Scientists actually identify common personality traits of complete a**holes

  • Most likely to be middle-aged men, the typical asshole tends to be manipulative, aggressive, and struggles to control anger.

  • ‘They just didn’t really care about what others were thinking or how they were perceived by others.’

ATHENS, Ga. — It’s safe to say just about everyone knows that person. That one person they just can’t stand, that drives them crazy, and they wish they never saw again. Simply put, a complete and total asshole. Now, a new study is revealing the personality traits and most likely people who are the assholes in your life.

Researchers from the University of Georgia say that the most likely people to be the “biggest assholes” in someone’s life are middle-aged men. Just to be clear, however, these aren’t the only individuals who display signs of “assholery.”

The team surveyed nearly 400 people, asking each one to think about the “biggest asshole” in their life and the personality traits they display regularly. Respondents most often claim these people are manipulative, aggressive, and entitled.

Are a**holes one step away from being psychopaths?

Study authors say two traits respondents mentioned, manipulation and irresponsibility, are concerning because assholes aren’t the only ones displaying them. These two traits in particular are major factors in expert profiles of psychopathic, antisocial, and narcissistic personality disorders.

“People didn’t really have very much trouble figuring out who the ‘biggest asshole’ in their life was,” says lead author Brinkley Sharpe in a media release.

Along with certain middle-aged men, the survey found half of the “biggest assholes” respondents know personally are their exes, old bosses, and even estranged family members.

“On average, participants didn’t think that they were very close to these individuals, which makes sense because these people are being described as having pretty aversive behaviors,” Sharpe adds.

For one in three people, unfortunately, the “biggest assholes” they know are still a constant presence in their lives! These annoying individuals include co-workers, friends, and even their current romantic partner!

Everyone’s definition is different

So, what really makes someone an asshole? It’s quite possible one person thinks someone is a complete jerk, while their friend actually likes them. With that in mind, study authors looked at the actions these individuals take which rub everyone around them the wrong way.

Along with noting the top three behaviors people say makes someone an asshole, the group had to answer these three questions: Do you think that person knows their behavior bothers people? Do you think that person cares that their behavior bothers people? And do you think that person could change their behavior if they really wanted to?

According to the respondents, the common theme among the biggest assholes is that they allegedly know their behavior bothers others, but they just don’t care.

“It’s interesting to me that the behaviors people were keying in on sort of run the gamut,” Sharpe says. “When we talk about personality, the asshole was described as somebody who is not agreeable and is angry. When we talk about behaviors, the asshole was not necessarily being antagonistic toward people, but they just didn’t really care about what others were thinking or how they were perceived by others.”

Another common theme is that assholes often struggle to control their anger, are often irresponsible, and hold bigoted opinions. However, the researchers also found that respondents have many complaints which are specific to their own world view. These included people calling someone an asshole because they don’t wear face masks or voted for a controversial figure like Donald Trump.

“There’s clearly a lot of variation in how people use this word,” Sharpe concludes. “I think the implication of the study is that insults matter. We do mean certain things by using them or we associate them with certain characteristics.”

The study is published in the journal Collabra: Psychology.

Comments

    1. Yup. Joe Biden seems like a nice guy.

      On the other hand I have never encountered a Republican who wasn’t a congenital and perpetual liar.

      Never.

        1. Total d-bag. Sounds like a typical Biden voter that drives an old, beat-up Audi or Volvo and is mad at the world. #loser. What a light weight. Low energy Vendicar.

        2. Vendicar is a very prolific troll and the very definition of an *sshole. He can be found everywhere using some variation of that “vendicar” moniker.

          The best thing to do is to ignore him. He will wither up and die like a neglected houseplant.

      1. Assholes to the left of me, assholes to the right.
        Here I am, stuck in the middle with you, Vendicar.
        FNA!

      2. Find me a happy Liberal (one who isn’t ripe with self-hatred, racism, and neuroses up the ying yang) and I’ll pay you ten million dollars

      3. Wasn’t Vendicar Decarian in one of the Star Wars episodes? Or am I thinking of a love song from the fifties?

      4. Vendicar they don’t know they are assholes. They think they are conservative Christians who want small government, when the last thing Christ would be is a Republican.

      5. LOL, Aren’t you the dude that showed up on the article about the scientific research into near death experiences and posted like fifty comments being aggressive towards everyone in the comment section, thinking that you’re the (entitled) arbiter of truth?

        You’re probably not the best guy to be judging ash holes.

      6. Congrats V ! A little advice….its better to remain silent and APPEAR foolish,than open it and remove all doubt!….you have done a great job at”unifying”the commenters ln this sight.May you encounter many such people in the course of your day……

      7. In 1998, a troll with the handle ‘Scott Nudds’ trolled a group newsgroup before being banned. Out of nostalgia, I searched for the troll. The troll is still posting, now under the handle ‘Vendicar Decarian.’

