The worldwide cryptocurrency market has increased from zero to a value of about US$2 trillion from a price of $1 in 2011, which increased to a all-time high of $63,000 in April 2021, and now stands at the level of $42,000.
Large fluctuations in cryptocurrency prices are common, which makes them a high-speculative investment. What kind of people are willing to take the risks, and what makes them?
We conducted a survey to make sure that the relationship between the so-called dark tetrad personality traits and attitudes towards cryptocurrency is revealed.
The dark tetrad
The dark tetrad refers to a group of four personality traits: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and psychopathy (together known as the dark triad) and sadism.
These are referred to as dark because of their ugly abilities: extreme self-discipline and taking advantage of others without empathy. Besides, the dark tetrad is often linked to risk-taking situations.
The appeal of cryptocurrency
First, the high risks and the high potential returns of crypto trading make it attractive to those who like gambling.
Second, cryptocurrency corporations are not backed or issued by governments like traditional or fiat currencies. This makes them attractive to those who do not trust government.
What are the personalities of crypto buyers?
566 people were asked to complete online personality surveys as well as answer questions about their beliefs about crypto, whether or not they intend to invest in it. Of our participants, 26 percent said they own crypto, and 64 percent believed they would invest in cryptocurrency.
Standard psychological tests used to measure their dark tetrad traits. They also measured traits that might connect the dark tetrad to crypto judgements: fear of missing out (FOMO; the sense that others are experiencing better things than you are), positivity (the tendency to be positive or optimistic in life) and conviction in conspiracy theories.
Why do people want to purchase crypto?It''s not just about money.
The hope of earning high returns is a common reason to invest in crypto. Besides the desire to build wealth, research shows that dark personality traits also drive cryptocurrency purchases.
Machiavellianism is dubbed after Niccolo Machiavelli''s political philosophy. People who value strongly on this distinction are excellent at deception and interpersonal manipulation.
Machiavellians take a calculated approach to achieve goals, and avoid impulsive actions. They are less likely to engage in problem gambling.
Machiavellians are also accustomed to believing heavily in government conspiracies. They often believe that politicians generally do not reveal their true motives, and that government agencies are closely monitoring all citizens.
Machiavellians prefer crypto mainly because they dislike politicians and government agencies. Many crypto supporters believe governments are corrupt, and crypto avoids government corruption.
Overconfidence and positivity
Narcissism is a self-centred personality trait, which is characterised by privilege and predominance over others. Narcissists are overconfident and more willing to do things like make risky investments in the stock market and gamble.
Narcissists are generally focused on the positive side of life. We found crypto narcissists because of their great confidence in the future and their confidence that their own lives will improve.
Impulsive psychopaths like crypto
Due to a lack of emotional intelligence and empathy, psychopathy is a callous, self-doubtive antisocial personality trait. Psychopathic individuals often find it difficult to perceive, comprehend, or respond to emotions.
Psychopaths are more susceptible to stress and anxiety due to their reckless nature. As a result, psychopaths like stimulation-seeking and risk-taking. They are prone to gambling and gambling addiction.
We found that impulsive psychopaths like crypto, because they fear out on investing rewards others are experiencing.
How is sadism involved?
Every day, sadism relates to a person experiencing one another''s suffering. Sadists often manifest aggression and disgruntled behaviors. For example, sadists troll others on the internet for enjoyment.
At first glance, purchasing crypto is unlikely to harm others. However, we found sadists like crypto because they do not intend to miss out on investment rewards too much. Perhaps both the pleasure of seeing another''s pain and the fear of losing out are related to selfishness.
Both psychopaths and sadists, contrary to narcissists, are unaware of their perspectives, which cancels out their dislike for crypto.
Positive attitude, conspiracy beliefs, and fear of missing out are both affected by dark tetrad personality traits.
A psychological lens
The lens of the dark tetrad''s psychological lens provides insight into why people want to buy cryptocurrency. We are not suggesting that anyone interested in crypto has dark tetrad abilities.
We examined only a small group of individuals interested in cryptocurrency who have shown them. If you happen to be a Bitcoin or other crypto holder, you may or may not show them.
The Dark Triad Personality Test and Sadism Test are available for download if you want to know how you score for dark tetrad traits.
This article has been published from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license.