Why does Justin Bieber feel the need to prank so much? He does it a lot, doesn't he?
—Diamond Lady, via Twitter
The pop star clearly thinks it's hilarious to throw water balloons at cops and punch other people in the groin (as long as he doesn't get whalloped himself), as well as "prank" his fans (maybe?) with this stunt about the contents of his laptop being hacked, or leaked, or whatever.
Overall, Justin apparently sees himself as a victim. This morning he complained that The X Factor used him to promote their show on Twitter, even though he wasn't appearing on the day in question: "Heard we got used for ratings according to Twitter and we aren't even on until tomorrow? @xfactorusa could of [sic] just told us."
The fact that Bieber himself used Twitter for something similarly dishonest appears to be lost on him.
Bieber also appears to be motivated by a righteous sense of personal justice. This morning, he Tweeted, "Since I was 14 i have had a lot of things said about me, from dying, to taking hormones, to dying again, to stuff about my family, to saying i had a baby with a woman i never even met. nude pics, drugs, my family, my character...but today...today i get to be in on it."
Psychologists have several theories as to Bieber's motivations.
"When pranks more are serious and result in someone feeling strong negative emotions like fear or humiliation, the prankster may be motivated by a need for control and to feel superior due to low self-esteem," says Manhattan psychologist Dr. Joseph Cilona. "In the case of Justin Beiber, his pranks don't seem to be mean-spirited or excessively negative. It may be that his pranks are a simple attempt to reclaim a bit of the fun and silliness of his childhood that he has lost due to fame and working form such a young age."
Or maybe not.
"It suggests insecurity and a need for attention on the part of the prankster," says clinical neuropsychologist Roy Aranda. "It also suggests a passive-aggressive form of taking out hostilities on the ‘target.'
"The excuse would be, ‘I was just foolin'.'
Why do you think he does it?