While aggressive behaviour is often characterised by deficits in social information processing, bullying, a subcategory of aggression, is generally engaged in by those who have been found to have a good understanding of how others are thinking and feeling (Sutton, Smith & Swettenham, 1999). What is not known is if this understanding is used in the same way by different types of bullies. The current study investigated if relational bullies, those who include social relationship manipulation in their bullying, have higher cognitive empathy and social cognition skills, but lower emotional empathy, than other types of bullies and non-bullies. A sample of 187 Australian secondary and tertiary undergraduate students articipated in this study. All completed the Little, Johns, Henrich and Hawley (2003) Aggression Questionnaire, the Interpersonal Reactivity Index (Davis, 1983), and responded to two vignettes. Contrary to previous research no significant difference was found between any of the bullying and nonbullying groups on empathy and social cognition. However, the relationship between aggression and empathy was found to be different for males and females, which may have implications for bullying intervention programs.
|Title of host publication||41st Proceedings|
|Subtitle of host publication||Psychology bridging the Tasman : science, culture and practice|
|Place of Publication||Melbourne|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 2006|
|Event||Joint Conference of the Australian Psychological Society Annual (APS) and New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) - Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand|
Duration: 26 Sep 2006 → 30 Sep 2006
|Conference||Joint Conference of the Australian Psychological Society Annual (APS) and New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS)|
|Period||26/09/06 → 30/09/06|
Szarkowicz, D., White, J., & Tyson, G. (2006). Bullying behaviour, empathy and social cognition: Cool manipulators or social misfits? In M. Katsikitis (Ed.), 41st Proceedings: Psychology bridging the Tasman : science, culture and practice (pp. 400-404). APS Press.