August 4, 2007

Bullies have different motives

My research with perpetrators of hate crimes challenged the notion of a uniform motivation underlying such offenses. Rather than hatred or bias, I found that many young male offenders were motivated by group affiliation needs and/or the desire for excitement.

Now, research out of Norway is finding similar dynamics underlying some bullying. The new research suggests that immigrant boys in Norway often bully "because they want to belong to a group." That’s in contrast to ethnic Norwegian boys, who tend to bully out of a desire for "power over their victims."

The research is out of the Centre for Behavioural Research at the University of Stavanger.

Hat tip to the always-informative Psychology & Crime News for this story.