Publications.

Read my journal articles and book chapters

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…

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…

SIDE-VIEW: A social identity account of computer-supported collaborative learning

Much is written about the benefits of computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) but many accounts report problematic interactions and less than desirable outcomes for attempts at CSCL. A theoretical approach is presented that is grounded in a social identity perspective of groups and seeks to promote and support successful collaborations. Using…

Video-linking emotions

How does video mediation influence communication of affective information? In the present chapter, we review the range of possible constraints associated with the video medium and consider their potential impact on transmission and co-ordination of emotions. In particular, we focus on the effects of transmission delays on interpersonal attunement. Results…

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…

Visibility and anonymity effects on attraction and group cohesiveness

This study investigated attraction and group cohesiveness under different visibility and anonymity conditions for social categories that differed in their capacity to be visually cued. Using computer-mediated communication in 36 mixed gender (visually cued category) and nationality (non-visually cued category) groups, we manipulated social category salience (via discussion topic), and…

Social presence in distributed group environments: The role of social identity

This paper argues that to achieve social presence in a distributed environment, it is not necessary to emulate face-to-face conditions of increased cues to the interpersonal. Rather, it is argued, that a sense of belongingness to the group, or perceptual immersion in the group, can be realised through the creation…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Intergroup differentiation in computer-mediated communication: Effects of depersonalization

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…

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…

Knowing me, knowing you: Anonymity effects on social identity processes within groups

The Social Identity Model of Deindividuation Effects (SIDE) proposes that depersonalization of self and others is responsible for the effects of visual anonymity on group behavior. The authors investigated these mediating processes by assessing the effects of group-based self-categorization and stereotyping of others on group attraction within visually anonymous or…

The formation of group norms in computer-mediated communication

The formation of group norms in computer-mediated communication (CMC) was examined among students who used email as part of a course. A network analysis of group structures revealed that (a) content and form of communication is normative, group norms defining communication patterns within groups, (b) conformity to group norms increases…

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…

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.

SIDE-VIEW: An interactive web environment to support group collaborative learning

The aims and objectives of this project are: (1) To provide a specification for the design of an interactive web environment to support group collaboration among geographically dispersed higher education students, based on recent social psychological theorizing about computer-mediated group interaction and ethnographic study of the problem domain of peer-learning…

Breaching or building social barriers? SIDE effects of computer-mediated communication

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…

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…

Panacea or panopticon? The hidden power in computer-mediated communication

This article examines how interaction by means of computer-mediated communication (CMC) affects the operation of both status differentials and power relations, and attempts to identify the social psychological processes mediating the social and behavioral effects of these factors. The dominant assessment, particularly within social psychological analyses, is that CMC tends…

Flaming in computer-mediated communication: Observations, explanations, implications

The notion that ‘uninhibited behaviour’ is associated with communicating via computer has gained a great deal of attention. One manifestation, ‘flaming’ (the hostile expression of strong emotions and feelings) has been widely reported in the research literature and commented on in the national press. Indeed, flaming has come to be regarded…

Paralanguage and social perception in computer-mediated communication

It is widely held that computer-mediated communication (CMC) filters out many of the social and affective cues associated with human interaction with consequent effects on communication outcomes and the medium’s suitability for interpersonal tasks. The relationship between paralanguage and social perception in CMC in different social contexts in investigated in…

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…

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…

Rationalist assumptions in cross-media comparisons of computer-mediated communication

Users’ comparisons between computer-mediated communication (CMC) and other forms of communication are of theoretical interest and have important implications for system design and implementation. This paper outlines the prevalent systems rationalist perspective on CMC, which sees the medium primarily as an efficient channel for information transfer in specific organizational tasks,…

Deindividuation and group polarization in computer-mediated communication

A computer-mediated communication system (CMCS) was used to explore the effects of de-individuation on group polarization. Reicher (1984) argued that de-individuating members of a group should increase the salience of group identity and hence normative behaviour, while de-individuating subjects treated as individuals should have the reverse effect. We extended this…

Investigating personal constructs of emotions

Forty-two first-year psychology students took part in an exploratory study of conceptions of emotions using Kelly’s (1955) Repertory Grid technique. Each participant generated eight different personal constructs for comparing and contrasting eight different emotional states then rated these emotions on the basis of their own constructs. Analysis of the group…