How personality effects victim's response to cyberbullying

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Khosa, Nemisha
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Marc H. Anderson
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Theses & dissertations (College of Business)

With the advent of mobile phone technology and the rise of different social media platforms (Facebook, 2004, Twitter,2006, YouTube, 2005, et al), technology has boomed in last two decades and been on an upward slope ever since. The advancement in connectivity has made the internet a more central component of people’s lives. As such, the internet has now become the “real life” for many individuals and they encounter real life problems online. The open portal of the internet has allowed individuals new, constant and almost invisible ways to harass or threaten others. This type of bullying on the internet or virtual level is called cyberbullying. With consequences as severe as depression, degrading physical health and even suicide, cyberbullying has become a focal issue of study in recent years. Although research has been done in the area of cyberbullying, little research has been done that focuses specifically on the victims of cyberbullying and how they differ from non-victims.

This study examines whether the six personality traits of the HEXACO model of personality predict whether college students have been victims of cyberbullying, and also whether these traits predict the extent of such bullying and the responses made cyberbullying victims. The goal of the study is to find out whether an individual’s personality trait can predict if they would be a victim of cyberbullying, to what extent and would their responses differ based on said personality traits. Overall, the results showed that there were only a handful of statistically significant differences. People who were victims of flaming attacks scored lower on honesty-humility and agreeableness. People who were victims of online harassment attacks scored higher on emotionality. People who were victims of outing attacks scored higher on openness to experience. The analysis found extraversion could significantly predict the extent of exclusion and conscientiousness significantly predicts the extent of outing. Emotionality was the most common predictor for responses by victims of cyberbullying.

Fri Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 2016