Social identity, group norms, and deindividuation: Lessons from computer-mediated communication for social influence in the group

This chapter reviews a program of research that has developed around the Social Identity model of Deindividuation Effects (SIDE; Lea & Spears, 1991; Postmes & Spears, 1998; Postmes, Spears, & Lea, 1998; Reicher, Spears, & Postmes, 1995; Spears & Lea, 1992; 1994). In particular, we review intra-group processes in private and public settings in order to advance our understanding of normative influence in groups.

When are net effects gross products? The power of influence and the influence of power in computer-mediated communication

The rush to judgment about the social effects of the new communications media has branded them as positive and negative in equal measure. Alienation from “real world’ relationships coupled with a lack of social regulation within the medium is balanced by liberation from the influences, inequalities, and identities to which people are subjected in face-to-face … Read more

Computer-mediated communication, deindividuation, and group decision-making

This paper discusses social psychological processes in computer-mediated communication and group decision-making in relation to findings that groups communicating via computer produce more polarized decisions than face-to-face groups. A wide range of possible explanations for such differences have been advanced, in which a lack of social cues, disinhibition, ‘deindividuation’ and a consequent tendency to antinormative … Read more

Computer-mediated communication and social identity

The reader is asked to tolerate a degree of egocentrism if this chapter appears to be written from an “ingroup” point of view, particularly with an emphasis on our own theoretical slant, and to some extent research. This is after all meant to be a general overview chapter on social identity and CMC. Our excuse … Read more

Facing the future: Emotion communication and the presence of others in video communications

Video-mediated communication is becoming a ubiquitous feature of everyday life. This chapter considers the differences between face-to-face and video-mediated communication in terms of co-presence and considers the implications for the communication of emotion, self-disclosure, and relationship rapport. Following initial consideration of the concepts of physical presence and social presence, we describe recent studies of the … Read more

Social processes in electronic teamwork: The central issue of identity.

In this chapter we argue that issues of identity are central to understanding how communication technologies affect organizational practice. We develop this argument by first reviewing some of the dominant approaches to understanding the social psychological processes implied or held responsible for CMC effects. We highlight the common themes underpinning these approaches, and trace their … Read more

Love at first byte: Building personal relationships over computer networks

Our discussion of personal relationships and computer networks focuses on three issues of central concern in this volume. The first issue is to do with how relationship research currently privileges certain kinds of relationships while neglecting others. We describe relationships that have been observed in this new medium and identify a number of assumptions and … Read more

Social Psychology of the Internet

Social psychology has a long history of researching the effects of communication technologies, such as the telephone and television, on individuals and groups. Social psychological research on the Internet has focused predominantly on text-based computer-mediated communication (CMC), such as e-mail, bulletin boards, newsgroups, conferencing, and chat. These have been compared both theoretically and empirically with … Read more

Cohesion in Online Groups

Groups are traditionally defined in terms of the interpersonal bonds that exist between group members and thus cohesion is based on the strength of those bonds. The transition of this definition of the group onto online groups leads to attempts to emulate face to face behaviour through presentation of group member pictures, video and detailed personal descriptions. However, … Read more

A SIDE view of social influence

Researchers from the field of intergroup relations, and notably self-categorization theorists, have investigated how our group memberships impinge on the social influence process. Much progress has been made in showing how ingroup and outgroup information is processed differently and can have different impacts. Within this tradition, the way in which we categorize the source is … Read more

Power and gender in computer-mediated communication: A SIDE look

The new communications technologies are developing at such a fast pace that it is difficult for research and theorizing to keep up. Although exploring the range of applications and instantiations of the latest forms of computer-mediated communication (CMC), texting, and video-based phone systems provides many useful insights, research and theorizing that lags behind the technological … Read more

How social is Internet communication? A reappraisal of bandwidth and anonymity effects

The use of Internet communications has increasingly become part of our lives both at work and at home, for business and for recreation. Internet communications are augmenting and substituting for many of the interpersonal and group interactions that were previously conducted face-to-face. Surveys have repeatedly shown that electronic mail benefits business as a replacement for … Read more

Constructing the networked organization: Content and context in the development of electronic communications.

This paper presents a case study of the development of electronic communications in a changing organization with the aim of studying the complex relationship between content and context in the design and implementation of technological change in communications. The development of a computer-mediated communication system was followed over a period of four years during which … Read more

Contexts of Computer-Mediated Communication

In 1992, just after commercial restrictions were lifted on what then became the Internet, and at the dawn of the World Wide Web, I published the book Contexts of Computer-Mediated Communication, which brought together the writings of some of the key researchers in the new field of computer-mediated communication. The book combines theoretical analyses of … Read more

The In-SIDE story: Social psychological processes affecting on-line groups

CMC provides a new paradigm for research into general deindividuation phenomena that can usefully clarify some of the complexities in earlier deindividuation research as well as test the intervening processes that deindividuating contexts supposedly activate. For example, it enables one to manipulate anonymity and identifiability independently from physical isolation and co-presence. Conceptual distinctions between different … Read more

Engaging in email discussion: conversational context and social identity

1. Email, Separation and Sociability Indonesia is a vast archipelago. Many of its islands are difficult to reach and suffer from poor infrastructure. For many Indonesians, email has been something of a revelation in terms of connection to the outside world and communicating within Indonesia. In recent years, email has received scant attention in HCI … Read more