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Bullies Like Bullying

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How did a nonstory based on an iffy study end up in a New York Times blog?


When reminiscing back to those grade school days out on the playground, I remember a kid who constantly picked on my classmates. I never understood why he bullied. He would push kids around and find enjoyment out of it; on the contrary, he had no friends. “Bullies Like Bullying,” written by Daniel Engber tells us of studies done to see how Bullies think. So the real question is, do bullies like to bully?
Tara Parker-Pope was on the case. “Last Wednesday, she posted about a team of neuroscientist from the University of Chicago who had shoved a handful of bullying teenagers into an fMRI scanner to see what was going on inside their heads. ‘In a chilling finding,’ she wrote, ‘the researchers found aggressive youths appear to enjoy inflicting pain on others.”
In the paragraph above I find these facts to be startling. But what Daniel Engber is telling us is that these facts are biased. The eight “randomly” selected teens displayed up to 18 aggression symptoms, including: “physical cruelty to people, cruelty to animals, and forced sex.” Stealing lunch money is looked as, as something good compared to the crimes they have committed. The facts that the University of Chicago has put out need to be reassessed and more tests need to be done to prove this case. There are multiple reasons why a child will bully. They may have a troublesome family life. They may be getting bad grades in school. Or they may just want to start fights. The main point is that Parker-Pope did not have the correct information and should not have published the article.



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