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Sadistic Personality Spectrum Test

Sadism is the tendency to derive pleasure from inflicting pain, humiliation, or suffering on others. Though sadism is no longer recognized as a personality disorder, sadistic 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 sadistic personality symptoms to bring you a single, composite test for measuring sadistic personality occurrences across eight different domains.

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

Question 1 of 40

I control my friends through intimidation.



The IDRlabs Sadistic Personality Spectrum Test (IDR-SPST) was developed by IDRlabs. The IDR-SPST is based on the work of Dr. Theodore Millon, Ph.D., who authored “Disorders of Personality: Introducing a DSM/ICD Spectrum from Normal to Abnormal.” The IDR-SPST is not associated with any specific researchers in the field of psychopathology, personality psychology, clinical psychology, or any affiliated research institutions.

The test provides feedback such as the following: Combative Self-Image: One feature of a sadistic personality is having a combative self-image. Those who are high in this trait tend to proudly describe themselves as assertively competent and highly energetic. As a result, they are often seen as militantly hardheaded since they present themselves as domineering and power-oriented. Others often describe them as antagonistic and aggressive due to the quarrelsome or combative way in which they see themselves.

Pernicious Cognitions: One sadistic trait is the tendency to have a number of vivid, harmful thoughts and feelings involving malicious or wicked things happening to others. Similarly, many people with sadistic traits find that, when thinking back on past relationships, these interactions were mostly distinguished by malicious content and aggressive energy. By contrast, these individuals tend to have only a few memories of sentimental or tender moments with others. Hence, individuals with sadistic personalities tend to approach others with a tough and unsentimental frame of mind.

Suppression Dynamics: Sadistic people tend to be remarkably detached regarding the negative impact of their aggressive, inconsiderate, and destructive behavior. Many sadists cope with the hurt that they create around them by isolating themselves from the fact that it was really their doing. Hence, sadists with high suppression dynamics scores can go on hurting or inflicting pain on other people without feeling particularly remorseful or responsible for doing so. As a consequence, sadists are often seen by others as cold-blooded, since the sadist can apparently view the victims of their behavior factually and impersonally, as if the sadist had nothing to do with their hurt.

Eruptive Temper: Individuals with sadistic traits tend to have an explosive energy about them. They may have sudden episodes of aggressive or violent outbursts during which they throw objects, threaten others, and vent their anger in intimidating ways. With high scorers, these eruptive energies may turn into actual assaults on people or animals, violent temper tantrums, and perhaps even slapping or shoving. The eruptive architecture of sadists typically causes distress for the people around them.

Hostile Mood: People with sadistic traits tend to have a cantankerous and irritable temper. Because of their antagonistic dispositions, others often experience them as cruel, inconsiderate, and grouchy. When people who are high in this trait feel wronged, they are often willing to harm, intimidate, and mercilessly persecute others just to get what they want. Their unfriendly and unsympathetic attitude often makes the atmosphere around them tense and turns relationships sour.

The Sadistic Personality Spectrum Test is based on a famous and well-regarded book for the assessment of the clinical concept of sadistic personality. 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 Sadistic 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 Sadistic 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 Sadistic Personality Spectrum Test is delivered to you without cost and will allow you to obtain your scores related to 8 central elements of the sadistic 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 sadistic 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.