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The Bullying Experiment
A bully appears to be strong, in control, and confident, but the truth is that often times, bullying is some kind of compensation that the bully uses to get over some problems that he is suffering from.
While we all like to believe we have the fortitude to stand by our own convictions during any situation, most of us tend to follow the behaviors of others. But what’s particularly strange is that when enough of us get together, we end up doing some really bizarre, nonsensical, and downright violent things that we’d never consider on our own. Psychologists refer to this phenomenon as herd or mob mentality.
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It is hard to watch other people being bullied. From what was observed on the video posted on Cheezburger.com, it creates a wide range of emotions and stresses that can take its toll on people. From anxiety and uncertainty to fear and guilt, bullying significantly impacts bystanders. Some people are plagued by uncertainty. They see the bullying and know in their heart that it is wrong, but they have no idea what to do. Others are trying to determine if the situation is serious enough to do something and they will watch to see if someone else will step forward. Sometimes when no one steps forward, that is enough to the other bystanders to justify doing nothing. In a famous study in the late 1960s, researchers showed that people who watch a dangerous situation unfold take longer to help if there are many fellow onlookers. The presence of multiple bystanders diffuses responsibility and also makes people unsure of social cues—they hesitate to be the first one to make a move if no one else has.
Getting or giving help means that you are part of the solution. You can help to make your school or neighborhood a safer place by doing your part to stop bullying. When you see bullying, remember that you have a chance to help somebody.
Image Credit: Cheezburger.com
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