Ruiz, F., Hyogo University of Teacher Education, Fuchigami, K. and Tanaka, K., Okayama University, Japan
Employing Aronson's (1999) novel technique, we carried out aresearch in a Japanese elementary school (115 schoolchildren, 11-12 yrs-old) to motivate inactive bullying bystanders to act prosocially toward bullied peers. Our application took advantageof the existing discrepancy "between what children say and whatthey actually do faced with a bullying situation" (Cowie, 1998). The hypocrisy condition encompassed a manipulation destined to arouse dissonance in children; it crossed their public advocacy (endorsing active support to victims of bullying and opposing passive witnessing of bullying) with the self-awareness of themselves having acted as passive bystanders in the past. Different to the rest of participants, significantly more children in this condition responded favorably to volunteering in a projected peer support program. Results attested that the hypocrisy manipulation successfully motivated children in the prosocial direction hypothesized.