eConfidence presents the role of bystanders in bullying situations at the Psychology Days in Zadar


The 21st Psychology Days in Zadar is an international scientific conference and it was organised by the Department of Psychology of the University of Zadar and the Croatian Psychological Association under auspices of the Croatian Ministry of Science and Eduaction. The conference took place between 24 to 26 May 2018.

The eConfidence project research partners of the Rijeka University in Croatia participated at this event and presented results regarding the predictors of bystanders' helping behaviour in bullying situations based on pre-test results of eConfidence.

The research question tackled during the conference was: 'Bystanders in bullying situations: what is related to helping the victim?'. The eConfidence partners explained that the research conducted as a part of the eConfidence project aims to prevent and change bullying behaviour by playing serious games that are constructed based on the principles of applied behavioural analysis. In the pre-test, before game-playing sessions, an incidence of peer violence and reactions of participants in bullying situations were assessed, as well as social skills, self-efficacy and social norms related to the protection of victims.

Students aged 12 to 14 from ten European schools participated in the study. Although bystanders do not actively participate in situations of peer violence, their reactions can play an important role in protecting the victim. In this presentation, eConfidence focused on two groups of bystanders: those who report that they are trying to help victims in situations of peer violence and those who do not do anything in situations of peer violence, but think that they should help the victim. Therefore, the aim of this paper presented is to examine to what extent social skills, recognition of appropriate reactions in peer violence situations, and self-efficacy and social norms related to victim protection can predict the helping behaviour.

Recognising the appropriateness of reactions in peer violence situations (the appropriateness of the assertive, the inappropriateness of passive and aggressive reactions) and self-efficacy in victim protection are significant positive predictors of helping behaviour. The obtained results point to the importance of raising awareness of appropriate bystander reactions in bullying situations and enhancing self-efficacy in order to increase the likelihood of helping the victim.

Within the eConfidence project, the impact of serious games is also analysed and more information will be made available in a complete report analysing the pilot tests results.

More information about the conference can be found here.