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Thread: Bullies have the highest self esteem and status, lowest depression

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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Bullies have the highest self esteem and status, lowest depression


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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    The findings are interesting to me because the way they describe bullying behaviour as innate, rather than a maladjustment or product of dysfunction appeals to me. Well... not really appealing. I don't like the idea that people are innately cruel to each other. But it makes intuitive sense to me because bullying and intimidation to achieve social status is behaviour that happens all the time in the animal world, and the idea that our psychology is somehow completely removed from that of animals doesn't make sense.

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    Senior Member Starjots's Avatar
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    If you look at it as establishing a pecking order (and I was pecked on a bit as a kid), it does make sense. Kind of reinforces that 'Lord of the Flies' way of looking at high school, proto-adults reverting to basic hunter/gatherer ingrained social skills. No wonder the smart kids loathe them.

    Bullying isn't just a kid thing though, you've got your place in the pecking order!

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    Persona Oblongata OrionzRevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gator View Post
    The findings are interesting to me because the way they describe bullying behavior as innate, rather than a maladjustment or product of dysfunction appeals to me. Well... not really appealing. I don't like the idea that people are innately cruel to each other. But it makes intuitive sense to me because bullying and intimidation to achieve social status is behavior that happens all the time in the animal world, and the idea that our psychology is somehow completely removed from that of animals doesn't make sense.
    This is not really surprising from an evolutionary POV but it is certainly contrary to what many have long said in an attempt to elevate humanity above biology.

    This reminds me of Cesar Millan The Dog Whisper.
    Very often he encounters dysfunctional behavior from the Canine pets and distraught owners because the owners (pre-treatment) view of Cesar's methods is that it is Bullying the dog.



    BTW
    fixed that nasty misspelling of 'behavior' for ya.
    Creativity is the residue of time wasted. ~ Albert Einstein

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    Yeah... "the meek shall inherit the Earth" is just a thing we tell them to keep them meek. Life is a game with winners and losers. People need to stop trying to persuade bullies to be nice with heartfelt youtube videos about suicide and instead teach kids to stand up for themselves. It seems like our culture is moving in the opposite direction though, glorifying victimhood.

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    Bringer of Jollity MoneyJungle's Avatar
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    How are they identifying bullies? Repeated incidents of physical violence? Psychological mean girl warfare? Self-reporting?

    Glimpses do ye seem to see of that mortally intolerable truth; that all deep, earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the open independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore?

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    Hasta Siempre Madrigal's Avatar
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    While plenty of animals do display bullying tendencies, it's apparently debateable that we descend from inherently violent paleolithic or neolithic ancestors, or that violent behavior is genetically determined. While you could build a case for violence and conquest being the motor of development, you could also build the opposite case to posit that compassion and community are the reason we've developed and survived as a species. In the absence of hard facts I guess there is choice.

    Some anthropologists argue that the idea of a violent prehistoric man is a construction built in the 19th Century during a moment in which it was generally accepted that humanity basically advances in a unilinear fashion throughout history, from savagery to civilization and from untamed passions to the bounds of reason, presenting the age as a near-culmination of human development. This thinking may have tainted the interpretations of anthropologists when it came to determining the uses of past tools and objects or even the reasons for the damage detected on archeological remains.

    I personally don't think we have innate violent tendencies; even recent history will show that the greatest acts of violence (war) were first decided and then imposed by a relatively small number of powerful people upon a very large and powerless one, and that populations are not generally inclined towards warfare unless they perceive their very survival as being threatened.

    Cliffnotes: Most of us probably just wanna get along.
    Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent. - Mao

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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyJungle View Post
    How are they identifying bullies? Repeated incidents of physical violence? Psychological mean girl warfare? Self-reporting?
    Sounds like self reporting. They asked kids how often they see, participate in and are victims of certain behaviours and then put them into categories based on those results.

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    <3 gator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    Cliffnotes: Most of us probably just wanna get along.
    I mostly agree with you. I think a lot of it comes down to either real or perceived scarcity of resources. When people feel secure then they don't need to try and increase their rank by putting others down.

    But even still... I have some doubts.

