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Published Online: 28 July 2004

The Online Disinhibition Effect

Publication: CyberPsychology & Behavior
Volume 7, Issue Number 3

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.

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cover image CyberPsychology & Behavior
CyberPsychology & Behavior
Volume 7Issue Number 3June 2004
Pages: 321 - 326
PubMed: 15257832

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Published online: 28 July 2004
Published in print: June 2004

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John Suler, Ph.D.
Department of Psychology, Rider University, Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

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