The Sociometric Test as a Tool Against Bullying

November 21, 2019
The sociometric test provides a lot of information about the relationships that students establish in the classroom. In this article we'll explain how to use it to prevent bullying.

The sociometric test is a good tool that can help teachers observe the relationships among students in a classroom. In this way, teachers can prevent and detect possible cases of bullying. For this reason, teachers must learn how to use this tool, which is essential for dealing with the serious problem of bullying.

“If a child is always sad, alone, and doesn’t participate, then get close to them, because something is happening to that child”.

– Carmen Cabestany –

The sociometric test as a tool against bullying

In class, students create social and emotional bonds and establish certain roles among themselves. However, a problem that may come out of these classroom relationships is that some students become isolated or rejected by their peers, and may also be targets of bullying.

Sometimes the children in the class only accept certain children for academic tasks, but don’t involve them in recreational activities. It’s very difficult for a teacher to detect a child’s popularity among their classmates. That’s why educators recommend certain tools, such as the sociometric test.

The Sociometric Test as a Tool Against Bullying

This tool is useful to:

  • Observe the relationships of the students in the classroom when they’re socializing.
  • Get to know the work-study relationships of the students in the classroom.
  • Identify each student’s social position in the classroom, paying special attention to children who seem to be rejected.
  • Establish a sociogram that facilitates the global vision of the social structure of the class.

Sociometric positions in the classroom

Based on the sociogram that the teacher obtains, they can then identify the following sociometric positions in the classroom:

  • Leader: A person who is chosen a lot, and has very few or no refusals. This is a popular individual.
  • Grey Eminence (Behind the scenes): Just one of the leaders chooses him or her from among the first three elected positions. Therefore, they have considerable influence in the group, although this isn’t easily noticeable.
  • Partially rejected: Receives more rejection than acceptance. You can usually notice their presence in the group.
  • Totally rejected: Only receives rejections. Their presence can be burdensome for the group and for the teacher. They have a negative influence on the group.
  • Controversial: Enough acceptances and enough rejections, they usually divide the group, and they’re a type of anti-leader. They have a positive and negative influence on the group.
  • Couple: This is a reciprocal choice of two individuals.
  • Triangle: People who choose each other. It’s usually a very close and compact structure.
  • Chain: A chooses B, B chooses C, C chooses D… The closer the subject is to the leader, the better his sociometric status will be.

How should you carry out the sociometric test in the classroom?

To conduct the sociometric test in the classroom, you need to use a complete class session, or a one-hour tutorial. The steps to follow are as follows:

  • Give each student the sociometric test and explain what it is, emphasizing that the answers are individual and that they shouldn’t show them to the rest of the class.
  • The students should answer the questions, expressing their preferences and rejections by using the relationship between play and emotions, and work and study.
  • The Sociometric Test as a Tool Against BullyingOnce the answers have been obtained, then they need to be correlated. The teacher should draw up a table and code the students’ answers.
  • Then you should create two different sociograms of the class. One of the relationship between play and emotions, and the other of the work-study relationship. The teacher will take into account the students’ first three choices and rejections.
  • To do this, you represent girls with a circle and boys with a square, each of them with the number they occupy in the class written inside the corresponding shape.
  • As a system of representation of the choices or rejections, you use blue arrows to indicate the chosen individuals, red arrows to indicate the rejected ones, and double arrows to represent the reciprocal choices.
  • Interpret and analyze the positions of each student.

Other instruments to detect bullying

In addition to the sociometric test, there are also many other equally useful tools for detecting possible cases of bullying in the classroom, such as:

It is, therefore, the teacher’s obligation to select one of these tools and use them in the classroom in order to prevent or identify bullying among their students.

  • Artigot, M. (1973). La tutoría. Madrid: CSIC.
  • García-Román, S. (2013). El uso del sociograma para determinar las relaciones existentes en un aula de 4º de E.S.O (Trabajo de Fin de Máster). Universidad Internacional de la Rioja, España.