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
- 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
- Visibility and anonymity effects on attraction and group cohesiveness
About Martin Lea
I'm a Social Psychologist who's interested in understanding how people communicate, relate and behave on the Internet, social networks, and the Web. I do independent research, write and publish, and have contributed to over 30 books on computer-mediated communication and Internet relationships. My latest project Adoption Social Media Info explores how social media networking is reshaping the lives of adoptive families. I also provide training and coaching for academics, authors, and practitioners to help them build great professional websites that showcase their projects, grow their business, and create lasting impact from their work.