Journal article

The intrinsic appeal of evil: sadism, sensational thrills, and threatened egotism.

RF Baumeister, WK Campbell

Pers Soc Psychol Rev | Published : 1999


Three main sources of intrinsic appeal and satisfaction from performing violent acts are described. First, sadism involves deriving pleasure directly from the suffering of the victim. An opponent-process model is suggested. Second, the quest for thrilling sensations to escape from boredom can produce violent acts, including many in which the harmful consequences were not intended. Third, threatened egotism entails that one's favorable view of self (orpub1ic image) has been attacked, and violent responses are directed toward the source of this attack. Relevant individual differences (respectively, low guilt, high sensation seeking, and narcissism) moderate these patterns. Analyzing the intrin..

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