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Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test

Masochism is the tendency to adjust to painful experiences by telling oneself that one deserves the suffering or that these experiences are ennobling to bear. The masochistic personality spectrum encompasses a range of symptoms, all pointing to the presence of being expressively abstinent, cognitively diffident, dysphoric, and the like. Though masochism is no longer recognized as a personality disorder, masochistic personality traits are still discussed by psychologists and may come up as themes in psychotherapy.

This test combines the insights of several prior efforts to identify masochistic personality symptoms to bring you a single, composite test for measuring masochistic personality occurrences across 8 different domains.

Where do you fall on the masochistic personality spectrum? For each of the following questions, indicate your level of agreement below.

Question 1 of 40

I am inept.



The IDRlabs Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test (IDR-MPST) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-MPST is based on the work of Dr. Thomas Schill, Ph.D., who created the self-defeating personality scale. The IDR-MPST is not associated with any specific researchers in the field of psychopathology or any affiliated research institutions.

The IDRlabs Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test was informed by the self-defeating personality scale as published in Schill, T., & Sparenberg, J. (1997). Relationships between Schill’s Self-Defeating Personality Scale and Coolidge’s Personality Disorders Inventory. Psychological Reports, 80(3), 735–738. Kabatay, R. (1999). Self-defeating personality and learned helplessness. Southern Illinois University.

The test provides feedback such as the following: Discredited Self-Esteem: People high in this trait have a disparaged sense of self and look down on their own self-worth and achievements. Consequently, many are drawn to relationships or situations in which they will suffer since, unconsciously, they feel that they do not deserve to be in a loving relationship. Moreover, they are likely to give up easily when faced with a challenge, thereby reinforcing the belief that attempts to better their life situations are futile.

Rumination: Individuals with masochistic tendencies tend to dwell on negatives in their past. They repeatedly recall injustices and anticipate future disappointments on the basis of how their past has treated them. This serves to maintain their accustomed level of suffering and pain, which they may experience as protecting themselves from getting hurt again.

Self-Defeating: People with masochistic personality tendencies engage in self-sabotaging behaviors. They fail to accomplish tasks crucial to their personal well-being, often despite their having the competencies to succeed. They likewise tend to engage in excessive self-sacrifice that is often unsolicited by the intended recipients of the sacrifice.

Dysphoric Mood: Many individuals with masochistic personalities experience a complex mix of emotions – at times anxiously apprehensive and at other times forlorn and mournful. Rarely are they strangers to background feelings of anguish and torment.

The work of Dr. Schill has also informed some of the diagnostic criteria in the form of the widely used psychological instrument, the self-defeating personality scale, for clinical use especially by qualified mental health professionals. The present test is intended for educational purposes only. IDRlabs and the IDRlabs Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test are independent of the above researchers, organizations, or their affiliated institutions.

The Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test is based on a famous and well-regarded inventory for the assessment of the clinical concept of masochism. However, free online tests and quizzes such as this one are solely first takes and cannot provide accurate assessments of your potential condition. Therefore, the test is intended to be used for educational purposes only. A definitive mental health assessment can be made only by a qualified mental health professional.

As the publishers of this free online Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test, which allows you to screen yourself for the signs and symptoms of this condition, we have striven to make the test as reliable and valid as possible by subjecting it to statistical controls and validation. However, free online quizzes such as the present Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test 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 Masochistic Personality Spectrum Test is delivered to you without cost and will allow you to obtain your scores related to 8 central elements of the masochistic personality pattern.

2. Clinically oriented. The feedback delivered by this instrument is based on the work of Ph.D.s and is designed to deliver a clear clinical picture of the respondent’s current symptoms indicating masochistic personality patterns as measured according to standardized items.

3. Statistical controls. Statistical analysis of the test is conducted to ensure maximum accuracy and validity of the test scores.

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