agreeableness are less likely to experience enjoying others suffering because of greater empathy. The results are useful in understanding social behaviors, especially in situations where empathy is expected but behaviors that indicate sadism or enjoyment of the suffering of others occur.


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