The old read on school bullies was that they were making up for low self-esteem. Every punch in the shoulder, every atomic wedgie was a cry for help and attention.
Wrong, says UCLA professor of developmental psychology Jaana Juvonen. She argues that your local campus bully is, indeed, the cock of the walk, the big man on campus, the Harvey Weinstein of your own Hollywood schoolyard:
Juvonen said recently that bullies have unusually high self-esteem. Not only that, but bullies are often seen by fellow students and even teachers as the cool kids — the popular ones, she said.
She looked at 2,000 L.A. sixth graders and and their teachers and asked them both who the bullies were and who the most popular kids were.
… Bullies are, by far, the coolest kids. And the victims, in turn, are very uncool.
Makes you wonder why Newt Gingrich didn't win the Republican presidential nomination over Mitt Romney.
Read more on bullies here.