Science reveals what makes trolls so nasty - Washington Post A 2014 University of Manitoba study was the first to attempt to create a personality profile of trolls. Researchers surveyed hundreds of Internet users and gave them personality tests. Most respondents said they liked to do benign things online, such as chatting and debating issues, but 5.6 percent reported that they enjoyed trolling. The personality tests for this group were striking. People who enjoyed trolling had much higher rates of dark traits such as sadism, narcissism, psychopathy and Machiavellianism — so much so that “it might be said that online trolls are prototypical everyday sadists,” the authors concluded.