Letizia Caso Irene Aiolfi Nicola Palena

Individual and personality characteristics of Incels: An Italian study

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The incel phenomenon (i.e. involuntary celibacy) has recently gained worldwide scholars’ attention after a few self-identified incels committed terroristic-like acts to start the «incel rebellion». Still, empirical knowledge of the phenomenon is lacking. The current study tries to provide the first empirical study based on the Italian context, where the phenomenon is still widely understudied. One hundred forty-nine subjects were included in the study; 33 were self-identified incels. A questionnaire comprising measures of their inceldom degree, sociosexual orientation (SOI-R), mental health and well-being (MHC-SF), and personality (I-TIPI-R) was administered. Afterwards, a cluster analysis was run to detect whether a preliminary profile of the incel-related personality could be provided. Results showed a significant distinction regarding the incel identification between incels and non-incels participants, as well as the inceldom degree and the general well-being score. There was no significant difference in the sociosexual orientation. Among the three clusters obtained, incels seemed more characterised by higher scores on the SOI and neuroticism TIPI dimensions. Clinical implications of findings and future research suggestions are discussed.


  • incels
  • personality
  • well-being
  • misogyny
  • cluster analysis


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