Psychology Behind Viral Video Brutality - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

Psychology Behind Viral Video Brutality

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47 ABC - The video of a Delaware teen, assaulted on a Dover school bus has gone viral, with 19,000 shares and counting in just a matter of days on one Facebook post.

"I think we all, as humans, have the potential to be violent and to hurt other people, so that intrigues us," says psychologist, Dr. Leslie Donnelly.

The post, by a man who says he's the victim's uncle, was apparently shared to raise awareness of the disturbing attack.

Carrie Chase from Ocean City has mixed feelings, saying "in one aspect, it's good...because then you can really see what goes down in the school buses and in the schools."

On the other hand, experts worry repeated views of this type of violence will only further the brutal cycle.

Doctor Leslie Donnelley says psychologists have known for decades that people, repeatedly exposed to violence, are more likely to emulate that behavior.  It's a tactic used to desensitize soldiers in combat.

But why would kids on a bus, not the battlefield, purposely share video of this type of attack?

"I think they're looking for self esteem, and status," says Donnelley, "and I think all the pictures and the videos reflect that."

Doctor Donnelly says something that does make desensitization more dangerous for kids and teens now, is so much of their interactions with other people are happening through technology and not face to face, she's worried they're not learning how to empathize with other people.

Regarding the assault case in Dover, police say three teens have turned themselves in...the third just today, and they're waiting on the other two.

If they're not in by Sunday a rep from the Dover Police Department says further action will be taken on Monday.

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