It’s no secret that the exchange rate of cryptocurrencies can change rapidly, and fluctuations can reach unprecedented sizes. What kind of people should be willing to invest in such an unpredictable sphere, and what are their motives? The staff of the publication The Next Web tried to figure this out. In particular, they wanted to reveal the connection between the so-called dark notebook and the world of cryptocurrencies.
In psychology, a dark notebook is a group of four personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy (the dark triad) plus sadism. The epithet “dark” means that these traits have a negative connotation, that is, they manifest themselves in extreme narcissism, manipulativeness and lack of empathy (compassion).
Employees of The Next Web have identified two factors that make cryptocurrency an attractive area for people with the above-mentioned traits. Firstly, the risk and potentially high reward makes crypto trading attractive for people who love gambling and betting.
Secondly, unlike the usual currency, cryptocurrency is not issued and is not controlled by the government, so it may interest people who do not trust the authorities.
The journalists asked 566 people to fill out online questionnaires to determine their personality type and answer questions about their interaction with cryptocurrency, in particular, whether they intend to invest it. 26% of respondents reported that they have a cryptocurrency, and 64% showed interest in investing.
Standard psychological tests were used to identify the personality traits of the dark tetrad. In addition, researchers have identified attitudes towards cryptocurrency that may be associated with a dark notebook, such as fear of losing winnings, unjustified optimism and belief in conspiracy theories.
As it turned out during the study, people who are inherent in Machiavellianism (the cult of brute force, disregard for moral norms, high manipulativeness) are attracted to cryptocurrency, because they tend not to trust the government and believe in conspiracy theories. Excitement and the desire to risk everything for the sake of winning are not peculiar to them.
In turn, cryptocurrency attracts narcissists because they tend to see their prospects in a rosy light, because they believe in their superiority over others. People with narcissistic personality traits are overconfident and more prone to risky investing.
Psychopathic traits manifest themselves in impulsive antisocial behavior and disregard for social norms. People with such traits find it difficult to recognize, understand and cope with emotions due to low emotional intelligence and lack of empathy. However, due to this, they have high stress resistance and are not prone to anxiety. This pushes such people in search of thrills, so they are more likely to become victims of gambling addiction. Impulsive psychopaths are attracted to cryptocurrency because they do not want to lose their winnings (income from investments).
Sadism manifests itself in the enjoyment of other people’s suffering. At first glance, buying cryptocurrency does not make anyone suffer. However, researchers have found that, like impulsive psychopaths, sadists are afraid of losing their winnings. For them, the pleasure of other people’s suffering and the fear of losing the reward are different manifestations of the same narcissism.