the personalities of the “dark roof” would invest in it more than the others

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Since its inception in 2009, bitcoin has continued (despite some sharp drops) to gain value and notoriety, although it still experiences unpredictable fluctuations today. Sometimes it’s double or nothing – the chances of getting a quick return on your investment are highly speculative. However, cryptocurrency is increasingly attractive and many are investing in bitcoin. Its success has even led to the advent of many other successful cryptocurrencies, including Ethereum. Why are more and more people letting themselves be tempted by this new form of investment? What types of behaviors are related to this phenomenon? A new psychological study highlights a link between an attraction to cryptocurrencies and “dark teat” personalities, including Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy and sadism in particular.

For the first time, a scientific study examined the behaviors that motivate cryptocurrency buyers. According to the study authors, based at Queensland University of Technology, the main attractions for these types of currencies are primarily the potentially high and rapid return on investment, as well as high risk-taking (which can be challenging). These are the same types of motivations as people who are particularly attracted to gambling.

What you need to consider is that any investment carries risk, like on the Wall Street stock exchange, where prices fluctuate unpredictably. But for cryptocurrencies, prices can reach $ 60,000 and drop to $ 30,000 overnight. The evolution in this market estimated at over 510 billion euros can therefore bring a lot or generate colossal financial losses.

The “safe” side of transactions also contributed a lot to the attraction of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain, the technology that enables transactions of these currencies, is specifically made to be transparent, decentralized and tamper-proof. Furthermore, these transactions are not handled by governments or banks, unlike traditional currencies. Transactions can be made directly peer-to-peer, which makes them attractive to people “wary of the government and / or administrations”.

However, according to the study by Australian researchers, wanting to invest in cryptocurrencies is not only and necessarily a question of profit or security. Buyer behaviors can have much deeper facets. These dark tetrad facets (a term that encompasses four evil characteristics, including extreme selfishness and taking advantage of others without empathy) would also influence the desire to invest in cryptocurrencies.

A study of 566 people

To arrive at their findings, the Australian researchers invited 566 people to answer an online personality questionnaire. Questions were also asked about their attitude towards cryptocurrencies and their intention to invest in them or not. 26% of these people said they own cryptocurrencies, and 64% expressed an interest in investing.

Consequently, their levels of correspondence with dark tetrad traits were measured through standard psychological tests. Additional personality traits were also considered, which could be indirectly related to the dark tetrad and thus the attraction to cryptocurrencies. These include fear of missing an opportunity (FOMO), positivity and optimism, and belief in conspiracy theories.

Results

Machiavellianism would be the main personality trait linked to the trend of buying cryptocurrencies. Those affected “would be more wary of politicians and government agencies.” Many of them particularly believe that governments are corrupt and that cryptocurrencies are the ideal solution to avoid this corruption.

Machiavellian individuals are really good at deceiving and manipulating others. For this type of person, it is necessary to manipulate to avoid being deceived in turn. They tend to take a calculated approach in everything they do and avoid impulsive decisions. They are therefore less susceptible to risky decisions or investments. However, Machiavellian people would tend to firmly believe in government conspiracies. According to them, their every move risks being monitored and manipulated by governments. It therefore makes more sense for them to invest in cryptocurrencies, where the government does not intervene in transactions.

Narcissism is the second most observed personality trait among those interested in cryptocurrencies. These people are self-centered and feel privileged and superior to others. They are therefore overly optimistic and confident and dare to invest in risky investments.

Psychopathy is also implicated in the allure of cryptocurrencies. This includes a personality trait that is sometimes antisocial, but mostly numb and impulsive. Individuals with this personality have difficulty understanding or managing their emotions and often make rash decisions. This reckless side would be at the root of their attraction to risk-taking. According to Australian researchers, these people are interested in cryptocurrencies for fear of missing out on an opportunity.

Sadistic personalities (who enjoy the suffering of others) would be even more attracted to cryptocurrencies than others, to some extent. According to the authors, these people also have this fear of missing something. In addition to appreciating the suffering of others, this personality trait is associated with selfishness.

However, sadists and psychopaths lack the optimistic side that characterizes narcissists. They are therefore not necessarily confident in investing in cryptocurrencies and are therefore less interested in them than narcissistic personalities.

https://images.theconversation.com/files/457315/original/file-20220411-20-vx33pq.png?ixlib=rb-1.1.0&q=45&auto=format&w=754&h=490&fit=crop&dpr=1

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Les traits de personnalité de la tétrade sombre influencent la positivité, les croyances complotistes et la peur de manquer quelque chose, qui à leur tour influencent les attitudes envers la crypto-monnaie. © Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

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Les traits de personnalité de la tétrade sombre influencent la positivité, les croyances complotistes et la peur de manquer quelque chose, qui à leur tour influencent les attitudes envers la crypto-monnaie. © Wes Mountain/The Conversation, CC BY-ND

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The personality traits of the dark tetrad influence positivity, conspiratorial beliefs and fear of getting lost, which in turn influence attitudes towards cryptocurrencies. © Wes Mountain / The Conversation, CC BY-ND

The authors of the study described in Direct science they are also keen to point out that these findings in no way mean that anyone with an interest in cryptocurrency necessarily exhibits Dark Tetrad traits. This is simply a study that provides information on the likely behavioral motives of these investors. Furthermore, the tests were only performed on a subset of people.

Source: Science Direct

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