Study Shows Bullies Enjoy Seeing Others in Pain

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A study was done on aggressive teenagers and shows that they may actually enjoy inflicting pain on others.

An area in the brain associated with rewards showed up in scans of aggressive youth when they watched a video of someone inflicting pain on another person.

"This is the first time that fMRI scans have been used to study situations that could otherwise provoke empathy," said Jean Decety, Professor in Psychology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago. "This work will help us better understand ways to work with juveniles inclined to aggression and violence."

For the study, researchers compared eight 16-18 year old boys with aggressive conduct disorder to a control group of eight boys with no signs of aggression. The boys with the conduct disorder had exhibited disruptive behavior such as starting a fight, using a weapon and stealing after confronting a victim.

Both groups were shown video clips of someone inflicting pain on another person accidentally, such as when a bowl was dropped on a person’s hand, and also intentionally, such as when a person stepped on another person’s foot. The brain activity of the teens were monitored by a fMRI.

In the aggressive teens, the area of the brain that feels rewards became very active when they saw pain being given to others. There was little activity shown in the area of the brain involved in self-regulation.

Researchers state that the differences between the two groups was striking, but that the study was small and that a larger study needs to be conducted in order to confirm their findings.

Source: University of Chicago News Release

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Nov 7, 2008
by Anonymous


bullies do like what they do and majority of them do not feel differently when adults about what they caused when they "were" bullies. Also when bullies steal money later in life they do not seem to feel like they should pay back with exta xx% added each day they didn't pay back.Bullies ruin lives and bullies can cause lifetime of pain and hardship on the victim, if the bullying/freezing out starts early then some victims do not get the social things that everybody needs when they are young which will cause problems for victims in adulthood.

Nov 7, 2008
by Beth Graddon-Hodgson
Beth Graddon-Hodgson's picture

 You can't help but wonder

 You can't help but wonder then, if certain people might be predisposed to bullying based on their internal wiring...why do some people demonstrate those effects while others don't?

 Maybe these studies will lead to rehabiliation methods for children and teens with aggressive tendencies. This will save both them and the victims of their bullying a great deal of torment.

Beth Hodgson
Innovative Business Writer

Nov 7, 2008
by Anonymous

People did a study for this?!

I thought this was common knowledge. The human race sure is slow to pick up on things...

Jan 4, 2009
by Anonymous

enjoy inflicting pain

I am a girl of 16 years of age who enjoys inflicting pain on others, especially other girls.It turns me on and it makes me wet.I would love to just piss all over people and hear them cry and whine and beg for me to stop thier humiliation.I'm very proud of being an evil hell bound slut that I am.I don't have a soul and that's why I try and eat other people's souls by tormenting them. mmm. I feel wet already.