A new report has found that children who overestimate their popularity and consider ‘everyone a friend’ are less likely to be bullies than those who hold more accurate assessments of their social standing. The paper titled, “The Bright Side of Positive Perceptual Bias: Children’s Estimations of Network Centrality and Aggression,” will be presented on August 12, 2013 in New York City at the American Sociological Association’s 108th Annual Meeting. The study is co-authored by Jennifer Watling Neal, an assistant professor of psychology at Michigan State University and Elise Cappella, an assistant professor of applied psychology at New York University. As Neal explains, “The more kids overestimated their popularity, the less aggression they displayed. This means that kids who were more accurate in their assessment of their number of friends or who underestimated their quantity of friends compared to peer report were more aggressive.” Previous studies have suggested that children who believe they are more popular were more likely to be aggressive. Neal and Cappella found the opposite to be true. “Our research suggests there are certain types of positive perceptual biases that have a ‘bright side,'” said Neal. “When kids say they have more friends than their peers say they have, those… Read full this story
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