Science can't say whether people in your life are good or evil, per se. But it's getting better at figuring out whether they enjoy hurting you. A fairly new field in personality research studies "misanthropic" traits: characteristics that lead people to hurt those around them for their own benefit. And psychologists have established a "dark triad" of harmful personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy (or a lack of empathy), and Machiavellian ism (or a tendency to manipulate others.) Insidermonkey experts wrote an article about sadism test constituting 9 questions that can detect this trait.
Sadism is a term with a long history. Sadists take pleasure in hurting other people. They're our most fearsome and evil villains — whether real or imagined, like Ramsay Bolton of "Game of Thrones." But the idea of sadism is fairly new to clinical settings. That's in part because the whole study of personality, and specifically of "dark" personality traits, is fairly recent and underdeveloped. But it's also because traits like sadism, along with the rest of the dark triad, are difficult to tease apart with clinical precision. You can also check our list of the 11 Cities with the Highest Demand for Psychologists.