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'You can't see me' : the role of group conformity and anonymity within the social media - using the example of flaming

Klein-Menting, S. (2014) 'You can't see me' : the role of group conformity and anonymity within the social media - using the example of flaming.

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Abstract:The purpose of this research is to investigate if conformity on social media platforms predicts flaming behaviour and if anonymity increases the appearance of this phenomenon. Since social media platforms such as Facebook are getting ever more popular, also flaming behaviour occurs more often. In addition group conformity effects might occur on Facebook. To disclose this association between group conformity and conformity on Facebook an online study was developed. In the first section, general data of the participants were asked. In addition the participants had the direction to fill in either a pseudonym or their full name to give them the feeling either to be anonymous or not. To measure if a higher number of likes of flaming comments lead to conformity, the agreement with flaming comments was measured throughout the second section of the conducted study. Also a self-report was developed in order to measure the tendency to flame of each participant. Results showed that a marginal effect of Number of Likes on Agreement exists, but this findings need a careful interpretation. Additionally no was effect found for Anonymity on Agreement nor on flaming behaviour. Based on the number of participants in the control group and in the conditions of this study, it could not be tested, if conformity predicts flaming behaviour. But still this research is of essential importance since other studies found that manipulation of likes could influence conformity and that anonymity could increase flaming behaviour.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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