What Does It Mean To Be Sadistic?

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In this video, I explore the definition of sadism and discuss some examples of sadistic behavior. I also talk about the origins of the word and how it’s used today.
Sadism is the desire to intentionally harm someone and derive pleasure from it. The harm can be physical or mental harm. The key difference between being cruel or mean and being sadistic is getting pleasure from inflicting the harm.


American Psychiatric Association. (1987). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed., revised)

Kowalski, Christopher Marcin et al. “Enthusiastic Acts of Evil: The Assessment of Sadistic Personality in Polish and Italian Populations.” Journal of personality assessment vol. 102,6 (2020): 770-780. doi: 10.1080/00223891.2019.1673760

Coolidge, et al. (2018). An empirical investigation of a new measure to assess abrasive personality disorder traits. Scientific Research:Psychology (9)1. DOI: 10.4236/psych.2018.91008

Fedoroff JP. Sadism, sadomasochism, sex, and violence. Can J Psychiatry. 2008;53(10): 637-646. doi: 10.1177/070674370805301003

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