Accuracy of Self-Perceived Likeability in Adolescent Bullies
MetadataShow full item record
Studies have shown that bullies enjoy high perceived popularity, but are usually not well-liked among peers. However, little research is available on why low likeability does not deter bullies. This study examines a possible explanation for this phenomenon, namely that bullies are inaccurate perceivers of their own likeability and thereby overestimate their likeability. Data from 251 adolescents between 11 and 15 years old (44.4% boys) was collected in several Dutch high schools using questionnaires. This data was used to test the association between actual and self-perceived likeability and the moderating effect of bullying on this association. Multiple regression analyses showed that there was a positive association between self-perceived likeability and actual likeability: Adolescents who were high in actual likeability were also high in self-perceived likeability (p = .001). There was no moderating effect of bullying behaviour on the association between actual and self-perceived likeability, suggesting that bullies, like their non-bullying peers, are accurate perceivers of their own likeability.