Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying" Page: 86
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A definition of the term "cyberbullying" should never depend on the reader or participant
of a study to automatically know the definition of the term "bullying."
This problem of circular reasoning within the defining of the term "cyberbullying"
may be responsible, in part, to the wide discrepancies in the results across the studies
when examining the literature in the field. For example, if the researcher uses the
aforementioned definition of cyberbullying as an operational definition in an effort to help
the participant in completing a survey or answer questions during an interview, the results
may be completely inaccurate or incomparable to other studies. When research depends on
results that can be synthesized across studies, this is unacceptable. The term "bullying"
should not be used when defining "cyberbullying." If cyberbullying is the same as bullying
with added component of the medium or method of using electronic technology, then the
definition must also define bullying within and as a part of the definition of "cyberbullying."
The word "communication had 15 occurrences within 36 definitions. The word use
can be defined as "a process by which information is exchanged between individuals
through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior" (Merriam-Webster's online
dictionary, n.d.). This word plays an important role in defining the term cyberbullying. The
role of communication is that of a process that involves two parts; a sender and a receiver.
The phenomenon of cyberbullying is that in that the offender is the sender and the victim is
the receiver. The content that is send or transmitted is the message that was discussed
earlier in this chapter. This communication is what separates just having negative feelings
about a person, and expressing those negative feelings in a way that constitutes
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Winn, Matthew R. Analyzing Patterns Within Academic and Legal Definitions: a Qualitative Content Analysis of the Term "Cyberbullying", dissertation, August 2013; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc283860/m1/87/: accessed February 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .