Social Psychology, Meet the Internet I203 Social & Organizational Issues of Information
Political Participation, Distribution and Consumption of Cultural Consumption • Political Participation • Informed, engaged public? • ‘Deliberative Democracy’ • Cultural Consumption • Diversity, Hypersegmentation, Massification
The Social Psychological Perspective How social conditions and factors affect humans– especially behavior.
Effects of the Internet NONE!
Internet ‘Differences’ • Anonymity (or pseudo-anonymity) • Transcends physical distance • Physical appearance, cues • Asynchronicity
Anonymity Deindividuation v. Identity Exploration
Deindividuation “When an individual’s self-awareness is blocked or seriously reduced by environmental conditions, deindividuation can occur.” (McKenna & Bargh, p. 60) “Deindividuation describes a state of reduced self-awareness associated with immersion and anonymity within a group.” (The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Social Psychology)
“Deindividuation, as through anonymity, does not by itself produce negative behavior. Rather, it decreases the influence of internal (i.e., self) standards of or guides to behavior, and increases the power of external, situational cues (Johnson and Downing, 1979).
Identity Exploration Anonymity + Repeated Interactions:
‘The Illusion of Large Numbers’ (.004% of internet population)
Liking & Attraction • Liking, relation formation without physical cues • Idealized self-presentation (vs. actual self) • First Impressions & Consistency
Space & Distance Barriers? “Mere Exposure Effect” (Zajonc 1968) + Homophily
Asynchronicity • What are the affordances of asynchronous interactions from a social psychological perspective?
Questionable Links… • More socially anxious people are attracted to the internet. • The internet increases loneliness, depression • Online relationships are ‘worse’ than offline.
Next Week… Everything you ever needed to know about reading social science research methods in only two lectures.