Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is sometimes heralded for its power to break down social boundaries and to liberate individuals from social influence, group pressure, and status and power differentials that characterize much face-to-face interaction. This paper reviews research conducted within the framework of the social identity model of deindividuation effects demonstrating that this is not always the case. When communicators share a common social identity, they appear to be more susceptible to group influence, social attraction, stereotyping, gender typing, and discrimination in anonymous CMC. Although CMC gives us the opportunity to traverse social boundaries, paradoxically, it can also afford these boundaries greater power, especially when they define self- and group identity.
- SIDE-VIEW: A social identity account of computer-supported collaborative learning
- The formation of group norms in computer-mediated communication
- Computer-mediated communication, deindividuation, and group decision-making
- Paralanguage and social perception in computer-mediated communication
- Social processes and group decision making: Anonymity in group decision support systems
- Deindividuation and group polarization in computer-mediated communication
- Knowing me, knowing you: Anonymity effects on social identity processes within groups
- Intergroup differentiation in computer-mediated communication: Effects of depersonalization
- Computer-mediated communication as a channel for social resistance: The strategic side of SIDE
- Panacea or panopticon? The hidden power in computer-mediated communication
About Martin Lea
I'm interested in understanding how people communicate, relate and behave on the Internet, social media, and the Web. I do independent research, write and publish, and have contributed to over 20 books. I provide training, resources and services to help people build digital resilience and optimise their Internet communication. My latest project Adoption Social Media Info explores how social media use is reshaping the lives of adoptive families.