What is it about?

Spitefulness is a personality trait in which individuals harm others without much care if they are going to get hurt in the process; for example, if a neighbor complained that you were playing music too loud, then you might turn up the music even louder to irritate them, even if meant you could get fined. In 2014, Marcus and colleagues developed a measurement called Spitefulness Scale. To understand the intensity of this behavior and how it works, we adapted the instrument to Brazilian-Portuguese and assessed its relation with other characteristics.

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Why is it important?

We found that the Spitefulness Scale has good psychometric properties in Brazilian-Portuguese. Men and women tend to interpret this behavior in similar ways. However, men tend to have higher levels. This is important because individuals with higher scores in spitefulness will behave in a less empathic manner and worry less about the well-being of others.


Writing this article expands the possibilities of assessing personality traits with comparable instruments in different cultures. It was a great pleasure working with authors from around the world (i.e., Brazil, Portugal, and the United States) to develop further the investigation of aversive traits.

Bruno Bonfá-Araujo
Universidade Sao Francisco

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Brazilian Portuguese adaptation of the spitefulness scale and associations with personality traits., Psychological Assessment, April 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/pas0001135.
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