Sample Term Paper on Bullies

Article Summary

The article “Where the Bullies Are” by Dana talks about bullying at work. It focuses readers’ attention on  nursing jobs in USA and bulling cases in this field. The article claims that some professions are more frequently subject to bullying than others. It further states that workplace bullying in the USA is more common than in other countries such as Sweden, England and Australia. Majority of these countries have laws that prohibit workplace bullying whereas USA does not have such laws (Dana, 2017). In this respect, majority of the U.S employees experience bullying at their places of work .

Psychologically, bullying at  work is said to increase stress. It is also said to increase employees turnover and violence. Both hierarchical structures and stressful conditions create environments that favor bullying. The article claims that workplace aggression results from unaccountability that moves into instability. The instability results in conflict in the form of daily bullying, which depends on many factors, including cognitive environmental and cognitive ones.

Theoretical Perspectives

In psychology, some theories are based on behavioral perspective whereas others are based on humanism perspective. The theories that are based on behavioral perspective put more emphasize on the effects of environmental factors on people’s behaviors. They claim that behaviors are the result of stimuli received under the influence of environmental factors (Swearer, & Hymel, 2015). Accordingly, given the environmental factors one can predict the way a person is likely to behave. In relation to the article, behavioral perspective would claim that some employees learn to bully others from their organizational cultures. Organizational culture in this case is the environmental factor that  influences the way employees  behave. If organizational culture  encourages employees to bully one another, then employees might bully each other. Conversely, if organizational culture discourages employees from bullying one another, then employees would not bully each other.

On the other hand, theories that are based on humanism perspective look at human behaviors holistically. They look at the way people perceive and interpret events and  behave correspondently. With regard to bullying, such theories look at the way people perceive bullying and interpret it so that they can either bully one another or not bully one another. These theories look at human behaviors not only through observer’s eyes, but also through the eyes of the person perpetrating a behavior (Mishna, 2012). They start from a broad perspective and narrow down to a particular behavior.


The article talks about the factors that contribute to workplace bullying. It claims that bullying often takes place in workplace cultures where people with high-profile jobs work alongside people with low-profile jobs. Theoretically, the article insinuates that some routine activities may expose employees to workplace bully. This brings us to the lifestyle exposure theory. The theory states that a lifestyle that exposes a person to dangerous activities, places and people puts the person at a greater risk of being victimized (Mishna, 2012).

With regard to bullying, some activities and types of jobs expose employees to bully more than the others. Some of the factors that expose individuals to bullying include proximity to bully activities, congruence and guardianship. Proximity to bullying activities in this case refers to the type of a job that a person has. The argument is that some types of jobs tend to expose employees to bullying more than others. In relation to the type of jobs, the article claims that people that work in public service, education and health care tend to be vulnerable to bullying because of the nature of their work. Congruence on its part refers to the characteristics of a person that are considered desirable or attractive to the people that bully others. Finally, guardianship refers to the protection that a person gets for spending time with people that can protect the person from bullying (Mishna, 2012). If a person spends time away from such people, the person is likely to be bullied, and vice versa.

While the above is the case, bullying more often than not occurs due to environmental factors and individual’s cognitive and biological characteristics. The environmental factors are responsible for developing stressful events that force people to engage in bullying, whereas biological and cognitive features are responsible for determining whether a person would engage in bullying or not. Consequently, people whose biological and cognitive factors are not aligned to bullying may not necessarily bully one another even under the influence of environmental factors (Swearer & Hymel, 2015). However, people whose biological and cognitive characteristics prove alignment to bullying are likely to bully other people in the presence of environmental stressors.

Cognitive factors play a significant role in the interpretation of life events. Accordingly, negative life events in collaboration with cognitions about those events result in internalization and externalization of bullying activities. From the article, it is clear that bullying at workplaces is more rampant in the USA than in other countries because there are no laws prohibiting such practices in USA. It is also clear that bullying is more rampant in some professions than in others because environmental factors in those  fields of work promote bullying . Consequently, bullying does not occur as a result of biological and cognitive characteristics only. Instead, it occurs as a result of both environmental and biological factors together with cognitive ones.




Dana, W. (2017). Where the bullies are. Retrieved from

Mishna, F. (2012). Bullying: A guide to research, intervention, and prevention. New York: Oxford University Press.

Swearer, S., & Hymel, S. (2015). Understanding the psychology of bullying: Moving toward a socio-ecological diathesis-stress model. American Psychologist, 70(4), 344-353.