Defining the Troll: Emotional Schadenfreude and Personal Responsibility

A troll is someone that gains value from the act of causing others to lose value.

Okay, that was a bit dry sounding. How is this: a troll is someone that takes pride and joy at causing misery, anger, and distress in others; a troll derives pleasure by actively creating displeasure in others. However, a troll isn’t just schadenfreude; a troll gains value by being the direct cause of that schadenfreude. Thus, a troll is comprised of two major parts: emotional schadenfreude and personal responsibility.

Value Dependency in Conflict

Value dependency is about how another person’s value from conflict affects your own value. Whether another person gains or loses value from a conflict can also cause us to gain or lose value as well. Plainly put, whether something makes another person happy or sad, can also make us happy or sad. The degree to which that happens determines the value dependency of a conflict. Value dependency can be examined by 1) the degree to which individual parties are value dependent, and 2) whether that value dependency is direct or inverse.