Architecture of aggression in cyberspace: Testing cyber aggression in young adults in Hungary

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Bridgewater State University

In order to test whether and how violence is exacerbated in online social networking sites, we utilized the BryantSmith Aggression Scale (Bryant & Smith, 2001), and included examples in the questionnaire offering solutions for 7 different hypothetical cases occurring online (Kiss, 2017). The questionnaire was sent to social work and law school students in Hungary. Prevalence and levels of aggression and its manifestation as violence online proved to be not more severe than in offline social relations. Law students were more aware than students of social work that online hostile acts are discrediting. Students of social work were significantly more prone to break into physical fights than were law students and higher level of aggression was observed in their online behavior as well. Those who spend more time online tend to be more active online and bear a significantly higher level of aggression compared to those who are less active online. To conclude, higher education has a significant role in establishing control. This is especially crucial with law students who might have to work closely with the police and local residents aiming to establish peaceful communication, problem solving, and cooperative solutions in grassroots community policing programs.