What are the psychological driving forces behind cryptocurrency creation and blockchain technology? A recent study shed light on this topic.
Markets for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have experienced tremendous growth. Yet little research has examined why people want to create, buy or operate cryptocurrencies that are considered a risky investment for entrepreneurs and liquidity providers.
In an article by Chirag Shatel, CEO of Digital Wallets he described the four types of crypto market participants as “the HODLers”, “the thrill seekers”, “the professional traders” and “the tech evangelist”.
That description only scratches the surface of the individuals that make up this industry. In order to gain a better comprehension let’s first introduce the Dark Triad construct that was coined by Delroy L. Paulhus and Kevin Williams in 2002.
The Dark Triad is a phrase you’re unlikely to have heard around the workplace, but it is one of the “buzzwords” in the world of psychology. It refers to three distinct but related personality traits: narcissism, Machiavellianism and psychopathy.
Each of these personality types are called dark because each is considered to contain malevolent qualities.
In contrast, there are three personality types that have been labeled as a ‘Light Triad’ because each represents a loving or beneficent orientation towards others. The personality types labeled as Light Triad are Kantianism (belief in personal duty), Humanism (valuing the dignity of other people), and Faith in Humanity (belief in the fundamental goodness of people).
This idea was expanded to add sadism and compassionate morality to make a subset of four dark and light traits.
So the Triad evolved into the Tetrad. What is a Tetrad? tet·rad /ˈtetrad / noun 1.a group or set of four. “a tetrad of distinct elements” Unpacking this further let’s take a look at the light tetrad vs the dark tetrad. The light tetrad consists of the four light traits of kantianism, the golden rule, humanism & compassionate morality. Let’s take a look at what each of those philosophies mean.
Kantianism is defined as a branch of philosophy that follows the works of Immanuel Kant who believed that rational beings have dignity and should be respected. A philosophy of rational morality including God and freedom, based on the works of Kant, is an example of Kantianism.
The golden rule is “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” A moral principle which denotes that you should treat others the way you want to be treated yourself. For example, the golden rule means that if you want people to treat you with respect, then you should offer them with respect too.
Humanism is an outlook or system of thought attaching prime importance to human rather than divine or supernatural matters. Humanist beliefs stress the potential value and goodness of human beings, emphasize common human needs, and seek solely rational ways of solving human problems. The belief is that human beings can act to give their own lives meaning by seeking happiness in this life and helping others to do the same. Good or evil is not supernatural but the result of human action or inaction.
Compassionate morality is the desire for another’s well being. Compassion or a feeling of tender love towards fellow beings is the basis of public service and morality. A moral person is one who follows principles like honesty, integrity and empathy for the weak. One is driven by the desire to do good and commit no harm for others.
A study conducted by a team from Queensland University of Technology consisting of top professors and lecturers, have discovered that crypto investors commonly have a set of four negative personality traits referred to as “the dark tetrad.”
What exactly are these negative personality traits, and how do we see them present in the cryptocurrency community? Lets take a deeper look at what is referred to in the psychology world as the “dark tetrad.”
The term dark tetrad refers to the four dark traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, psychopathy, and sadism together. Researchers from the Queensland University of Technology recently published a study on the dark tetrad personality and cryptocurrency attitudes.
They found dark tetrad personalities “like” cryptocurrency and decentralized finance. These bad actors are incentivized in cryptocurrency and defi to operate black hat operations that plan rug pulls. exploits, internal collapse and other nefarious and profitable schemes.
Dark tetrad turns things up a notch by adding in sadism. Simply put, crypto investors even derive pleasure from when others are in pain. Common phrases such as “have fun staying poor” shows that the description tends to fit the community.
Narcissism is characterized by, according to Wikipedia, “grandiosity, pride, egotism, and a lack of empathy” for others. You need to look no further than crypto Twitter for grandiosity and egotism. Bored Apes and CryptoPunks are an instant signal.
Machiavellianism refers to those with a high level of self interest and a willingness to exploit and manipulate others with a completely lack of morality. All over crypto there are scams and rug pulls. Around every turn there is another user hoping to dump their coins onto another person for a profit. Psychopathy tends to exhibit itself through impulsivity, remorselessness, and risk-taking behavior. The abundance of traders getting liquidated and the YOLO longs galore at each Bitcoin pullback proves this personality trait highly common in crypto.
A recent study proved all of this to be accurate. Di Wang, Senior lecturer, and Brett Martin, Professor of Marketing at Queensland University of Technology, and Jun Yao, Senior Lecturer in Marketing, Macquarie University conducted a study with 566 partipants.
Each was asked a set of questions related to their attitudes around crypto investing. The results determined that it is these dark personality traits that often drive users toward cryptocurrencies in general.
For example, the study concludes Machiavellians “tend to believe strongly in government conspiracies.” Narcissists tend to be overconfident and are more apt to take the risk in crypto. They also can more easily envision themselves living a lavish lifestyle in the future.
Psychopaths fall victim to the fear of missing out and are who bid up prices to all-time highs. The study concludes that not everyone must exhibit these dark personality traits. But there if you hold crypto, there is a chance you fit one or more of these descriptions.
In conclusion dark and light personality traits are prevalent in every industry as it is a part of human nature. The duality of good and evil will always be a part of everyone’s journey. Technology has no morality, as it is only a tool. It is how that tool is used by the operators that determines its positive or negative outcome.
As the white hat developer, 0xSweetie, for GameTheory.tech on Fantom & Avalanche, and the lead contributor to the Tetrad Protocol (soon to be on Polygon) said,”I think the most common trait people have in crypto is hope. Whether that hope is in the right place or not is dependent on the person.” www.tetrad.financeTo visit the Tetrad DeFi Investment Protocol website click here For more from this content creator click here
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