Two studies examined intergroup discussions via computer-mediated communication systems. It was hypothesized that depersonalization, in comparison with individuated interaction, would increase the tendency for intergroup differentiation in attitudes and stereotypes. In Study 1, 24 groups communicated internationally over the Internet in a longitudinal design. Interacting groups, based in 2 different countries, were individuated versus partially unidentifiable, and thus depersonalized. Results indicate that depersonalized groups diverge, or bipolarize, when compared with individuated groups. A follow-up study demonstrated that under depersonalized conditions, individual differences are less salient, whereas group memberships are more salient. In addition, stereotypes were more salient in depersonalized conditions. Results support predictions derived from the social identity model of deindividuation effects.
- 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
- Computer-mediated communication as a channel for social resistance: The strategic side of SIDE
- Panacea or panopticon? The hidden power in computer-mediated communication
- Breaching or building social barriers? SIDE effects of 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.