Internet trolling psychology

Internet trolling refers to the act of posting inflammatory, offensive, or off-topic messages in online forums or social media platforms with the intention of provoking others or disrupting conversation. From a psychological perspective, internet trolling can be seen as a form of antisocial behavior or cyberbullying.

Trolls may engage in this behavior for a variety of reasons, such as seeking attention or validation, expressing frustration or anger, or simply finding pleasure in causing others to react. However, trolling can have serious negative consequences for both the individuals who are targeted and for the online community as a whole.

For individuals who are targeted by trolls, the experience can be emotionally distressing and lead to feelings of anxiety, anger, or helplessness. In some cases, it can even lead to symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For the online community as a whole, trolling can create a toxic atmosphere of negativity, hostility, and divisiveness, which can discourage open and productive dialogue and undermine the value of online discourse.

Addressing internet trolling requires a multifaceted approach, including education, prevention, and intervention. Online platforms can take steps to prevent trolling by implementing policies and tools to discourage and penalize this behavior. Individuals can also take steps to protect themselves by avoiding engagement with trolls and reporting abusive behavior to the appropriate authorities.

Overall, addressing internet trolling requires a commitment from individuals, online communities, and society as a whole to promote respectful and constructive online communication and to hold those who engage in trolling accountable for their behavior.

Articles by Sam Vaknin

About Sam Vaknin, Author of Narcissism Book

I am not a mental health professional, though I was certified in Counseling Techniques. I work as a financial consultant to leading businesses and to governments in several countries.”

Character Disturbance: the phenomenon of our age

Modern permissiveness and the new culture of entitlement allows disturbed people to reach adulthood without proper socialization. In a book meant both for the general public and for professionals, bestselling author and psychologist George Simon explains in plain English:

•How most disturbed characters think.
•The habitual behaviors the disturbed use to avoid responsibility and to manipulate, deceive, and exploit others.
•Why victims in relationships with disturbed characters do not get help they need from traditional therapies.
•A straightforward guide to recognizing and understanding all relevant personality types, especially those most likely to undermine relationships.
•A new framework for making sense of the crazy world many find themselves in when there’s a disturbed character in their lives.
•Concrete principles that promote responsibility and positive change when engaging disturbed characters.
•Tactics (for both lay persons and therapists) to lessen the chances for victimization and empower those who would otherwise be victims in their relationships with many types of disturbed characters.

Continue reading “Character Disturbance: the phenomenon of our age”

Parents with personality disorders routinely display extreme behaviors.

  • Parental alienation tends to occur in divorces when one parent repeatedly displays extreme words and behavior about the other parent.
  • People with personality disorders tend to have a pattern of repeating hostile and unpredictable behavior in the presence of their children.
  • When parents repeatedly display extreme emotion and behavior, children tend to develop emotional problems, which may include parental alienation.


Nefarious and depraved are synonyms. Both words are used to describe wicked, evil, and corrupt people or behavior. Depraved is used more to describe a person’s character, while nefarious is used more to describe the evil or corrupt act: “He is a depraved man who is known for his nefarious business practices.”

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What is a Psychodynamic Science?

The study of the interaction and interdependence of psychological variables at various level of awareness. 

