You don’t have to be a psychopath to invest in crypto, but it helps

People interested in cryptocurrencies could share common characteristics with psychopaths, narcissists and Machiavellian personalities. — AFP Relaxnews

People interested in cryptocurrencies could share common characteristics with psychopaths, narcissists and Machiavellian personalities, according to an Australian study. These three personality traits, known as the “dark tetrad”, are often linked to risk-taking behaviour.

Investing in cryptocurrency can be a highly speculative business, which can involve significant risk, but also potentially high returns. These elements of risk-taking and the appeal of high returns make virtual currencies particularly attractive to people who share characteristics with the so-called dark triad of personality traits – psychopathy, narcissism and Machiavellianism – and to a lesser extent sadism, which together make a kind of “dark tetrad”.

To reach this conclusion, Dr Di Wang and Dr Brett Martin of Queensland University of Technology in Australia surveyed more than 500 people interested in cryptocurrencies. Within the group, a quarter owned cryptocurrencies and a third wanted to invest. Using a personality test and individual interviews, the specialists were able to measure, in each individual, the traits that connected them to this "dark tetrad." Their findings are published in the journal, Personality And Individual Differences.

For example, people who share traits with Machiavellian individuals (skilled in deception and manipulation) are calculating. To achieve their goals, they will avoid impulsive decisions, the specialists explain in an article written for The Conversation.

Moreover, part of this category tends to adhere to conspiracy theories and distrusts governments.

Meanwhile, many supporters of cryptocurrencies believe that virtual currencies allow freedom from politicians and official agencies because they are not issued or guaranteed by governments, unlike traditional currencies.

Narcissists are also inclined to get into cryptocurrencies, it seems. They "are overconfident and are more willing to do things like make risky investments in the stock market and gamble," the researchers explain.

Psychopaths, on the other hand, are attracted by the desire to win more than others. This personality trait is characterised by antisocial, insensitive and impulsive behavior. Psychopaths are also highly resistant to stress and anxiety.

What about sadism? On this trait, experts have a more mixed view. “Buying crypto is unlikely to harm others," the researchers acknowledge. "To them, perhaps both the pleasure from seeing another's pain and the fear of missing out are related to selfishness," the professionals suggest.

So are all crypto investors psychopaths? The experts make it clear that they are "not suggesting that everyone interested in crypto displays dark tetrad traits."

To further investigate this research and its findings, more studies would need to be conducted, especially to expand the sample size of people interested in cryptocurrencies. – AFP Relaxnews

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