It seems like everybody is worried about bullying. The media is replete with stories about bullying and the negative effects it has on its victims -- effects that include anxiety and decreased self-worth. It has been suggested that victimization by bullies has led to self-harm, suicide and even school shootings. Often, bullying is treated as pathological. The bully has a disease that needs to be cured. According to this view, the way to stop bullying is to discover the cause of the bully's “sickness” and then eliminate this cause. Perhaps this is the wrong approach.
In the 1962 novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess, doctors attempt to cure a violent, murderous psychopath using psychological conditioning -- forcing him to endure disturbing physical reactions while witnessing acts of violence. Today, neuroscientists are studying how we use our brains to make moral decisions, and what we can do for people who do not seem to have a normal sense of morality.
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