Posted by Maria Mangicaro
Bullying Prevention Advocate
BY VANESSA VAN PETTEN |
I like to post about interesting new studies that are relevant for parents of teens and tweens. A study that just came out called, “Are cyberbullies less empathic? Adolescents’ cyberbullying behavior and empathic responsiveness” in the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking journal addressed some new advances in cyberbullying.
Here are the two important findings:
- This study found that cyberbullies demonstrated less empathic responsiveness than non-cyberbullies.
- This study also found that cyberbullies were also more afraid of becoming victims of cyberbullying.
The findings confirm and substantially extend the research on the relationship between empathy and aggressive behavior. What does this mean for parents, adults and teachers who work with teens and tweens? We must invest more time and energy into training young people in their empathy skills. Second, we also have to address fear in cyberbullies themselves. This is an interesting parellel to bullying–school yard bullies are often mean to others so that no one is mean to them.
I believe we have to teach EmoSocial intelligence in schools which is a combination of empathy training with emotional and social intelligence. It is a person’s ability to identify, assess, and control the emotions of oneself and then be able to effectively interact, maintain and build relationships with others.
Teaching social literacy involves teaching young people communication and social skills, as well as showing them how to effectively and purposefully mediate their interactions with family members, friends and colleagues in the school or business environment. Some of examples of social literacy issues might include lack of eye contact, understanding angry feelings versus fear or being able to deal successfully with confrontation.
The developing field of cyberpsychology encompasses all psychological phenomena that are associated with or affected by emerging technology. Cyber comes from the word cybernetics, the study of the operation of control and communication; psychology is the study of the mind and behavior. Cyberpsychology is the study of the human mind and its behavior in the context of human interaction and communication of both man and machine, further expanding its bounds with the culture of computers and virtual reality that take place on the internet. However, mainstream research studies seem to focus on the effect of the Internet and cyberspace on the psychology of individuals and groups. Some hot topics include: online identity, online relationships, personality types in cyberspace, transference to computers, addiction to computers and Internet, regressive behavior in cyberspace, online gender-switching, etc. Media Psychology is an emerging specialty and The Society for Media Psychology and Technology of the American Psychological Association, i.e., APA division 46 counts many psychologists working in this field among its members. In addition, the first MA/Ph.D program and Ed.D program in Media Psychology and Media Studies was launched by Bernard Luskin at Fielding Graduate University in 2002, now followed by an increasing number of new courses and programs in media psychology and media studies.
While statistical and theoretical research in this field is based around Internet usage, cyberpsychology also includes the study of the psychological ramifications of cyborgs, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality amongst other things. Although some of these topics may appear to be the stuff of science fiction, they are quickly becoming science fact as evidenced byinterdisciplinary approaches involving the fields of biology, engineering, and mathematics. The field of cyberpsychology remains open to refinement as well as new purposes including inquiry into the nature of current and future trends in mental illness associated with technological advances.
It was around the turn of the millennium that people in the United States broke the 50 percent mark in Internet use, personal computer use, and cell phone use. With such a broad exposure to computers and their displays, our perceptions go beyond objects and images in our natural environment and now includes the graphics and images on the computer screen. As the overlaps between man and machine expand, the relevance of Human-computer interaction (HCI) research within the field of cyberpsychology will become more visible and necessary in understanding the current modern lifestyles of many people. With the rising number of internet and computer users around the world, it is evident that computer technology’s effects on the human psyche will continue to significantly shape both our interactions with each other and our perceptions of the world that is literally “at our fingertips.” Click here to read more.
The ‘Cyberpsychology: Journal of Psychosocial Research on Cyberspace‘ is a web-based, peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The first peer-reviewed issue was published in September 2007. The journal is focussed on social science research about cyberspace. It brings psychosocial reflections of the impact of the Internet on people and society. The journal is interdisciplinary, publishing works written by scholars of psychology, media studies, sociology, political science, nursing, and also other disciplines. Click here to visit the website.
Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking is the essential, peer-reviewed journal for understanding the social and psychological impact of today’s social networking practices. Highly regarded as the go-to source in the field, the Journal has followed the trend of social networking and virtual reality for the past 15 years. It is known for its rapid communication articles and in-depth studies surrounding the effects of interactive technologies on behavior and society, both positive and negative.