    2. Most likely to be middle-aged men, the typical asshole tends to be manipulative, aggressive, and struggles to control anger.
      ‘They just didn’t really care about what others were thinking or how they were perceived by others.’
      ATHENS, Ga. — It’s safe to say just about everyone knows that person. That one person they just can’t stand, that drives them crazy, and they wish they never saw again. Simply put, a complete and total asshole. Now, a new study is revealing the personality traits and most likely people who are the assholes in your life.

      We simply call them; Democrats!

    1. Or morons. All this study shows is that 400 people have a particular definition for the word “asshole.” Now if the study never mentions the word and asks participants to describe the physicality of the people who display the personality traits they claim are commonly identified, they’ll get a wide spectrum of humans.

  1. The writer just couldn’t resist the overwhelming temptation to expose his own underlying political basis for this article – the end result fully displays his own, dishonest status as a journalistic a$$#00le…..

  2. Your study would have been more credible if you had said voting for someone controversial like Donald Trump or Joe Biden. I don’t feel that voting for either one make one an asshole.

    1. Robert, reread that part of the article. The study found that “assholes” are more likely to fly into a rage after finding someone voted for a figure like Trump. (I don’t think Biden inspires rage among the assholes of the right to the degree that Trump does among the assholes of the left.) Assholes are intolerant of views other than their own and feel the need to express this, frequently and often. Checks out, I’d say.

    2. True, voting for Trump doesn’t make a person an asshole.

      It does make them a fool, and likely a traitor to their own country.

      1. what color is the sky I your world…? must be sad to share that sky with all those assholes who simple aren’t smart enough to agree with you…. The rest of us can only hope to be Gods chosen one… who knows all and just can’t understand why anyone would not agree with everything you think, feel and believe…. thank you for your service to mankind…

      2. Spoken like a tried and true a**h0le. If being traitorous to a government that does not value it’s own people because global corporate profits are more important with no taxes and sla e labor makes me an a**h0le, I guess I fit into that “don’t care” category.

      3. Tough seeing the daily incompetence of the senile old incompetent fool Biden out there for all to see, isn’t it? I sympathize, kiddo! The mid-terms will be here soon enough though…

      4. Ahhh! A traitor to the government? Or a traitor to their country? You see, there is a world of difference. Modern day Democrats (Democratic Socialists) are unable to tease that apart.

  3. Some asshole ‘sports writer’ is writing a piece for a psychology column?

    “400” people surveyed? Hardly scientific

    Looks like someone is desperate for content and attention

  4. I was just thinking today how anyone who voted for Biden and is making the whole country suffer financially is a selfish ahole. A

    Trump was making everyone in the country wealthy and he gave us 4 years of no war. If you want these things you’re an ahole? The people who gave us this absolute mess are the aholes and traitors.

    1. Except that Trump added more to the debt (while promising to pay it off) than any other president & lost more jobs than any other president, and at the same time had a worse performing stock market than under Obama or Clinton. While Biden has had 40 record closes in the market in 2021, created the most jobs of any president, and we now have the lowest unemployment in history. Along with the highest wage growth. And yes, now also the highest inflation.
      The President, whoever it is, gets the credit & the blame. Whether they deserve it or not.

  5. They keep changing what middle age is. Considering the average life expectancy is about 78, you divide that by 2 & you have middle age. In other words, people 50+ are not middle age even if they wish they were.

    I’ve heard assholes lol claiming 70 is middle age.

  6. “Most likely to be middle-aged women, the typical asshole tends to be manipulative, aggressive, and struggles to control anger. They just didn’t really care about what others were thinking or how they were perceived by others.”

    Pretty much defines a “Karen”.

  7. Men are often the members of society chosen… that must go off to fight wars . to protect..society has made..(maleness)…a toxic position..no respect..theres the problem.

  8. Just proves— people like me should be running the world and telling all of you idiots how to behave correctly!

  9. Wait, the study asked 400 people what they view an asshole is, and that’s what they base their hypothesis on?

    What if the 400 people are picturing “Archie Bunker” type people because for 50 + years, that’s what the media told people Assholes are.

    Academia is a joke.

    1. The stupid people are the conservatives. It has been measured and confirmed. American conservatives are definitely more intellectually challenged and more religeous in general. Religion actively suppresses creative thinking and encourages group-think. The religeous wing nuts are on the right! The right does not hold the ticket for intellectual gymnastics and creativity!!

  10. I’d say the author “Chris” is a narcissist for calling Donald J. Trump a controversial person. But if the author wants to think of it an another way he is at the very least an asshole.

  11. My wife sent me this article thinking that it woulds somehow be justification for her calling me an a**hole since I fall into every category that the article mentions. Since middle-aged men are most likely husbands and fathers who have to guide their families in a world that questions masculinity and paternal instincts, they need to operate with blinders on and worry about what’s in front of them instead of bending over backwards to accommodate others’ opinions to make them “feel good” about themselves. Not caring what others think and how I’m perceived by others is what makes me effective in my current state in life. If that makes me an a**hole, then so be it.

  12. Wow! The topic is so explosive. I suggest divorcing people from policy to make this less personal.

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