    Like take the commune where I live. It's pretty much the cheapest place you can stay in this city without being homeless, and it's got a lot of amenities and a generous, communal spirit that make it a really decent place to live. There's the odd personality conflict, of course, but mostly everyone gets along and is nice to each other. But within that there's still bullying. There's one guy who is really unnecessarily mean to Starbuck. There's another guy who has quite a high status because he's been here for a long time and he's held some executive positions and done service to the community. He likes to pick on no guy in our house who he knows has mental health issues, and it's just like alpha males having a spat.

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    Mens bona regnum possidet ferrus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madrigal View Post
    While plenty of animals do display bullying tendencies, it's apparently debateable that we descend from inherently violent paleolithic or neolithic ancestors, or that violent behavior is genetically determined. While you could build a case for violence and conquest being the motor of development, you could also build the opposite case to posit that compassion and community are the reason we've developed and survived as a species. In the absence of hard facts I guess there is choice.

    Some anthropologists argue that the idea of a violent prehistoric man is a construction built in the 19th Century during a moment in which it was generally accepted that humanity basically advances in a unilinear fashion throughout history, from savagery to civilization and from untamed passions to the bounds of reason, presenting the age as a near-culmination of human development. This thinking may have tainted the interpretations of anthropologists when it came to determining the uses of past tools and objects or even the reasons for the damage detected on archeological remains.

    I personally don't think we have innate violent tendencies; even recent history will show that the greatest acts of violence (war) were first decided and then imposed by a relatively small number of powerful people upon a very large and powerless one, and that populations are not generally inclined towards warfare unless they perceive their very survival as being threatened.

    Cliffnotes: Most of us probably just wanna get along.
    Maybe, but then you could also argue that the opposite, sanguine view, is a product of idealistic notions of the 18th century rationalist enlightenment which did a great deal to inform modern liberalism and the sentimentality of images of the 'noble savage' projected by Rousseau and later disseminated through romanticist ideas that played an important role in a lot of anarchist thinking. I think the truth is more than human nature is often a mix of complex and sometimes conflicting tendencies, and the notion of a 'golden age' of human nature is a little naive.

    Broadly speaking I kind of think this research is one of those that is stating the obvious, but which we are not culturally attuned to accept easily. And you can't take out the physical aspect of it either: I was bullied a lot right up to the point midway through puberty where I was large enough that no one bothered anymore, there were easier targets, which is very similar to what you see in animals. It's not that I became very social or popular then, I was just left alone.

    I think modern civilisation does have one effect that makes things worst however: it puts us into groups (like schools or companies) where the number of people involved is beyond our brain's capacities to form coherent social groups (the whole Dunning number's thing), and in groups where there isn't a mix of adults and children. It's well know that preventing dominance hierarchies and stress from this from overwhelming individuals (particularly females in primate groups who will often stop menstruating from stress induced by bullying from higher-status females) requires a certain brain capacity to form co-operative grouping, and the larger the number of individuals involved, the more mental energy is needed to form safe social groups where individuals don't get too stressed. Put people into higher numbers than they can cope with, or at times of their life when their brains haven't fully developed or learnt the nuances of social smoothing, and you get inevitable problems as they treat each other like strangers - many of which problems you don't get in more traditional tribal based societies.
    Quote Originally Posted by pathogenetic_peripatetic View Post
    Yeah... "the meek shall inherit the Earth" is just a thing we tell them to keep them meek. Life is a game with winners and losers. People need to stop trying to persuade bullies to be nice with heartfelt youtube videos about suicide and instead teach kids to stand up for themselves. It seems like our culture is moving in the opposite direction though, glorifying victimhood.
    For once, I agree, this Christian idiocy just makes life harder for everyone involved - but then it's more part of a general narrative of ressentiment and self-effacement and delusion from stupid and weak people like my parents who struggle to face reality as it is. Though the tricky thing is those with low social status who stand up for themselves physically are much more likely to be regarded as 'disruptive' by the authorities as a consequence.
    Last edited by ferrus; 07-30-2015 at 10:50 AM.
    Die Logik ist keine Lehre, sondern ein Spiegelbild der Welt. Die Logik ist transcendental. - Wittgenstein

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