The empathy gap has also been an important idea in research about the causes of bullying.[10]:IV In one study examining a central theory that, “only by identifying with a victim’s social suffering can one understand its devastating effects,”[11] researchers created five experiments. The first four examined the degree to which participants in a game who were not excluded could estimate the social pain of participants who were excluded. The findings were that those who were not socially excluded consistently underestimated the pain felt by those who were excluded. A survey included in the study directed at teachers’ opinions of school policy toward bullying found that those with an experience of social pain, caused by bullying, often rated the pain experienced by those facing bullying or social exclusion as higher than teachers who did not have such experience, and further, that teachers who had experienced social pain were more likely to punish students for bullying.[3]


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