Dark Psychology & Cyberbullying
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
A Brief Analysis
by Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
CEO, iPredator Inc.
Cyberbullying is defined as the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in the commission of verbal and/or physical attacks, by one or more children towards another child, who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement. Given that the vast majority of this abuse occurs in cyberspace, the factors, drives and motivations for cyberbullying are extremely complex. Provided below is a brief introduction to cyberbullying and the realm of Dark psychology.
Bullying, or classic bullying, is a term used to define recurrent and sustained verbal and/or physical attacks by one or more child(s) towards another child who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement. It may involve verbal harassment, physical assault, coercion, intimidation, humiliation and taunting. Bullying is comprised of a combination of five types of pediatric abuse: social, sexual, emotional, verbal and physical. Bullying requires both the assailant and target to be minors. Adult forms of bullying are termed Harassment, Stalking & Slander. Despite variants in definition, bullying involves abuse between two or more minors. Classic bullying requires face- to-face interactions within the repertoire of aggressive behaviors.
Cyberbullying is a term used to define recurrent and sustained verbal and/or physical attacks, by one or more children towards another child, who is unable or unwilling to deescalate the engagement using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Like classic bullying, cyberbullying is harmful, repeated and hostile behavior intended to deprecate a targeted child. Cyberbullying describes threatening or disparaging communications delivered through ICT. Whereas classic bullying involves face-to-face interactions and non-digital forms of communication, cyberbullying consists of information exchanged via ICT and may never involve face- to-face encounters.
By definition, classic & cyberbullying occurs among young people. When an adult is involved as the aggressor, it meets criteria for cyber harassment or cyberstalking, which in many states is a criminal act. Although the terms bullying and cyberbullying includes adult intimidation behavior in contemporary culture, these describe pediatric behaviors and will not include adult applications in this manuscript.
Cyber Harassment & Cyberstalking Laws Link
Children of the 21st century are targeted via classic bullying, cyberbullying or a combination of the two. Given the evolution of digital technology, growth of the internet and its relevance to the human experience, cyberbullying has reached epidemic proportions among the pediatric segments of society and becoming a permanent weapon in the toolbox of pediatric aggressors. At the core of all bullying, cyber and classic, are victimization, disparagement and abuse of a targeted child. Child abuse, whether perpetrated by a child or adult, is detrimental to all aspects of their psychological and developmental maturation following them into adulthood and throughout their lifespan.
Children traumatized by abuse and victimization have higher rates of all negative psychological and sociological aspects of the human condition ranging from alcohol & drug abuse, criminal involvement, domestic abuse and psychiatric illnesses. With the advent of ICT, children are by far more susceptible to the nefarious, criminal and deviant aspects ICT offers humanity. Although ICT offers incredible benefits to society, children are the demographic segment that is most impacted by the Dark Side of Cyberspace.
“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful, that’s what matters.“ Steve Jobs (1955-2011)
In the United States, October has been marked every year as National Crime Prevention Month, National Bullying Prevention Month & National Cyber Security Month. Clearly, America has to recognize the adverse societal outcomes if cyberbullying is not addressed immediately. Given the complexity of cyberbullying, religious organizations, educational systems and communities must work together to initiate and sustain a concerted effort.
A Canadian educator, Bill Belsey, in 2008 coined the term, cyberbullying, defining it as, “involving the use of information and communication technologies such as e-mail, cell phone and pager text messages, instant messaging, defamatory personal websites, and defamatory online personal polling websites, to support deliberate, repeated, and hostile behavior by an individual or group, that is intended to harm others.” Since introducing this term, cyberbullying now includes all ICT and has flourished to all industrialized nations. Because of this alarming reality and projected negative societal impact, if not addressed, this writer will analyze cyberbullying from his theoretical concepts of Dark Psychology & iPredator.
Dark Psychology is the study of the human condition as it relates to the psychological nature of humanity’s potential to prey upon others. Motivating this potential are criminal and/or deviant drives that lack purpose and cannot be explained by evolutionary instinctual drives and social sciences theory. All of humanity has this potential to victimize other humans and living creatures. While most restrain or sublimate this tendency, some act upon these impulses.
Dark Psychology seeks to understand those thoughts, feelings, behaviors, phenomenological and subjective processing systems that lead to predatory behavior that is antithetical to contemporary understandings of human behavior. Dark Psychology assumes that criminal, deviant and abusive behaviors are purposive and have some rational, goal-oriented motivation 99% of the time. It is the remaining 1%, Dark Psychology parts from Adlerian theory and Teleology. Dark Psychology postulates there is a realm within the human psyche that enables some people to commit atrocious acts without purpose. The contingent of humanity that uses ICT to harm and victimize others has been coined iPredator, which Dark Psychology also investigates.
iPredator is a new construct developed by this writer to describe those, children and adults, who use ICT to assault, victimize and steal from others. Based on this writer’s hypothesis, 80-85% of cyberbullies meets the requirements of iPredator and defined as follows:
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D.
Michael Nuccitelli, Psy.D. is a NYS licensed psychologist and cyber criminology consultant. He completed his doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Adler University in 1994. In 2010, Dr. Nuccitelli authored the dark side of cyberspace concept known as “iPredator.” In November 2011, he established iPredator Inc., offering educational, investigative, and advisory services involving criminal psychology, cyberstalking, online predators, internet trolls, the dark side of cyberspace and internet safety. Dr. Nuccitelli has worked in the mental health field over the last thirty-plus years and he has volunteered his time helping cyber-attacked victims since 2010. His goal is to reduce victimization, theft, and disparagement from iPredators.
In addition to aiding citizens & disseminating educational content, Dr. Nuccitelli’s mission is to initiate a sustained national educational and awareness internet safety campaign with the help of private, state, and federal agencies. He is always available, at no cost, to interact with online users, professionals, and the media. To invite Dr. Nuccitelli to conduct training, media engagements, educational services, or consultation, please call him at (347) 871-2416 or via email at email@example.com.
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