The Online Disinhibition Effect


temperance
#1
I 'm totally intrigued with this and feel it happens all the time ,but why ,does it help ??


It's well known that people say and do things in cyberspace that they wouldn't ordinarily say or do in the face-to-face world. They loosen up, feel more uninhibited, express themselves more openly. Researchers call this the "disinhibition effect." It's a double-edged sword. Sometimes people share very personal things about themselves. They reveal secret emotions, fears, wishes. Or they show unusual acts of kindness and generosity. We may call this benign disinhibition.


On the other hand, the disinhibition effect may not be so benign. Out spills rude language and harsh criticisms, anger, hatred, even threats. Or people explore the dark underworld of the internet, places of pornography and violence, places they would never visit in the real world. We might call this toxic disinhibition.
On the benign side, the disinhibition indicates an attempt to understand and explore oneself, to work through problems and find new ways of being. And sometimes, in toxic disinhibition, it is simply a blind catharsis, an acting out of unsavory needs and wishes without any personal growth at all.

What causes this online disinhibition? What is it about cyberspace that loosens the psychological barriers that block the release of these inner feelings and needs? Several factors are at play. For some people, one or two of them produces the lion's share of the disinhibition effect. In most cases, though, these factors interact with each other, supplement each other, resulting in a more complex, amplified effect.


You Don't Know Me (dissociative anonymity)

As you move around the internet, most of the people you encounter can't easily tell who you are. System operators and some technologically savvy, motivated users may be able to detect your e-mail or internet address, but for the most part people only know what you tell them about yourself. If you wish, you can keep your identity hidden. As the word "anonymous" indicates, you can have no name - at least not your real name. That anonymity works wonders for the disinhibition effect. When people have the opportunity to separate their actions from their real world and identity, they feel less vulnerable about opening up. Whatever they say or do can't be directly linked to the rest of their lives. They don't have to own their behavior by acknowledging it within the full context of who they "really" are. When acting out hostile feelings, the person doesn't have to take responsibility for those actions. In fact, people might even convince themselves that those behaviors "aren't me at all." In psychology this is called "dissociation."


You Can't See Me (invisibility)

In many online environments other people cannot see you. As you browse through web sites, message boards, and even some chat rooms, people may not even know you are there at all - with the possible exception of web masters and other users who have access to software tools that can detect traffic through the site, assuming they have the inclination to keep an eye on you, one of maybe hundreds or thousands of users. Invisibility gives people the courage to go places and do things that they otherwise wouldn't.

This power to be concealed overlaps with anonymity, because anonymity is the concealment of identity. But there are some important differences. In text communication such as e-mail, chat, blogs, and instant messaging, others may know a great deal about who you are. However, they still can't see or hear you - and you can't see or hear them. Even with everyone's identity visible, the opportunity to be physically invisible amplifies the disinhibition effect. You don't have to worry about how you look or sound when you say (type) something. You don't have to worry about how others look or sound when you say something. Seeing a frown, a shaking head, a sigh, a bored expression, and many other subtle and not so subtle signs of disapproval or indifference can slam the breaks on what people are willing to express. In psychoanalysis, the analyst sits behind the patient in order remain a physically ambiguous figure, without revealing any body language or facial expression, so that the patient has free range to discuss whatever he or she wants, without feeling inhibited by how the analyst is physically reacting. In everyday relationships, people sometimes avert their eyes when discussing something personal and emotional. It's easier not to look into the other's face. Text communication offers a built-in opportunity to keep one's eyes averted.
The rest
www.rider.edu/~suler/psycyber/disinhibit.html (external - login to view)
 
temperance
#2
Nobody is owning up to having 2 or more persona's --tsk tsk
Guess I was wrong
 
El Barto
+1
#3  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by temperanceView Post

Nobody is owning up to having 2 or more persona's --tsk tsk
Guess I was wrong

Temperance i kinda hold back a little because , well of the typing factor, and the lack of personal or physical feed back. What you see here of me is very much what you get in life. I am who I am, it took a long time to get here and i had my raps along the way that made me face who I am and who I am not. I am comfortable with myself, faults and all .
 
eh1eh
#4
You sum that up well El Barto, unless someone is the type to enjoy acting, or is some kind of compulsive liar then I think most people are who you see when they are online.
 
El Barto
+1
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

You sum that up well El Barto, unless someone is the type to enjoy acting, or is some kind of compulsive liar then I think most people are who you see when they are online.

I'm sorry there is a differance, me before coffee and me after coffee
 
eh1eh
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by El BartoView Post

I'm sorry there is a differance, me before coffee and me after coffee

Good point. Drugs do have a dramatic effect. LOL Before beer, after beer.
 
tamarin
#7
We're all exactly who we seem to be. People attached to computer communities and with no real life. And if that real life intrudes, it's simply an aberration. A stray cat who's bullied from the porch.
 
hermanntrude
#8
I'm surprised this needed an article written. Seems clear to me. Same as snail-mail. People often use mail to send sensitive information or deep criticisms.

Online friendships happen faster and online arguments can be more vicious than face to face, right up until the point the face-to-face argument turns physical.
 
