A study in Personality and Individual Differences claims to have found a correlation between tendencies like psychopathy and narcissism and investing in crypto.
Millions of cryptocurrency haters will feel vindicated by a study called "Dark personalities and Bitcoin®: The influence of the Dark Tetrad on cryptocurrency attitude and buying intention."
It claims to show a positive association between crypto investments and "Dark Tetrad" traits like:
- Machiavellianism (doing anything to achieve your goals, basically)
- Subclinical narcissism
- Subclinical psychopathy
- Subclinical sadism
The study underscores that it is "not suggesting all crypto buyers exhibit Dark Tetrad traits" although these traits are linked to risk-taking behaviors - something crypto investors will indeed be well-familiar with.
It looked at several reasons why people buy crypto, such as distrust of government, positivity, and fear of missing out. The study found that narcissism was positively associated with crypto attitude, which was mediated by positivity.
Furthermore, conspiracy beliefs (government distrust passes as conspiracy beliefs in the study) mediated buying intention, which was associated with Machiavellianism. In other words, the less you trust the government, the likelier you are to buy crypto.
Finally, the study found that psychopathy affected judgments through FOMO, which is linked to sadism — the more FOMO you experience, the likelier you are to be a sadist.
Are Really All Bitcoiners Psychopaths?
Though crypto naysayers will be quick to claim "I TOLD YOU SO," study lead author Dr. Di Wang refrained from jumping to conclusions:
“We studied only a subset of people interested in crypto who do have these traits."
While an element of government distrust among crypto bulls is hard to deny, the study can hardly be called representative, especially considering that its methods may not pass best scientific practices.
Crypto Twitter reacted accordingly and took the Queensland University piece as an opportunity to poke some light-hearted fun at those who still deny crypto.
While the study may or may not have been done with the intention to discredit crypto investors, it shows that a lot of distrust of new technologies still prevails. Cryptocurrency investors likely still have a long road ahead of them before they stop being labeled "psychopaths" and "harmful to the environment."