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By bullying, I mean individuals harassing others with name-calling or violence but not for the purpose of gaining resources such as with extortion or theft. The only explanation I've thought of is that bullying offers practice for types of extortion that do result in increased resources.

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  • $\begingroup$ What you might find interesting is now many domains of study can contribute to your answer. For example economics and culture might play a part in the onset of behaviors deemed oppressive or intimidating. $\endgroup$ – Gabriel Fair Mar 13 '15 at 1:50
  • $\begingroup$ Having an ennemi is the best way to have friends. bullying is a group activity and would possibly be performed so to increase the level of trust within a group of friends. $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Mar 13 '15 at 4:28
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    $\begingroup$ @AliceD please never ever suggest cross-posting. We try very hard to avoid duplicating questions on multiple SE sites. If a question can fit on both sites, it should be tweaked to ask for different aspects of the issue based on each site's scope, not repeated. $\endgroup$ – terdon Mar 13 '15 at 16:18
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I think bullying is really more of an emergent behavior that manifests itself because of natural aggression built in for survival. People who are highly aggressive and dominating of others are more likely to control a majority of resources. This leads to their favored propagation obviously. Then, in their free-time, with all resources under control, they simply continue to do what comes naturally to them: dominating others. It can also work even in those without the ability to actually control resources, due to lack of intelligence for instance. I have met far more non-intelligent bullies than the reverse. The reason for their behavior is still explained by an attempt to control their territory and social status, however ineffective.

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    $\begingroup$ Can you provide some references. $\endgroup$ – Jayachandran Mar 13 '15 at 3:04
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    $\begingroup$ While I do not have references of studies on this exact focus, I will post references tomorrow concerning the genetic propagation of genes leading to aggression, as well as references concerning the link between aggressive social behavior and genes, with aggression serving as a means of increasing genetic propagation. $\endgroup$ – JRFerrell Mar 13 '15 at 3:13
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    $\begingroup$ Next time onwards please try to include references for your answers. Also feel free to use help centre for any assistance that you need in order to create a proper answer or a question. Your answer may be down voted if you are not providing any references for them, and it will affect your reputation(if you cares). :) $\endgroup$ – Jayachandran Mar 13 '15 at 6:33
  • $\begingroup$ It is extremely hard to prove a negative. $\endgroup$ – TheBlackCat Mar 13 '15 at 8:28

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