Curiosity
#9
I think it's probably one of those nasty 'keep the tenure with publication going' kind of work.... whether it is necessary or not is moot, other than to benefit the author.
Certainly nothing there, mixing professional with pop, and veteran forum membership is probably more keenly aware of the 'points made' than the writer.
OK - so he or she gets another notch on the professional gun...about all its worth.
Forums are great to get the brain active - whether it remains active is up to the individual
 
MikeyDB
#10
I support everyones contention up to this point regarding the "forum phenomenon" but does anyone think that the somewhat moot point regarding the insulation provided by anonymity..translates into a preparedness to forgo active personal participation in the real world? Does "getting this stuff off my chest"...on a forum or in a chat room...provide a rationalization for those unwilling to engage in dialogue and discusssion in the real world?
 
Curiosity
#11
Mikey
For some people it might provide a proving ground to put thoughts in order and in some kind of framework - to use later in the real world if the opportunity arose.
Most people except very close friends of similar interest - engage in the dialogue we find on forums however because few of us are ready to engage until we check out our position - in the real world there is little room for delete and rewrite.
Still I find forum inhabitants totally engaging, interesting, funny, and irritating.... whereas in real life everyone is a surprise until they actually open up....and who has time? Or who wants to make time?
 
MikeyDB
#12
I'd agree with your observation Curio....Do you think that the reticence felt perhaps by people who'd like to say something potentially critical or "negative" about a popular personality or current event/condition do so because there appears to be a breakdown in the inhibitor process that used-too prevent violence against anyone who disagreed? Is the symptom of "road-rage" for instance a confirmation to many that anonymity is the safer course and one can no longer rely on a climate of reasonableness and tolerance that was once the fabric of western cultures?
 
hermanntrude
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDBView Post

I support everyones contention up to this point regarding the "forum phenomenon" but does anyone think that the somewhat moot point regarding the insulation provided by anonymity..translates into a preparedness to forgo active personal participation in the real world? Does "getting this stuff off my chest"...on a forum or in a chat room...provide a rationalization for those unwilling to engage in dialogue and discusssion in the real world?

can't speak for others but I'm quite the talker. I discuss on the forum because I don't get enough discussion elsewhere.
 
MikeyDB
#14
Herm I'd listen to you....POTHEAD.....(never admit anything...take a lesson from the Bush admin..)...
 
hermanntrude
#15
You say pothead like it's a bad thing. Anyway I havent had any for nearly a year :'(
 
Curiosity
#16
Mikey/Hermann
What I have taken away for the years spent reading others' writing and thoughts is learning. I had no idea how much of the world goes on - being devoted most of the time to my own thoughts and ideas and rarely having to defend them, consider them worthy, change them or fight about them.
Forums have given me the opportunity to view a slice of humanity whether real or not, we may never have in real life considering our guard is up most of the time except with people we know so well, there is rarely anything new coming from that source.
I've also found out stuff I dislike about myself which took years to admit. I'm still working on that aspect but not very hard ...
 
DurkaDurka
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by hermanntrudeView Post

You say pothead like it's a bad thing. Anyway I havent had any for nearly a year :'(

Poor guy. Go get your self a medical exemption and get some courtesy of the government. Tell the Doc weed helps cam your twitches or something, lol.
 
MikeyDB
#18
I like you Curio....even feel close to you ...
We can argue and disagree....and so long as their isn't a compulsion on one persons part to hurt the other...we can forgive and move along....as friends and with genuine concern and regard...
Same thing goes with mistakes that we all make....it's a mistake...doesn't mean you're wrong all the time or not "worth" listening to...
The far richer communications environment of "face-to-face" sometimes allows the "darker angels of our nature (Abraham Lincoln) to negatively impact our availability to tolerance and forgiveness...the immediacy of the emotional response can throw up barriers that the anonymity of the "web" can grant a little more lattitude to...
God I need grammar lessons....among others...
 
temperance
#19
"You say pothead like it's a bad thing. Anyway I havent had any for nearly a year :'("

Which one

pothead
 
hermanntrude
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by temperanceView Post

"You say pothead like it's a bad thing. Anyway I havent had any for nearly a year :'("

Which one

pothead

which one what?
 
temperance
#21
lol I cant believe I, you just wrote that --lol
 
hermanntrude
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by temperanceView Post

lol I cant believe I, you just wrote that --lol

what???

you're confusing me
 
MikeyDB
#23
Koool....
 
temperance
#24
Its bad I cant say it not nice for females to say ,talk of such things

 
hermanntrude
#25
sexism? it's ok for guys to speak of something (whatever it is you're talking about) but not girls?
 
L Gilbert
#26
Odd conversation. Anyway, I just found this thread so I'm gonna say something on-topic: it's a time thing with me, in real life I listen a lot more and don't speak as much (at least until the booze kicks in). Here, there is time to go back and review what someone said and bring it back to focus if necessary. In real life it's impractical to do that because conversations flow along and to keep getting so far only to have someone backtrack and bring up something said a half hour ago is ludicrous. Have I babbled enough for now?
 
eh1eh
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by hermanntrudeView Post

which one what?

Any, for a year, any. You haven't had any. Girls should make jokes like that Temperance. Kinda hot though.
 
hermanntrude
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by eh1ehView Post

Any, for a year, any. You haven't had any. Girls should make jokes like that Temperance. Kinda hot though.

Ah OK... got it. nah plenty of that, thanks.
 
temperance
#29
Im a little emabarred
but hey It made me laugh

Iv never seem those emotions before lol

"plenty of that" liar --anyone thats says theres plenty is palmable
 
hermanntrude
#30
you're unaware of the facts. My wife just visited me for one week in the middle of a 4-month period apart. Plenty. Believe me
 

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