Tweens, Cyberbullying, and Moral Reasoning

Link

http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/full/10.1108/S2050-206020140000008016

Abstract

Purpose

To inform policy, curricula, and future research on cyberbullying through an exploration of the moral reasoning of digitally active 10–14-year olds (tweens) when witnesses to digital abuse.

Methodology/approach

Conducted interviews with 41 tweens, asking participants to react as witnesses to two hypothetical scenarios of digital abuse. Through thematic analysis of the interviews, I developed and applied a new typology for classifying “upstanders” and “bystanders” to cyberbullying.

Findings

Identified three types of upstander and five types of bystander, along with five thinking processes that led participants to react in those different ways. Upstanders were more likely than bystanders to think through a scenario using high-order moral reasoning processes like disinterested perspective-taking. Moral reasoning, emotions, and contextual factors, as well as participant gender and home school district, all appeared to play a role in determining how participants responded to cyberbullying scenarios.

Research limitations/implications

Hypothetical scenarios posed in interviews cannot substitute for case studies of real events, but this qualitative analysis has produced a framework for classifying upstanding and bystanding behavior that can inform future studies and approaches to digital ethics education.

Originality

This study contributes to the literature on cyberbullying and moral reasoning through in-depth interviews with tweens that record the complexity and context-dependency of thinking processes like perspective-taking among an understudied but critical age group.

Tweens’ Conceptions of Privacy Online

Slides

http://www.scribd.com/embeds/76381029/content?start_page=1&view_mode=slideshow&access_key=key-1zyn3ttgsosjxw5iopra&secret_password=8hfrnwaaolrnv68bbdw(function() { var scribd = document.createElement(“script”); scribd.type = “text/javascript”; scribd.async = true; scribd.src = “http://www.scribd.com/javascripts/embed_code/inject.js”; var s = document.getElementsByTagName(“script”)0; s.parentNode.insertBefore(scribd, s); })();

Cultivating Ethical Thinking among Digital Youth

Workshop Description

This interactive workshop focuses on digital citizenship by focusing on the ethical dimensions of young people’s participation in new media environments, such as blogs, multiplayer games, and social networks like Facebook. Katie Davis and Erhardt Graeff, both researchers on the GoodPlay Project at Harvard’s Project Zero, will share relevant research findings; provide an overview of a digital ethics casebook developed for use in schools and other learning environments; and engage participants in a curricular activity aimed at cultivating ethical thinking among youth.

The GoodPlay Project

Research Assistant on a MacArthur Foundation-funded project studying the ethical character of tween’s activities in the new digital media, December 2009 – March 2012.

Website

The GoodPlay Project at Project Zero

Details of Work

  • Managed research study approval with local public school district administration
  • Administered pre-interview surveys to tweens in three different public school districts, two online and one on paper
  • Developed and implemented SurveyMonkey filter for selecting survey participants for interviews based on reported internet and cell phone use, balanced sample for gender and race/ethnicity
  • Coordinated interviews with 43 tweens at their schools, two per participant
  • Personally conducted interviews with 16 tweens, or 32 total interviews
  • Coded half the interviews for instances relevant to the online ethical faultlines of “participation”, “credibility”, and “authorship/ownership”
  • Wrote four coding memos dealing with aspects of cyberbullying
  • Developed original research paper on cyberbullying, using ethical dilemmas posed in the interviews

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