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The Psychology of Spite

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Abby Kraus

on 3 June 2014

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Transcript of The Psychology of Spite

The Psychology of Spite
Purpose of the Study
Create a scale in which to measure spitefulness
Data and Analysis
Expected association between aggression and spitefulness
The largest correlations were with the psychopathy scales
Lack of empathy
Lower levels of agreeableness and consciousness
Negative correlation with self-esteem
Associated with shame and narcissism
Because men generally endorse more spitefulness traits more than women do and the traits tend to diminish with age, young men scored highest
Skewed Demographics
1. If I had the opportunity, I would gladly pay a small sum of money to see a classmate who I do not like fail a test

2. I would be willing to take a punch if it meant somebody I didn't like would receive two punches

3. If a neighbor complained about my loud music I would turn it up just to annoy him even if I risked paying a fine

4. If I opposed an elected official, then I would be glad to see him/her fail even if their failure hurt my community

5. I would rather nobody receive extra credit in a class if it meant others would receive more than me
Answer with 1(strongly disagree) to 5(strongly agree)
What is Spite?
Punishment of another with consequent punishment of self
ex. Painting your house crazy colors because you want your neighbor's property value to drop
Measures of Spitefulness
The only substantial research on spite is in regards to economics
Hope to be used for diagnosing personality disorders, ODD and more research on spitefulness
Can also be linked to attachment style
Narcissism Scales
Narcissistic Personality Inventory

Standard narcissistic personality traits test
Participants must choose between a narcissistic or non-narcissistic statement
ex. I like having authority over people or I dont mind following orders
Spitefulness Scale
31 one-sentence items describing situations that people might act spitefully answered on a scale of 1(
strongly disagree
) - 5(
strongly agree
Psychopathy Scales
Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (Samples 1 and 3)
Designed for noncriminal samples
34 Statements which participants rated 1-5
Other Personality Aspects Measured
Aggression (Forms and Functions of Aggression Scale)

Machiavellianism (Mach-IV)

Self-Conscious (Test of Self-Conscious Affect)

6 dimensions of personality (HEXACO-60)

Self-Esteem (Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale)

Brief Symptom Inventory
Sample 1: 556 undergraduate students in the pacific northwest
Sample 2: 390 undergraduate students in the Midwest
Sample 3: 297 MTurk* participants limited to U.S.
*an online service that pays people small amount to take surveys
Participants took online surveys describing themselves
Ex. "I am often rude to people"
Levenson Self-Report Psychopathy Scale (Sample 2)
Designed to measure psychopathy in the general population
26 items rated 1-4
Ex. "For me, what's right is what I can get away with"
Pathological Narcissism Inventory
Assess the two subtypes of narcissism (grandiose and vulnerable) and the seven dimensions: (Contingent self-esteem, explosive tendencies, hiding of the self etc.) scale of 0-5
ex. "I can make anyone believe anything I want them to"
Narcissism, Psychopathy and Aggression are associated with spite so scales measuring these can help determine if the Spitefulness scale is accurate
Self Report
Too many caucasians, women and young people
Use a clinical sample next time
Personal bias
Also include informant reports and behavioral tests
Works Cited and Consulted
Kreger, Randi. "Two Types of Narcissists Pose Somewhat Different Challenges." Web log post. Stop Walking on Eggshells. Psychology Today, 30 Nov. 2011. Web. 1 June 2014.
Marcus, D.K., Zeigler-Hill, V., Mercer, S.H., & Norris, A.L. (2014, February 17). The Psychology of Spite and the Measurement of Spitefulness.
Psychological Assessment
. Advance Online publication
Full transcript