Skip to main content

Drama Triangle Test

The Drama Triangle is a mode of human social interaction proposed by Dr. Stephen B. Karpman. The theory posits that people have a tendency to play out a drama in which they play the roles of victim, persecutor, or rescuer. Today, Karpman's model is widely recognized in both psychology and sociology.

What role are you inclined to play in the social drama of human interactions? For each of the following statements, indicate your level of agreement below.

Question 1 of 30

My problems often seem small compared to those of others.



The IDRlabs Drama Triangle Test was developed by IDRlabs.

The Karpman Drama Triangle is a psychological model developed by psychiatrist Dr. Stephen Karpman in the 1960s. It is a tool used to describe dysfunctional social interactions. It outlines three roles people can take on in a relationship or situation: the Victim, the Prosecutor, and the Rescuer.

The Victim is a person who feels helpless and powerless and who blames their problems on others or external circumstances. They may feel victimized by someone or something and often seek sympathy and validation from others. They may also feel helpless to change their situation and may even feel comfortable in their victimhood.

The Persecutor is a person who blames others for their problems and who seeks to control and dominate others. They may use threats, intimidation, or physical violence to get what they want and often see others as inferior or weak. They may feel powerful and in control, but they may also feel anxious or angry if they don't get their way.

The Rescuer is a person who tries to fix other people's problems, often without being asked or invited. They may feel a sense of obligation or responsibility to help others and may see themselves as the hero or savior in the situation. They may also feel anxious or guilty if they don't help others, and they may overlook their own needs in the process.

The Drama Triangle is a cycle of behavior that can be self-reinforcing and difficult to break out of. For example, the Victim may attract a Rescuer who tries to help them but also reinforces the Victim's feelings of helplessness. The Rescuer may then become frustrated and resentful and may eventually become a Persecutor who blames the Victim for their own problems. The Victim may then switch roles and become a Persecutor themselves, and the cycle continues.

The Drama Triangle can also be seen in larger social structures, such as organizations or communities. For example, a company may have a culture of victimhood, where employees blame their problems on the company's policies or management. A manager may then become a Rescuer who tries to fix the problems but who also reinforces the victimhood culture. The manager may then become a Persecutor who blames the employees for their own problems, and the cycle continues.

Breaking out of the Drama Triangle requires awareness and conscious effort. Each role in the triangle has its own set of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors that need to be examined and challenged. For example, the Victim may need to take responsibility for their own problems and seek solutions instead of sympathy. The Rescuer may need to recognize that they are not responsible for other people's problems and that helping others can sometimes be harmful or enabling. The Persecutor may need to recognize the impact of their behavior on others and may need to find healthier ways to assert themselves.

In conclusion, the Karpman Drama Triangle is a useful tool for understanding dysfunctional social interactions and relationships. By recognizing the roles of Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer, we can break out of self-reinforcing cycles and find healthier ways of relating to others. Breaking out of the Drama Triangle requires awareness, self-reflection, and a willingness to challenge our own beliefs and behaviors.

As the developers and publishers of this test, we have striven to make this test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting it to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes do not provide professional assessments or recommendations of any kind; the test is provided entirely “as-is.” For more information about any of our online tests and quizzes, please consult our Terms of Service.

Why Use This Test?

1. Free. This Drama Triangle Test is available to you at no charge.

2. Statistical controls. Test scores for this quiz are entered into an anonymized database. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum validity and accuracy of the test scores.

3. Made by professionals. The present test has been made with the input of people who work professionally with psychology and individual differences research.