|Deenz Sadistic Personality Scale (DSPS-24)
|The self-assessment is designed to measure subclinical traits of sadism based on a 5-point Likert-type scale. The scale is based on 24 statements; for each statement, you have to indicate your level of agreement.
Sadism refers to the tendency to feel pleasure, gratification, or enjoyment from other’s pain, suffering, or humiliation. Individuals with sadistic traits have a deliberate or intentional urge to cause harm to others, they may show cruelty to animals and use manipulation to make others suffer, especially deriving pleasure from sexual harassment.  Paulhus, Delroy L., and Donald G. Dutton. “Everyday sadism.” (2016).
The term sadism has been derived from the erotic writing of 18th-century French writer Marquis de Sade.
In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM-5 sadism is considered to be a paraphilic disorder.  Merrick WA. Changes in DSM-5 diagnostic criteria for paraphilic disorders. Archives of sexual behavior. 2016 Nov;45(8):2173-9.
According to DSM-5 sadism can manifest in various forms but priority has been given to abnormal sexual behaviors that are associated with causing physical and psychological harm to others.
Development of Deenz Sadistic Personality Scale
Traditionally, Sadism was considered as a strong sexual desire and pleasure from causing harm to others, but in modern psychology, it is classified as a tendency to experience pleasure from other’s pain, suffering, and humiliation with an intentional desire to cause harm by manipulation, psychopathic and narcissistic behaviors.  Chester DS, … Sadism and aggressive behavior: Inflicting pain to feel pleasure.
Sadism traits are related to various personality disorders such as psychopathy and narcissistic personality disorder. Sadism is considered to be dimensional and can only be assessed with a separate assessment tool.
When I started the development of the Dark Triad scale, I found a strong relation with psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissistic traits.  Dar DM. Deenz Dark Triad Personality Scale: Development, Validation, and Reliability. In the Dark Triad scale, traits were measured on the basis of categories, but in the case of sadism, traits are dimensional so there are higher chances of misdiagnoses in accurately measuring traits associated with sadistic personality. Soon after the validation of the Dark Triad scale, I started working on the development of the Sadism scale.
In 2015, when I started the item generation for the sadism scale, I found existing valid scales such as Varieties of Sadistic Tendencies, Sadistic Impulse Scale, and Assessment of Sadistic Personality. These scales are some valid and reliable assessments that can be used to measure the traits of sadism. I personally recognized a need to develop an inventory that can assess the sub-clinical traits associated with sadism. I started with the item generation, and I am thankful to Dr. Aamir for arranging resources and helping me in the validation of the scale.
The purpose of any psychometric inventory is to develop a comprehensive instrument that can measure the traits with the most accuracy and for that purpose, item generation plays a crucial role. To make the items easy to understand and capture subclinical traits and tendencies related to sadism, I consulted a lot of resources and fine-tuned the structure.
To ensure valid and relevant items, I engaged with psychologists and university lecturers, and they provided valuable information and feedback about the items. Expert review played a beneficial role in refining the wording and structure to ensure clarity and precision of the items. To gain data from participants, I implemented the five-point Likert-type scale which is a great method to gain attitudes or opinions for a set of statements.
Pilot testing helps in the initial evaluation for the accuracy and modification of any type of data if needed. In this phase, I collaborated with Dr Amir and we started distributing the paper to various students and psychology experts of the college and were requested to review and provide feedback about the items and their relevancy. In this phase, I found some potential issues and refined the structure. After the review process with Dr Aamir, we started the trial on a small group of 34 college students
The pilot testing helped in item reduction, trimming the items from 34 to 24, and by reducing the items participants found the scale time-efficient.
By accessing the internal consistency Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.87 was recorded, indicating a strong reliability. Implementing the factor analysis, revealed a strong relationship between statements in the scale and the traits associated with sadism.
To ensure overall coherence, items were organized into a structure with both negative and positive valence. Positive items were directly related to the sadism traits and Negative items were related to the empathy traits.
This computerized version of scale (Sadism Test) is not designed to provide a professional advice or definite diagnosis of paraphilic disorder. We do not collect or store the data of the participants in this self-assessment. Read terms of service for further information.