Comprehensive Assessment of Sadistic Tendencies (CAST-12)

The CAST-12 is a brief (12-item) measure of sadistic personality. It contains subscales for three distinct variants: Direct verbal sadism, direct physical sadism, and vicarious sadism.


Rate your level of agreement or disagreement with each statement using a 5-point scale:

1 = Strongly Disagree
2 = Disagree
3 = Neither Agree Nor Disagree
4 = Agree
5 = Strongly Agree


  1. I was purposely mean to some people in high school.
  2. I enjoy making jokes at the expense of others.
  3. I have purposely tricked someone and laughed when they looked foolish.
  4. Perhaps I shouldn’t have, but I never got tired of mocking certain classmates.
  5. I love to watch YouTube clips of people fighting.
  6. In video games, I like the realistic blood spurts.
  7. I enjoy watching cage fighting (or MMA), where there is no escape.
  8. I sometimes replay my favorite scenes from gory slasher films.
  9. I enjoy physically hurting people.
  10. I enjoy tormenting people.
  11. I have the right to push certain people around.
  12. I have dominated others using fear.


CAST-12 total (α = .87) = mean of items 1–12.
Direct verbal sadism (α = .77) = mean of items 1–4.
Vicarious sadism (α = .80) = mean of items 5–8.
Direct physical sadism (α = .79) = mean of items 9–12.

Note. Alphas were obtained using data collected from a large undergraduate sample (N = 1134).


Buckels, E. E. (2023). Multifaceted assessment of sadistic tendencies. In P. K. Jonason (Ed.), Shining light on the dark side of personality: Measurement properties and theoretical advances (pp. 194–204). Hogrefe.

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Erin E. Buckels
Erin E. Buckels
Assistant Professor of Psychology