Bullying behaviour, empathy and social cognition: Cool manipulators or social misfits?

Diane Szarkowicz, Jennifer White, Graham Tyson

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paper

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Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication41st Proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationPsychology bridging the Tasman : science, culture and practice
EditorsMary Katsikitis
Place of PublicationMelbourne
PublisherAPS Press
Pages400-404
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)0909881308
Publication statusPublished - 2006
EventJoint Conference of the Australian Psychological Society Annual (APS) and New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS) - Auckland, New Zealand, New Zealand
Duration: 26 Sep 200630 Sep 2006

Conference

ConferenceJoint Conference of the Australian Psychological Society Annual (APS) and New Zealand Psychological Society (NZPsS)
CountryNew Zealand
Period26/09/0630/09/06

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    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.