People who own cryptocurrencies are more likely to have “dark tetrad” personality traits, according to a new study.

Investors in digital currencies are also more likely to be men, trust social media sources, believe in conspiracy theories and feel victimized.

That’s according to new research that polled 2,001 American adults on whether they owned or held cryptocurrencies. About 30 percent of them said they had.

It then asked key demographic information as well as other questions aimed at revealing their political, psychological and social characteristics.

The researchers then took that data and tried to figure out which characteristics were the best predictors of whether or not someone bought a cryptocurrency.

They found that, among other important traits, people who bought them were more likely to report that their personality traits were aligned with the “dark tetrad.” It is made up of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy and sadism.

The Dark Tetrad is a psychological theory that builds on the more popular Dark Triad, and adds sadism. The triad was first proposed at the turn of the century, and researchers have stated that individuals with the behavior are more likely to be disruptive employees, commit crimes, or cause other problems.

But the strongest predictor of whether someone owned cryptocurrency was whether they relied on social media sources for news, the researchers said.

They also pointed to other important characteristics: masculinity, rationality, high income, and feelings of victimhood.

The researchers acknowledged that the sample of participants was relatively limited, and that study participants were dependent on self-reported characteristics. But they found a strong correlation between some characteristics, suggesting they could lead to further research into what drives people to cryptocurrencies.

The new study, ‘Political, Psychological and Social Correlates of Cryptocurrency Ownership’, is published in the journal Plus one.



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