  • Gordon, R. M.  (2007, spring). The Powerful Combination of the MMPI-2 and the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual, Independent Practitioner, 84–85.
  • Gordon, R. M. (2007, November/December). PDM valuable in identifying high-risk patients National Psychologist, 16, (6), November/December, pp. 4.
  • Gordon, R.M. (2008). Early reactions to the PDM by Psychodynamic, CBT and Other  psychologists. Psychologist-Psychoanalyst, XXVI, 1, Winter, p.13.
  • Gordon, R.M. (2009). Reactions to the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) by Psychodynamic, CBT and Other Non- Psychodynamic Psychologists. Issues in Psychoanalytic Psychology,31,1,55-62. 
  • Gordon, R.M. (2010).The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM). InI. Weiner and E. Craighead, (Eds.) Corsini’s Encyclopedia of Psychology (4th ed., volume 3, 1312-1315),Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
  • Gordon, R.M. (2012). A Psychological Alternative to the Medically Based DSM and ICD, The National Psychologist May/June, vol. 21, 3, p. 19.
  • Bornstein, R. F. and Gordon, R. M. (2012). What Do Practitioners Want in a Diagnostic Taxonomy? Comparing the PDM with DSM and ICD. Division/Review: A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum, Fall, 6, 35.
  • Gordon, R.M. and Stoffey, R.W. and Perkins, B.L. (2013) Comparing the Sensitivity of the MMPI-2 Clinical Scales and the MMPI-RC Scales to Clients Rated as Psychotic, Borderline or Neurotic on the Psychodiagnostic Chart, Psychology: Special issue on Criminal Investigative Psychology, 4, 9A, 12-16. doi: 10.4236/psych.2013.49A1003.
  • Gordon, R.M. and Stoffey, R.W. (2014). Operationalizing the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual: a Preliminary Study of the Psychodiagnostic Chart (PDC), Bulletin of the Menninger Clinic,78,1, 1-15.
  • Gazzillo, F., Lingiardi, V., Del Corno, F., Genova, F., Bornstein, R.F., Gordon, R.M., McWilliams,  N. (2014). Clinicians’ Emotional Responses and PDM P Axis Personality Disorders: A Clinically Relevant Empirical Investigation. Psychotherapy, Special Section: Personality and Psychotherapy, 52(2),238-246. 
  • Lingiardi, V., McWilliams, N., Bornstein, R.F., Gazzillo, F. and Gordon, R.M. (2015) The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual Version 2 (PDM-2):  Assessing Patients for Improved Clinical Practice and Research, Psychoanalytic Psychology, 32(1), 94-115.
  • Huprich, S., Lingiardi, V., McWilliams, N., Bornstein, R., Gazzillo, F., and Gordon, R.M., (2015). The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM) and the PDM-2:  Opportunities to Significantly Affect the Profession.Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 35: 60-73.
  • Gordon, R.M., Gazzillo, F., Blake, A., Bornstein, R.F., Etzi, J., Lingiardi, V., McWilliams, N., Rothery, C. and Tasso, A.F. (2015)  The Relationship Between Theoretical Orientation and Countertransference Awareness: Implications for Ethical Dilemmas and Risk Management, Clinical Psychology & Psychotherapy
  • Spektor, V., Luu, L. & Gordon, R.M. (2015) The Relationship between Theoretical Orientation and Accuracy of Countertransference Expectations., Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 63(4), NP28-NP32.
  • Gordon, R.M., Blake, A., Bornstein, R.F., Gazzillo, F., Etzi, J., Lingiardi, V., McWilliams, N., Rothery, C. and Tasso, A.F. (2016) What do practitioners consider the most helpful personality taxa in understanding their patients? Division/Review: A Quarterly Psychoanalytic Forum, 14. 

The Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual-2:

Understanding Personality Syndromes
Robert M. Gordon, Ph.D. ABPP in Clinical Psychology and in Psychoanalysis


Sadistic Personalities

  • Contributing constitutional-maturational pattern: Unknown
  • Central tension/preoccupation: Suffering indignity/inflicting such suffering
  • Central affects: Cold hatred, contempt, pleasure (sadistic glee)
  • Characteristic pathogenic belief about self: I am entitled to hurt and humiliate others
  • Characteristic pathogenic belief about others: Others exist as objects for my domination
  • Central ways of defending: Detachment, omnipotent control, reversal, enactment

“We know of no reports of successful psychotherapy for characterological sadism.” 

Psychopathic Personalities Subtypes: passive-parasitic, con artist aggressive 

  • Contributing constitutional-maturational patterns: Possible congenital aggressiveness, high threshold for emotional stimulation
  • Central tension/preoccupation: Manipulating/fear of being manipulated
  • Central affects: Rage, envy
  • Characteristic pathogenic belief about self: I can do whatever I want
  • Characteristic pathogenic belief about others: Everyone is selfish, manipulative, dishonorable and/or weak
  • Central ways of defending: Reaching for omnipotent control

Malignant Narcissism

Kernberg (1984) characterizes the most problematic type of narcissistic individual as suffused with “malignant narcissism” (that is, narcissism blended with sadistic aggression), a condition that he places on a continuum with the frankly psychopathic personality 

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