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The Online Disinhibition Effect (Kind of like road rage?)

Department of Psychology, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 08648, USA.

Abstract

While online, some people self-disclose or act out more frequently or intensely than they would in person. This article explores six factors that interact with each other in creating this online disinhibition effect: dissociative anonymity, invisibility, asynchronicity, solipsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority. Personality variables also will influence the extent of this disinhibition. Rather than thinking of disinhibition as the revealing of an underlying “true self,” we can conceptualize it as a shift to a constellation within self-structure, involving clusters of affect and cognition that differ from the in-person constellation.

1: Suler J. The online disinhibition effect. Cyberpsychol Behav. 2004
Jun;7(3):321-6. PubMed PMID: 15257832.

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