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. > n >
Berkowitz has been the leading investigator of the “disinhibition hypothesis,” which posits that television violence in certain circumstances will result in increased interpersonal aggression because it weakens inhibitions against such behavior (Berkowitz, 1962).
“The findings so far suggest that such circumstances include those in which the television violence is rewarded, those in which cues similar to those in television portrayal appear in the environment, and those in which the environment contains a target who has previously provoked or harmed the viewer.
Like Tannenbaum and Bandura, Berkowitz believes in testing hypotheses in order to construct theory and in rigorous control in order to infer cause and effect. However, unlike Tannenbaum, he has been interested in the direct contribution of television violence to the performance of acquired behavior. And unlike both Tannenbaum and Bandura, his most recent research has involved naturalistic field experiments on the effects of television violence of subsequent interpersonal aggression” (Comstock & Lindsey, 1975, p.27). >
This theory hypothesizes that existing behavioural tendencies of children and others are inhibited by experience’. Therefore continuing exposure to television that occurs throughout adolescent stages, actually promotes the viewer to accept the behaviour. >
- Anonymous Speech And Social Norms
- The Psychology of Cyberspace
- Disinhibition Theory
- Online disinhibition effect
- Psychological Assessment via the Internet: A Reliability and Validity Study of Online (vs Paper-and-Pencil) Versions of the General Health Questionnaire-28 (GHQ-28) and the Symptoms Check-List-90-Revised (SCL-90-R)
- Loneliness and social uses of the Internet