This may have been a case where considerable time and money could have been saved with a brief conversation with some ten year olds in any school playground. My alma mater, The University of Chicago, has completed an exhaustive study and determined that bullies actually enjoy inflicting pain on others.
Using MRI scans, the researchers confirmed that bullies lack empathetic impulses due to increased aggression.
The researchers found that “Aggressive adolescents showed a specific and very strong activation of the amygdala and ventral striatum (an area that responds to feeling rewarded) when watching pain inflicted on others, which suggested that they enjoyed watching pain.” Put another way, they enjoy whaling on other kids.
Putting aside the rather predictable conclusion, the study may help understand bullies better. We are seeing shocking cases of deaths and serious injuries due to bullies. Various lawsuits have been filed to deal with the continued failure of schools to address this dangerous problem.
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