Ana Margarida Veiga Simão

University of Lisbon (Portugal)

Soci@l Interaction and Technology: from harming to helping others

Participants: Daniel Fallas1; Joaquín A. Mora-Merchán2; Paula da Costa Ferreira3

1University of Cordoba; 2University of Seville; 3Univeristy of Lisbon (Portugal)

Symposium Summary

Introduction: Violence amongst youth is a serious concern for contemporary societies. Phenomena such as bullying and cyberbullying, are intentional and repeated cruel behaviour towards peers. In the case of cyberbullying, behaviour occurs through electronic media, and like bullying, may influence academic performance, cause absenteeism, learning difficulties, and lead to feelings of anger, anxiety and health-harming behaviour. Due to the physical distance that is implied in cyberbullying, moral disengagement mechanisms and a lack of empathy may emerge, making it often difficult to find solutions for these incidents. Therefore, it is imperative that innovative resources are developed to help youth deal with these phenomena. Methods: We present how moral disengagement may emerge in bullying and cyberbullying in a convergent and divergent manner. This will enable us to understand better how youth engage in the two phenomena. Then, we highlight the advances and challenges of how affective computing may constitute an important resource to address bullying among youth. Later, we demonstrate how a digital resource based on emotion and behavioural regulation may contribute to decreasing aggressive communication in cyberbullying. Lastly, we reveal how serious games are an effective way of using affective computing to understand empathic reactions in cyberbullying. Results: Moral disengagement mechanisms seem to influence both bullying and cyberbullying behaviour. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the consolidated advancements and enhancements that are still being developed with regards to affective computing to tackle bullying phenomena. To exemplify, we show how a digital application could decrease aggressive communication online through emotion and behavioural regulation. We also reveal how empathy appraisals, factual cognitions against cyberbullying and pro-social strategies to resolve cyberbullying phenomena may be developed. Discussion: Implications regarding the use of technological resources to minimize moral disengagement and aggressive communication, as well as to increase pro-social behaviour and well-being shall be discussed.

Breve CV

PhD, is a Full Professor at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon (FPUL), has a PhD in Education Sciences and Aggregation in Educational Psychology. She is also the coordinator of the Interuniversity Doctoral Program (Coimbra-Lisbon) in Educational Psychology, the coordinator of the Master in Educational Psychology and member of the Pro-Adapt group of the Research Centre for Psychological Science (CICPSI, FPUL). Her main research interests are the processes of self-regulated learning, teaching and learning processes, learning strategies; teacher education and change; professional development of teachers, teaching in Higher Education, violence in educational contexts, bullying and cyberbullying. She has coordinated funded projects, such as "Cyberbullying: The regulation of behaviour through language" (Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology), “Problem-solving Project" and “CriaTivo project: self-regulated strategies for writing” (Lisbon City Council), has been a researcher in European projects such as Early Technical Education” (European Award for Lifelong Learning, Bronze Medal, 2007) and research networks, such as the Study Program for Self-Regulated Learning,  Faculty of Psychology of the University of Lisbon, Research Group of Self-regulated Learning of the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil and the Study and Research Group in Psychopedagogy of the University of Campinas in Brazil.

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