- Published: November 30, 1999
Recent research studies on bullies have shown that adolescent males truly enjoy picking on the weak. Believed to be emotionless and cold, bullies, it was found, actually receive satisfaction from seeing pain. This was deduced using an fMRI scan that showed blood flow to the amygdala and ventral striatum, implying that they enjoyed watching others suffer. Researchers relate their conduct disorder as simply a biological inability to control their emotions. Fortunately, this disorder occurs in only 1-4% of the adolescent population.
What does this imply for neuroscience and law? These adolescents who do not, or cannot, make appropriate decisions and enjoy watching others suffer are the very same people who hurt society and often times end up in jail. Once again, the question is asked: what should the judicial system do if the bullies cannot help their actions? In this particular situation, these adolescents need to be helped before their actions become further antisocial. I propose a therapeutic and rehabilitation program for these young adults in an attempt to save their lives as soon as these bully behaviors are detected and fMRI-verified.
Diwan, Piyush. “Bullies Get Pleasure in Inflicting Pain.” TopNews.in. 8 November 2008.